Full 2009 HUMMER H2 SUT Review
What's New for 2009
For 2009, the Hummer H2 SUT gains a handful of newly standard features that include flexible-fuel capability, Bluetooth connectivity and a heated, power-adjustable steering wheel. New options include real-time traffic reporting and a special edition package with its obligatory chrome wheels and two-tone leather seating.
Like Michael Jackson, the Hummer brand was once popular and considered cool, but lately, the maker of adult Tonka trucks garners about as much public admiration as Wacko Jacko himself. With a slap to their noggins in the form of high gas prices, those poseurs who previously bought Hummers as 6,600-pound, 10-mpg fashion accessories are thankfully a nearly extinct breed. Though there is now the smaller, somewhat more sensible H3 for those tenderfoots, nothing less than a 2009 Hummer H2 SUT will do for those who engage in "National Geographic"-caliber off-road adventures and who tow big-boys' toys.
While the regular H2 utilizes typical SUV design, the H2 SUT (Sport Utility Truck) is more like a crew-cab pickup truck. Both H2 variants are identical from the nose to the rear doors, after which the SUT has a small pickup-style bed in place of the covered cargo compartment. The H2 SUT also features GM's innovative Midgate design (as seen on the Chevy Avalanche). The Midgate in the H2 SUT has a power rear window that descends into a folding panel that in turn can flip down (after the rear seats are folded down) to extend the bed into the cabin.
Thanks to recent refinements, the 2009 Hummer H2 SUT is the best one yet, though there's still no getting around its XXL size and heavy thirst. If you don't have a hankering for a small pickup bed and can instead live with a conventional SUV, other choices such as the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX56 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class offer more on-road refinement, more accommodating cabins and not-as-horrible fuel consumption.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2009 Hummer H2 SUT is basically an SUV with a pickup-bed-style rear section in place of the wagon-type covered cargo area. This means that it also seats only five people as opposed to the seven (or even eight) that a traditional large SUV can hold. The H2 SUT comes in one trim level.
Generously equipped for off-road conditions, the H2 SUT comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, a driver-selectable locking rear differential and underbody skid plates. Inside, the SUT includes dual-zone automatic climate control, auxiliary rear climate controls, leather upholstery, a heated, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front seats with driver memory, heated front and rear seats, a trip computer, remote ignition, Bluetooth, OnStar and a Bose stereo system with an in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The H2 Adventure package adds more off-pavement functionality with a self-leveling rear air suspension, a front brush guard and a tool and first-aid kit. The H2 Luxury package includes polished alloy wheels, additional exterior chrome trim, tubular side steps, a rearview camera, a sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system and a premium MP3-compatible Bose surround-sound audio system. A Special Edition package is available (requires Luxury package) that outfits the H2 SUT with 20-inch chrome wheels, chrome hood handles and latches and color-keyed exterior pieces.
Many of the various packages' features can be had as stand-alone options. Other options include a navigation system with real-time traffic reporting and upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim.
Powertrains and Performance
The heart of the four-wheel-drive H2 SUT is a 6.2-liter V8 engine rated at 393 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. It's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. For help in the rough stuff, there's a dual-range transfer case and a driver-selectable locking rear differential. Towing capacity is rated at a burly 8,000 pounds when properly equipped. EPA fuel economy estimates aren't available for vehicles this heavy, but based on our experience, you'll be lucky to average more than 10 mpg.
Standard on the 2009 Hummer H2 SUT are stability control (with roll mitigation technology), antilock disc brakes (with emergency brake assist) and rollover-sensing head curtain airbags for all three rows.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2009 H2 SUT features an upscale cabin with soft-touch surfaces and solid build quality. But despite its massive exterior dimensions, the H2 SUT's rear leg- and headroom can be tight, and the small truck bed doesn't offer much in the way of useful utility. The Midgate feature does increase the cargo versatility, though. Folding the rear seats down and opening the Midgate expands the cargo area to 56 cubic feet.
Weighing in at more than 6,600 pounds and fitted with truck-based suspension components and recirculating-ball steering, the 2009 Hummer H2 SUT is not exactly a prime choice for around-town errands. Unless, of course, your town's landscape typically includes fallen trees, huge boulders and several rivers in need of fording. The H2's off-road capabilities are easily best-in-class, with plenty of ground clearance, aggressive approach and departure angles, generous wheel articulation and ample tire grip. Around town, though, the H2 drives like the big SUV that it is. Poor outward visibility further limits the H2 SUT's appeal.