The 2009 Hummer H3T

Aug. 05, 2008 By Craig Perronne
Hummer H3T

Turning a Hummer into a pickup truck is nothing new. The original H1 came in a two-door version with a pickup bed that is mostly used by the military. Hummer’s more civilized offering, the H2, is also offered in a “pickup” version dubbed the H2 SUT. Based on the same wheelbase of the H2 and with a tiny bed, Hummer came up with the clever designation Sport Utility Truck as it is not quite a truck and not quite an SUV.

When Hummer invited us to check out the 2009 Hummer H3T, we were smart enough to guess that the T would be a pickup version of the existing H3. We expected that Hummer would introduce something similar to the H2 SUT with an identical wheelbase, chassis and truncated pickup box. Thankfully, what Hummer actually did reveal to us was a bit of a surprise.

Hummer H3T
We tested the Hummer H3T in some pretty tough conditions and with the optional 33-inch tires, front and rear lockers, 4.03:1 low-range and good approach/departure angles it is very capable in the dirt.

Instead of simply loping off the body behind the rear doors and using the space to make a miniscule and somewhat useless pickup bed, Hummer stretched the H3’s wheelbase by 22.3-inches to 134.2 inches. The new length allows Hummer to put a real five-foot long pickup bed onto the H3T chassis allowing room for dirt bikes, ATV’s or plenty of junk from Home Depot. With the H3T Hummer now offers a four-door pickup that sits between a mid-size and full-size in overall dimensions.

Since the rest of the Hummer’s new pickup is based on the H3, it performs very similar to the H3 Alpha that we tested in Moab. On our long road trip and week in Moab, we found the H3 to have a very comfortable and quiet interior with seating for five, ride nicely on the road and be extremely capable in the dirt. That can also be said of the new 2009 Hummer H3T.

Just like the SUV, the H3T is available with a 3.7L five-cylinder engine that produces 239 horsepower and 241 lb-ft of torque or in Alpha trim with the 5.3L V-8 that makes 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. Never being fans of the five-cylinder, we strongly recommend the Alpha with the V-8. The small penalty in gas mileage is well worth the extra power and 5,900-lb towing capacity.

HummerH3T Hummer H3T
The interior of the H3T is identical to the H3 and is a comfortable place to cruise the trail or highway. Keen eyes will notice the additional locker button located above the nav display that engages the front locker. The five foot bed of the H3T makes it big enough to haul dirt bikes and ATV's. Small enclosed storage spaces are also found in the bed along with track system and bedliner.

Also available on the H3T is the Off-Road Adventure package which is one of our favorite option groupings of all time. It includes 33-inch all-terrain tires, specially tuned shocks, a cast iron front differential, 4.03:1 low range and locking differentials. Yes that is differentials in the plural sense! For 2009 Hummer decided to add an electronic front locking differential to the rear electronic locking differential it had offered last year. This makes it the first manufacturer to ever offer an independent front suspension with a front locking differential straight from the factory. That is definitely a trend we like in a big way. Go Hummer!

To test out the capabilities of the new Hummer H3T we headed up into the mountains above Fresno, California. While most press events feature off-road sections that are fairly easy, Hummer took us over a trail that was one of the toughest we have ever done in a stock vehicle. In conditions like this it is easy to see that the H3T is a highly capable off-road vehicle.

Hummer H3T
The mountains above Fresno, California made for a beautiful testing location.

Having lockers front and rear makes a world of difference. While most modern four-wheel drives have some type of traction control (including the Hummer), all of these systems require wheel spin to engage. In very rough terrain, wheel spin is not welcome as it can cause damage or throw you off line. Driving the Hummer in conditions like these was simple. We would engage the rear locker and let it aid us through the rocks. If that wasn’t enough, a quick engagement of the front locker would usually do the trick.

The only slight drawback to the Hummer’s performance on the trail is its high door line and small window. Being of smaller proportions, I had a hard time peering out the driver’s window to occasionally check tire placement. However if you are of average size and with a bigger head, it should not be a problem. Overall the H3T is and extremely capable vehicle on the trail.

Once we get our greedy little hands on one for an extended test, we will give you the full low-down on the new H3T’s performance. Newsletter
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