2006 New Hummer H3 review and pictures

Posted on Saturday, 15 April 2006 , 08:04:35 byEmil

Filed under Hummer

New Hummer H3

DETROIT - The next chapter of the growing HUMMER legacy, the 2006 H3 delivers authentic HUMMER style and off-road capability in a more accessible midsize package. Just as its legendary H1 and H2 siblings did in the full-size segment, the H3 will create a new leader in off-road capability among midsize sport utilities when it arrives at dealers in spring 2005. "H3's arrival establishes an extraordinary new presence in the previously ordinary world of midsize SUVs," said Susan Docherty, HUMMER general manager. "HUMMER has developed a passionate following because of its unmatched style and capability, and the H3 extends that appeal by making the brand accessible to a broader range of potential owners."

H3 packs uncompromising HUMMER style and capability into its midsize dimensions. Compared to the H2, the H3 is 16.9 inches shorter in length, 6 inches shorter in height and 6.5 inches narrower. Roughly the same length as a midsize family sedan, H3 comfortably navigates city traffic and delivers HUMMER's trademark incredible crawling and climbing capability.

Powered by the Vortec 3500 engine with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing, the H3 features a combination of power and greatly improved fuel economy. H3 is projected to reach peak fuel economy of up to 20 miles per gallon. H3 will be the first HUMMER to offer the choice of a manual or an automatic transmission, as many off-road enthusiasts value the ultimate control of a manual.

The H3 was engineered for off-road leadership among midsize SUVs. The heart of the truck's capability is its electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system. That system is augmented with features such as a fully locking rear differential, traction control, underbody shielding and GM's StabiliTrak vehicle stability enhancement system. H3 offers two tire packages, a Goodyear 32-inch all-terrain tire and Bridgestone 33-inch, both larger than any other midsize SUV.

In addition to its uncompromised off-road capabilities, the H3 also provides the refinement, comfort and convenience required for enjoyable on-road driving. It offers premium options such as heated leather seats, a large electric sliding sunroof, XM satellite radio and numerous customized accessories.

The H3 represents a significant step in the HUMMER brand's rapid growth, and an important product for its new network of dealers. It joins the H1, the cornerstone HUMMER that was based on the legendary military vehicle; the H2 SUV, the more modern and civilized full-size HUMMER; and the H2 SUT launched in 2004 that features an innovative reconfigurable cargo bed.


Specifically designed as a truck engine, the Vortec 3500 is a 3.5L inline five-cylinder offering an excellent combination of power and efficiency. The engine delivers 220 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 225 lb.-ft. of torque at 2800 rpm. In terms of performance, the Vortec 3500 provides the H3 with excellent power and control for off-roading, with comfortable and capable on-road characteristics, including acceleration that equals the V-8 powered H2 in most driving conditions. The Vortec 3500 brings premium features and advanced technologies - including dual overhead cams, variable valve timing, electronic throttle control and low mass. The engine also features unique counter-rotating balance shafts to help minimize noise, vibration and harshness.

The Vortec 3500 is available in the H3 with either a standard, smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission or a Hydra-Matic 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The automatic transmission includes shift modes specific to low-range operation, which, combined with speed-based throttle progressions, help optimize driveability in low-range, off-highway operation.

The H3 also has a standard new Borg-Warner two-speed electrically controlled full-time four-wheel-drive system with a 2.64:1 ratio low-range gear reduction for highly controlled off-road obstacle climbing. An optional version provides aggressive low range gearing - a 4.03:1 ratio - for ultimate obstacle-climbing control.

Both versions provide the choice of operating modes:
4High-range Open, for optimum highway performance and comfort under normal road conditions
4High-range Locked, which allows torque to be transferred to the front or rear wheels as needed
4Low-range Locked, for severe off-pavement use, such as crawling over large rocks or logs, or deep sand or snow
4Low-range Locked plus driver-selectable electronic rear differential locked, with the optional 4.03:1 low-range transfer case gearing, providing crawling and climbing power every bit as capable as the legendary H1 and H2
Neutral, for flat-towing the H3

H3's more maneuverable size provides advantages, such as a 37-ft. turning circle and 9.1-inch ground clearance, which contribute to maximum breakover angle of 25 degrees (with 33-inch tires). Serious off-road performance is also aided by the maximum approach angle of 40 degrees and maximum departure angle of 37 degrees. These approach and departure angles permit the H3 to drive right into a hole and back out again, without getting hung up in front or rear .

Among its off-road capabilities, the H3 can ford 16 inches of water at 20 mph or 24-inch streams at a 5-mph pace, climb 16-inch vertical steps and rocks, make its way through deep sand and race over sandy surfaces.


H3 provides a surprisingly smooth, comfortable ride, along with the responsive handling and braking control that customers want for daily driving. Key chassis features that contribute to this combination of smoothness and control, both on- and off-road, include:
A fully welded ladder-type frame, with a modular, three-piece design that incorporates fully boxed components for outstanding strength and stiffness.
An independent front SLA torsion bar suspension and "Hotchkiss" design multi-leaf, semi-elliptic, dual stage leaf spring rear suspension. The standard suspension provides excellent on-highway comfort and outstanding off-road capability, while the optional Off-Road Adventure package delivers more extreme off-road capability.
Underbody protection that includes four standard protective shields, including the front skid plate; an oil pan skid plate that also protects the front axle; and a transfer case shield and a fuel tank shield. Additional protection is also available from optional chassis-bolted rocker panel protectors.
A highly sophisticated standard power rack-and-pinion steering system, with a three-bushing design and a 17:1 ratio that contributes to a very maneuverable 37-foot curb-to-curb turning circle.
Electro-hydraulic four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Dynamic Rear Proportioning, for quick, controlled stops.
Standard single-wheel, full-function traction control that uses a combination of engine intervention and brake management to allow as many as three wheels on a slippery surface and still provide impressive traction capability. It also interacts with the transfer case to provide additional off-road operating modes.
StabiliTrak vehicle stability enhancement system, which enhances safety, stability and control on all roads.

Iconic Style

HUMMER design is iconic. H3's daring looks make it readily identifiable as a HUMMER. It's a matter of form following function. Features like its wide track width, short overhangs and huge tires provide stability, outstanding ground clearance and quick rock-climbing capability in off-road driving.

The H3's flat, chiseled surfaces; upright windshield and windows; signature seven-slot louvered grille; round headlamps housed inside square openings; and pronounced fender flares are all pure HUMMER. Power and strength emanate from its cube-like metal billet form.

Large tires are a staple of HUMMER style, clearly signaling the trucks' capability. H3's 32- and 33-inch tires carry that family trait strongly. Six-lug 16-by-7.5-inch aluminum wheels are standard, with chrome wheels available.

The large rear swing gate encompasses fixed glass, standard rear wiper, defogger and full-size spare tire. The swing gate-mounted spare, a HUMMER first, enhances interior cargo room.

Among other exterior design highlights are a highly protective aluminum front skid plate; hefty, stamped-steel front and rear bumper bars; a composite front fascia, with "HUMMER" molded into the driver's side; standard front tow hooks; and a welded-on rear bumper recovery hook.

Comfortable, convenient

The H3's interior is inviting and modern, blending premium cues with world-class craftsmanship. Upscale touches include a perforated, leather-wrapped and stitched steering wheel and automatic transmission shift handle; bright-accented instrumentation; brushed, machine-finished trim plates; chrome door release handles; chrome bezel for the automatic transmission shifter; and a chrome H3 emblem in the center of the steering wheel.

Sporty front bucket seats and 60/40 split rear seats, with foam inserts and soft bolsters, provide both comfort and good off-road operating support. They are available in standard cloth and optional leather.

The instrument panel is positioned to ensure an optimal view of the road, with easy-to-read liquid crystal displays and a driver information center in the center of the cluster. A center stack includes four levels of controls arranged horizontally for easy use.

Four audio systems are available, all compatible with GM's OnStar system and optional XM Satellite Radio. They include an optional touch-screen DVD-based Navigation Radio (late availability), with a 6.5-inch screen, separate DVD and CD slots, Radio Data System capability and navigation map database.

A large, 36.1-by-24.6-inch power sunroof is available and includes easy-to-operate "express" opening and closing functions, with anti-pinch safety protection.

Some additional standard electronic features include power windows and door locks with lockout protection; electric rear window defogger; outside power-adjustable manually folding rearview mirrors; self-dimming "electrochromic" inside rearview mirror with compass and outside temperature indicator; and three 12-volt, covered auxiliary power outlets (two in front, one in the cargo area).

Safety and security

HUMMER owners value the inherent strength and feeling of security their trucks exude. The H3 fulfills that promise with available features such as StabiliTrak vehicle stability control, roof rail-mounted side curtain air bags, rollover protection system, tire pressure monitoring and stout vehicle structure projected to earn five-star safety ratings for both the driver and passenger in front and side impacts.

The H3 incorporates structural enhancements designed to help in crash protection as well as a number of advanced safety systems to assist in both crash avoidance and protection.

A reinforced passenger compartment safety cage helps provide protection against side and front impacts. The strong, rigid steel structure surrounds the passenger compartment, runs from the A-pillars to the roof rail, back to the D-pillars and includes the bottom rocker panels, under-floor longitudinals and frame. The all-steel body panels and exceptionally strong frame further protect occupants in a collision. The fully welded, ladder-type frame optimizes crash performance, in addition to standing up to rigorous off-road requirements.

Additional crash protection is provided by a standard frontal dual-stage air bag system. The H3 has GM's Passenger Sensing System, which uses weight-sensing technology to turn the front passenger air bag on or off as appropriate. If the sensor system detects an unoccupied front passenger seat or the presence of a smaller occupant, the front passenger air bag is designed to automatically turn off so it would not deploy in the event of a frontal collision. Even with this system, GM strongly recommends to restrain child passengers in an appropriate child seat placed in the second or third row of the vehicle.

Optional roof-rail-mounted, side curtain air bags drop all the way down to the belt line to help provide head and rollover protection for the driver and front passenger. A rollover protection sensing system also helps protect occupants against impending rollovers by triggering side curtain air bags to increase the likelihood of occupant containment in a rollover event, and seat belt pre-tensioners to reduce the likelihood of occupant contact with the inside of the vehicle.
H3 will feature the new sixth-generation OnStar hardware with digital and analog coverage. OnStar's Gen 6 hardware includes upgraded hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar features core safety services and Personal Calling that allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated phone calls. Some of the other standard safety and security features on the H3 include daytime running lamps, a PASSLock II anti-theft vehicle security system, remote keyless entry, battery rundown protection and an electronic tire pressure monitoring system.