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Old 16th February 2009, 10:22   #1
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Default Hummer H 3 Test Drive report

Humming along.
By Shahid Ahmad

Article written in June 2008

The mudfest was over by 10.30 AM, and I dropped Mr. Robert Flemming from Khaleej Times back at Dragon Mart where he had parked his car.

A couple of hours of sleep just before Friday prayers and the desert bug got into me again. The mudfest was not enough for one weekend even in this heat!

We decided to take the HUMMER H3 for a test drive. We chose the intermediate route which we intend to use this Friday for a newbie trip with a lever.

The Hummer we tested is equipped with a 3500 cc engine, and a four speed transfer case.

Seating position not very comfortable. Restricted rear view and the front view is also only average because of a very low seat position. Instrument panel clear and precise. Good angle of view from driving position. Sound system fair.

The vehicle was a full time 4WD with a 4H and 4L electronic locking central differential and an electronic rear diff lock.

We put it into 4H central diff lock mode and chose gear position 3 to start with. The vehicle did a good climb with a front angle of approach of 42 degrees. It was a 30 degree gradient slope.

However as the sand got softer and going in the dunes harder the vehicle was gasping for power. The low side steps also were not very practical for dune driving.

At D or 3 position the Hummer was out of breath. It negotiated short climbs only in 2 position at very high revs. The torque was inadequate for tougher climbs.

On intermediate dune climbs, and on softer sands the Hummer H3 performed very poorly. It is not zippy in the sand like a Landcruiser. The airconditioning was good although. It did not trip throughout the trip.

After about 40 minutes of driving the engine started overheating, the needle was bordering on the red zone. Outside air temperature was 50 degrees at that time ( 5.00 PM ).

We stuck to tracks from this point onwards till the needle came down to the half mark. Then we subjected the Hummer to s steep sideways climb on a slipface of soft sand. Landcruisers, Prados and Wranglers easily negotiate this particular side dune climb. The Hummer failed. The sidesteps got buried in the sand. After a bit of digging with the shovels, I engaged the rear diff lock and climbed down in reverse.

Overall off road ( sand ) diagnosis FAIL. Not up to the mark.

Back after tyre inflation, on the highway, a strange dragging noise was apparent. A plastic grill on the bonnet that is designed to give it a fancy look actually deflects wind onto the windscreen making a terrible sound. Also when the wind passes through the series of orange lights on the roof, a big rattling noise comes through. Very annoying to the passengers.

The engine shift is not smooth and the vehicle gasps for power whenever the gas pedal is pushed. Highway driving result FAIL

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Last edited by Jaggu : 16th February 2009 at 10:33.
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