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TheCarConnection.com’s SUV experts read the latest reviews on the new 2008 HUMMER H3 to put together this conclusive review. TheCarConnection.com’s experts also drove the HUMMER H3 and include more information and opinions where relevant. This review compares the 2008 HUMMER H3 with other vehicles in its class, to provide you with the best advice and to help you decide which reviews to trust.
- Off-road capabilities
- V-8 over inline-five
- Slow acceleration
- On-road handling compromises
- Four-speed automatic
- Outward visibility
HUMMERs used to be big and bad. Remember the awe-inspiring if impractical HUMMER H1? With military heritage and genuinely amazing off-road capabilities, this giant Class 8 truck launched General Motors' HUMMER division. HUMMER has been downsizing ever since. Slotting in under the still huge HUMMER H2, the H3 debuted in 2006. Since then, the 2008 HUMMER H3 finally gains what it's needed: a V-8 engine.
The experts at TheCarConnection.com weren't overly impressed with the first HUMMER H3. With a 3.5-liter inline-five cylinder engine, the 4,700-pound SUV felt completely out of its element on regular roads. It was slow and handled poorly compared to more conventional SUVs.
Things got a little better (very little) when the larger inline-five was introduced. It displaced 3.7 liters and produced 242 horsepower. Those who are good at math will quickly see that the HUMMER H3's power-to-weight ratio with the five-cylinder is still nothing to brag about. Responding to complaints about the H3's lethargic on-road character, HUMMER added a 5.3-liter V-8 to its H3 sport-ute for the 2008 model year. The engine is stuffed into a new model dubbed the H3 Alpha.
The 2008 HUMMER H3 Alpha version--the latest in a series of Alpha models spun off the H2 and H1 utes--spins out 295 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque through a heavy-duty four-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. The drivetrain boosts the H3's towing capacity to 6,000 pounds. Editors at TheCarConnection.com have driven both HUMMER H3 models back to back, and they vastly prefer the power of the V-8 (sourced from GM's full-size trucks and SUVs). However, the H3 is still a heavy lump, so even with the V-8, this is not a quick SUV, although now you won't get smoked from a stop sign by a kid on a Big Wheel. A modern six-speed automatic would help matters.