Was The Hummer H3 Actually A Decent 4×4 Unjustly Killed By GM?

Back in 2005, when GM first started producing the Hummer H3, it was pretty much the only military-inspired off-roader you could buy on a family SUV budget.

Regardless of what you think about the H3, the fact remains that sales weren’t bad at all during its first three years on the market. Then the economy crashed in 2008, and the brand eventually died.

Looking back on it now, almost a decade later, should we actually feel bad for the brand, or the H3 in particular? Tyler Hoover definitely thinks so, pointing out that, in a vacuum, the Hummer H3 is by no means a bad product.

Like many large GM vehicles back in the day, the H3 was capable both on- and off-road, and while straight line performance was nothing to write home about, the H3 wasn’t any worse than the Wrangler. Moreover, inside, even though visibility is an issue, you do feel as if you’re driving something different thanks to the low roofline.

In the end, it’s interesting to think about what could have been had GM not pulled the plug on Hummer in 2010.

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  • robotlogic

    Nooooo, the H3 just a rebodied Tahoe with the same ground clearance and smaller interior. It’s the 924 Porsche of the Hummer world.

    • Nick099

      Regardless, low mileage examples seem to be holding their value.

      • robotlogic

        They are less expensive than 4×4 Tahoe of the same year and millage. Now an H3T would be something to hold onto.

        • Nick099

          The H3 was not based on a Tahoe chassis, therefore it cannot be compared to it.

          The H3 was based upon the Colorado/Canyon pickup chassis and was considered “mid sized.”

          The closest GM family competitor was the Chevy Trailblazer.

          Compare the two on KBB and the H3 is more than double the price of the exact same spec Trailblazer.

    • Matt

      I thought the H2 was a re-bodied Tahoe? Wasn’t the much smaller H3 based on the Colorado mid-size truck chassis?

      • robotlogic

        Yes, you’re right. Now I hate it even more.

        • Six_Tymes

          not true. go watch a review by Doug on the H2, its totally false saying they were on Tahoe platforms. most people keep spreading that assumption and so folks think its must be true, like saying Obama was a good president. next is opra the 1 percenter, now she is to be worshiped. OK, sorry i went off topic…

      • Nick099

        No, it was not.
        It used parts from the Tahoe, 2500 series, and 1500 series truck chassis. In other words, the chassis and suspension was custom.

        Now folks can say whatever they want, but two things are factual and not conjecture; that the H2 was reviewed extensively in its time and critics judged it to be supremely capable off road, and they have a strong following today that is keeping prices well above where they should be for a dead brand.

  • LWOAP

    I’d LS swap that thing and give it side exit exhausts. 🙂

  • Nick099

    In 2010, GM was taken over by government appointees as a result of the forced bankruptcy.
    The Hummer brand was something of a poster child for environmental recklessness, therefore it had to go.
    The plan at the time was to transform the entire auto industry from fossil fuel based, fuel sucking engines to over-stressed, high maintenance squirrel motors and battery-powered cars.

    Pontiac was an even worse decision, as the brand was selling more units than Buick…but there was that whole Chinese strategy….

    • Status

      You’re wrong about Pontiac. It’s total sales may have been greater than Buick, but Buick had a much higher average transaction price than Pontiac of the time.

      Put it this way: For every 5 pontiacs sold, GM made $1. For every 3 Buicks sold, GM made $1. Guess which one is more profitable per unit sold, and then you’ll know why Pontiac was dropped. Nobody was going to buy a Pontiac for Buick money, and it’s much easier for GM to make fewer profitable Buicks than it was to make thousands of value-priced Pontiacs.

      The world is better off without Pontiac.

      • Nick099

        You are right….my recollection regarding Pontiac was wrong.
        I conflated Bob Lutz’s efforts to turn Pontiac around with actual financial success.

        • Status

          The balance sheet matters more than (Lutz’s) personal feelings for GXP flavoured G8’s and Solstices. Even the still-born ST wouldn’t have saved what was a terminal cancer. The money always matter more, and those that can rake in more money for less effort (GMC and Buick) got to stay around after bankruptcy.

  • Mark S

    It was a fine SUV, GM at the time just had to many brands. I would think the Hummer name still has plenty of value. I would like to see them come back, maybe even as a GM truck sub-brand with a Jeep Wrangler/Scambler line that is more affordable but styled after the hummers. Use the next generation Colorado platform and discontinue the Canyon which overlaps with the Colorado to much.

    • LWOAP

      Needs some engine choices too like a turbo diesel or even a diesel hybrid.

  • ejd1984

    The H3 was based on GM’s GMT345 platform. It was essentially a gussied up Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon.

  • Bash

    Its so cool, the interior was its only down side tho.

  • Personally anything bar H1 is just a pointless marketing exercise.

  • Six_Tymes

    what a tool

  • Mr_Fanta_Pants

    A massive waste of space the had less interior room than a Mazda 2.

  • fabri99

    Bring it back as an EV, I’m sure most fratboys won’t care too much.

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    Regardless whether you appreciate the brand or not, lets face it, they will continue to increase in value simply because they have been discontinued and there is a loyal fan base. Take a look at the International Scouts and AMC Rebels. Those brands left the scene so long ago, yet they continue to climb in value.

  • bonzomatic

    When I take my car into the Buick/GMC dealer I see H3’s there almost every time. I asked the service guy about it and he said that people are extremely loyal to that truck. He said the sales people wish they still made them because they would not have any trouble selling new ones.

  • CalMark

    I loved my H3, but I loved technology more, so it was eventually time to move on.

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