- The all-new fully electric off-road SUV is big, bonkers and brutish.
- There are modes for off-roading, CrabWalk and other available goodies for getting off asphalt.
- And it promises at least 250 miles of estimated range.
Driven: 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV — It's Literally a Hummer EV SUV
Behind the wheel of one of the least efficient EVs in the world
The 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV revives the old Hummer brand name, but with an entirely different interpretation. The old Hummers — first the H1, which was a civilian version of the original Humvee military vehicle, and then the more common H2 and H3 SUVs — are remembered as a product of their time: distinctively macho, but also distinctively oversized and wasteful. The new Hummer EV SUV is powered by electricity rather than gasoline. Massive power, insanely fast acceleration, and potentially class-leading off-road capability are bundled together in one package.
How much power and range does the Hummer EV SUV have?
Since the new Hummer runs on electricity rather than gasoline or diesel, it uses electric motors at the front and rear axles. Depending on the configuration, the new Hummer will have either two or three electric motors, the latter setup deploying two at the rear and one in the front. Either way, the Hummer EV SUV has all-wheel drive.
Dual-motor Hummer EV2 and EV2X models will make 625 horsepower, while the three-motor EV3X and Edition 1 versions produce 830 horsepower. While that's less than the 1,000 horsepower GMC quotes for the related Hummer EV truck, rest assured that no version of the Hummer EV SUV lacks for power. Look for three-motor Hummers to cover 0-60 mph in around 3.5 seconds, or about half a second slower than the truck. Even so, this is pretty outrageous for an SUV this massive. For context, the last Corvette Stingray we tested sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.
The difference in horsepower and acceleration between the truck and SUV is down to battery size. Since the SUV makes do without a bed, it rides on a wheelbase nearly 9 inches shorter than the truck's. Because the battery is mounted between the wheels, the reduced space necessitated a smaller battery pack. Don't worry, rock crawlers — GMC engineers have designed built-in protection underneath the vehicle to shield the battery from harm.
There are two available battery sizes for the Hummer EV SUV. GMC doesn't quote kWh capacity like other automakers but says the base battery has 16 modules and the upsized one has 20 modules. (The one in the Hummer EV truck has 24.) GMC says the Hummer EV SUV should have an all-electric range from about 250 to 300 miles, depending on the SUV's configuration.
All but the base EV2 is equipped with an 800-volt architecture that allows the Hummer EV to fully utilize the most powerful DC fast chargers available. Even so, GMC says charging the battery from 20% to 80% capacity will take about 55 minutes under optimal conditions. Longer charging times than a typical EV's is one unfortunate downside to a large EV fitted with a large battery pack. It simply takes longer to recharge.
How's the Hummer EV SUV's interior?
The interior of the Hummer EV SUV mirrors that of its truck counterpart, and we consider that a good thing. The design is a departure from most other General Motors products, including other GMC trucks and SUVs. It's clean and minimal, with straight lines and hard edges that translate to a wide, commanding look, while bronze and white accents give the dark theme a bit of color. The Hummer EV SUV seats five, and there is no option for a third-row seat.
The most prominent parts of the interior are the two bright displays — a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a horizontal 13.4-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash. Graphics here are supercool thanks to a partnership with Perception, a creative group known for its work on the Marvel Universe films. Google Maps are included as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone integration.
Beneath the center screen are two rows of physical buttons, a plus in our eyes since we much prefer the tactile feel of a button while you're driving as opposed to a featureless touchscreen. Designers made the most of these buttons by making the climate control buttons multi-functional, a slick little element that means both the seat heating and cooling features are accessed by one button.
However, there are plenty of plastic components here, which is disappointing on an SUV that comes close to costing near six figures. Particularly egregious are the trim on the aforementioned physical buttons as well as on the drive mode selector dial. However, the seats are comfortable and the heating and cooling elements do their job nicely.
The cabin feels fairly open and spacious inside, helped even further by the Hummer's removable roof panels that GMC calls Sky Panels. Imagine a targa for the first row and a T-top for the second, and you get the general idea. The same reinforcements that help protect the battery provide enough strength and support to keep the Hummer rigid even with the top off.
What kind of tech does it have?
The Hummer EV is far more than just tough looks and copious amounts of power. GMC has built in a lot of features and tech to help the Hummer both on- and off-road. All Hummer EVs (including the truck) come with GM's Super Cruise driver aid system that allows for hands-free driving on select highways.
The SUV also gets a few cool tech features not available on the truck. The first is an onboard 19.2-kW charger for faster fill-ups at home. However, you’ll need a 100-amp circuit to take full advantage and add 30 miles of range each hour. The SUV's battery can also be used to power tools or household appliances at up to 3 kW (120-volt outlet) or help charge another EV with up to 6 kW of output (240-volt outlet).
How does the Hummer EV SUV drive on the street?
The first thing you notice from behind the wheel of the Hummer SUV is its sheer size. Sure, it's shorter than the truck, but it's the same width and features the same stout windshield with three wiper blades. It's easy to miss smaller vehicles and motorcycles on the road, so it's best to always pay attention to the blind-spot warning system.
Power delivery from the electric motors is super smooth and it's easy to get up to the speed limit and beyond if you're not careful. Straight-line acceleration is a blast. Even without the Watts To Freedom launch mode, you'll enjoy embarrassing small sports cars off the line with the Hummer's blistering electric torque.
If you enjoy gaining electrons for free, you can set the Hummer up for maximum regeneration and one-pedal driving. It takes a moment to get used to it but this feature means drivers never have to touch the mechanical brakes unless it's an emergency. The SUV's size means it's not the most economical in terms of power consumption. Using one-pedal driving can help mitigate some of that inefficiency. Around turns, the Hummer SUV tracks obediently, but the experience of driving this heavy beast on curvy roads is not particularly enjoyable.
One thing you'll notice is plenty of wind noise at higher speed. Not that we are surprised — this is essentially a giant brick cruising down the highway with no engine noise to mask its cutting of the air. Road noise also makes its way into the cabin, although it's more noticeable with the available 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires.
How does it perform off-road?
The new Hummer has some impressive specs on paper. The Hummer EV SUV has 10.2 inches of ground clearance as standard. But if you use Extract mode, the air suspension lifts it even farther, providing 16 inches of clearance. Approach, departure and breakover angles are all increased with Extract mode, too. Opt for the Extreme Off-Road package, and you'll get underbody cameras in the front and rear so you can see any obstacles that might pop up and ruin your day. The SUV's shorter wheelbase means it loses a bit of battery capacity compared to the truck, but it makes the Hummer EV SUV far more nimble than its sibling.
We also like the Air Down mode, useful for letting air out of the tires for more traction. Simply set your desired tire pressure and start deflating. When the preselected psi is reached, the Hummer honks to let you know. It's much easier than constantly checking your gauge. There's also the impressive CrabWalk mode, which uses the Hummer's four-wheel steering to drive diagonally at a crawl. The four-wheel steering also helps bring the SUV's turning circle to just 35.4 feet. No three-point turns necessary.
On our first drive event of the SUV, we only got to ride shotgun through a muddy off-road course, so we can't speak to how the SUV feels to drive when the going gets rough. We can say, however, that the Hummer had no problem navigating the sloppy mess even at full tire pressure. However, we want to get the SUV on our own turf and add some high-speed desert running and rock crawling into the mix, without the chauffeur, before we make a final decision.
With our money on the table we would go for the SUV over the truck for its increased breakover and departure angles. Plus, the SUV comes with a full-size spare tire, something the truck lacks.
How's the storage?
If you pop the hood, there's a small front trunk where you might expect an engine to go. The whole nose lifts up, so you won't have to hoist items over the entire grille just to use the trunk. If you need more space, the rear cargo area opens up to 81.8 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats folded flat. There are also small bins underneath the cargo floor and a pass-through underneath the center console large enough for a purse or small bag.
The rear cargo area is accessed through a swing-out rear door. We're only mentioning it because when the vehicle is a lane-busting 86.5 inches wide, that rear door swings out very far. Be sure no cars or kids are back there when you decide to open her up.
The GMC Hummer EV SUV will have plenty of competition by the time it goes on sale this spring. The Rivian R1S comes closest in capability and mission. Should you want a more luxurious vibe, the Audi Q8 e-tron, BMW iX and Mercedes EQE SUV are also worth checking out. For our money, the Hummer stands out with its impressive off-road capabilities and rugged style. However, its overblown proportions might also turn some folks off.