I'm straining my brain, and maybe too many martinis have muddled the long-term memory, but I can't recall any recent vehicle that I was happier to get out of than this one. I mean no offense to the designers of the revised interior -- that's the best part of the Hummer H2, which marks another significant step in GM's apparent march to build the industry's nicest interiors. I do love the contrasting piping on the seats, the soft-touch plastic, and the simple fact that it doesn't look the least bit Fisher-Price, lead-painted-Chinese-toy cheap.
What I hate is the entire rest of the vehicle. Its immense height bars it from many parking garages, and its Sherman-Tank girth renders it practically unusable in the tight confines of the mini-mall and grocery store parking lots in my neighborhood. I still can't believe I navigated as much holiday-shopping traffic as I did without ever swapping insurance cards.
Its gargantuan proportions are an affront to the wind too (affrontal area?), meaning that even with a 393-horsepower, 415-pound-foot 6.2-liter V-8 laboring away under the hood, this crazy blunderbuss can't maintain normal highway speeds in Detroit (10 over the posted 70 mph limit) without frequently dropping from sixth to fifth gear. I spent a weekend driving as if I had an egg on the throttle as we drove from store to store shopping for carpet, hoping to coax the average fuel economy up a tenth from 12.1 to 12.2 mpg. Never happened. Then I accelerated (gently) to 80 mph for a cross-town run, and within about four miles, the reading had dropped to 12.0 mpg.
I know fuel economy isn't the point of this vehicle, but would someone please remind me what exactly IS the point? Sure, it goes off road slightly better than its less outrageous platform mates like the Tahoe or Yukon, though its sheer enormity will keep it out of many Jeep-Wrangler-blazed trails. And affectations like the faux oil-bath air-cleaner covers (or whatever they are) at the base of each A-pillar and the chromed hooks poking through the hood that suggest you might have had your Hummer delivered dangling from a Huey chopper just offend my practical sensibilities. And no, I wouldn't like it any better with a two-mode hybrid drivetrain...unless, perhaps, if it were air-dropped into the deep bush by Huey, with functional oil-bath air cleaners.