For 2007, Hummer introduces the new H3X, based on the H3 Street concept shown at the 2005 Specialty Equipment Market Association show. The H3X has leather seats with embroidered H3 logos on the headrests, a six-CD changer with a Monsoon sound system and a chrome appearance package.
Hummer says the smaller, more fuel-efficient H3 is about the same length as a typical midsize sedan — and therefore is able to maneuver through urban traffic. When necessary, however, the H3 can demonstrate Hummer's famous crawling and climbing abilities just like its larger sibling, the H2. The H3's ground clearance is 9.1 inches, and it can turn in a 37-foot circle.
This is the first Hummer offered with either a manual or an automatic transmission. Its four-wheel-drive system is augmented by standard traction control and General Motor's StabiliTrak electronic stability system, which is now standard in all H3 models.
For 2007, a Midnight Blue exterior finish replaces Superior Blue, and Shadow Green has been dropped. The Ebony/Green cloth interior has also been discontinued. New chrome wheels are available for the 33-inch tires.
The H3X is available in two exclusive colors — Sonoma Red Metallic and Desert Orange Metallic — in addition to traditional H3 colors. Different offroad tires are also available for the H3X.
The H3 is easily identifiable as a Hummer due in part to its short overhangs, pronounced fender flares, upright windshield and windows, wide track and immense tires. Flat, chiseled surfaces also make the H3 noticeable. A seven-slot grille that's flanked by round headlights within square openings sits up front. Front tow hooks are standard. The rear swing gate incorporates fixed glass and a door-mounted full-size spare tire.
Compared with the Hummer H2, which is based on a GM full-size truck platform, the H3 is 16.9 inches shorter overall and 6.5 inches narrower. Its height is 6 inches lower. Two tire types are available: a 32-inch all-terrain Goodyear tire and a 33-inch Bridgestone tire. Six-lug 16-inch aluminum wheels are standard, but chrome wheels are available. A sliding sunroof is optional.
With the optional 33-inch tires, the maximum breakover angle is 25 degrees. Offroad enthusiasts may also need to know that the H3's maximum approach angle is 40 degrees and the peak departure angle is 37 degrees. The H3 can ford 16 inches of water at 20 mph or up to 2 feet if it slows to 5 mph. It can also climb 16-inch vertical steps and rocks.
Built on a ladder-type frame, the H3 has an independent front torsion-bar suspension and semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear. The underbody includes four protective shields. An Off-Road Adventure Package enhances the vehicle's offroad capabilities.
GM's Turn-by-Turn navigation system will be available in OnStar-equipped H3s. Four radio systems are available, and each is compatible with the OnStar communication system and optional XM Satellite Radio. Cloth upholstery and remote keyless entry are standard, and three 12-volt power outlets are installed. Options include heated leather seats and a DVD-based navigation system.
Five occupants fit in sporty bucket seats up front and a 60/40-split, folding rear bench. The driver faces a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel and bright-accented instruments. Brushed, machine-finished trim plates are included, and the door release handles are chrome. Controls on the center stack are arranged horizontally in four rows.
Under the Hood
For 2007, the H3 receives a new Vortec 3.7-liter inline-five-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing. It develops 242 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 242 pounds-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm.
Hummer says the H3's acceleration matches the pace of the larger H2's for most driving conditions. Either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic can be installed. The automatic unit includes shift modes that are specific to low-range operation.
The two-speed BorgWarner full-time four-wheel-drive system has a 2.64-1 gear reduction for low range in order to yield satisfying control during offroad obstacle climbing. For ultimate climbing capabilities, an optional 4.03-1 ratio is available. A locking rear differential is optional. A Neutral position is included for flat-towing the vehicle.
Antilock brakes incorporate Dynamic Rear Proportioning. Side curtain airbags with a rollover protection system are optional. Daytime running lights and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard.
Standard in all H3 models, GM's Passenger Sensing System turns off the front passenger airbag if it detects an unoccupied seat or a smaller passenger. A reinforced passenger compartment safety cage and all-steel body panels help protect occupants in a collision.
With its upgraded five-cylinder engine, the H3 provides noticeably improved acceleration over its predecessor. That's not to say it's quick; highway acceleration remains sluggish, and the four-speed automatic is slow to kick down.
The H3's cabin is among GM's best midsize efforts. It's a welcome change from the low-rent interiors in the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, with which the H3 shares a platform. A small rear window is partially obscured by the tailgate-mounted spare tire, and blind spots remain significant.