Why Hummers Aren’t Necessarily Good For Off-Roading

Sure, the H1 is a successful military-like vehicle used for traversing dunes and Humvees keeps our troops safe in battle, but the H2 isn’t so great. While the Humvee has a massive amount of respect for off-roading, civilian Hummers do not, and here’s why.

Why Hummers Aren’t Good For Off-Roading 

To be clear, we’re discussing the H2 Hummer’s capabilities, not the successful H1 Hummer that inspired the daily driver. 

The H2 was created in an attempt to transform the H1’s rugged capabilities into a comfortable daily driver that could hang with the best of the best 4×4 off-roading vehicles. With its massive military design, it at least looks the part. 

It turns heads as something you might see in an action movie. What would feel safer than a massive chunk of steel as you sped away from an explosion? Hm, maybe something capable of maneuvering away from danger. 

Hummer goes off-roading

1. The Hummer Is Too Heavy

One major problem that the Hummer faces when it comes to hitting the trails is its weight. The H2 weighed over 6,000 pounds, making it sink in soft sediment. A majority of Hummers have tried following lightweight Wranglers down the trail only to sink. Then to make matters worse, tow trucks had trouble pulling them out of the mud.

Another problem with the Hummer involves the weak frame used to support its massive amount of heavy steel. The H2 had ½ ton GM tie-rods, idler arms, unit bearing hubs, steering box, and other components made for stock pick-ups. 

The front axle shafts simple can’t hold up under the weight to maneuver this gigantic vehicle down narrow, curvey trails, let alone a parking space.  

2. The H2 Isn’t Fun To Drive 

The Hummer sports massive leather chairs for comfort, but they lack support. One slight bump sends drivers and passengers bouncing, even when they aren’t up to speed. This is due to the H2’s weak factory suspension and massive wheels. 

When the H2 came out, going 0 to 60 in 10.2 seconds seemed super fast, but that was also much faster than the H2 can accelerate. Once you’re able to coast at highway speeds stopping becomes a problem as the brakes fail to quickly slow down this heavy clunker. 

Imagine going downhill on a trail and not having faith in your ability to stop or quickly maneuver out of a tight spot. Speaking of maneuvering, due to the short overhang, the H2 only has a 47-degree approach angle. The H2 also has a side step that hangs down about 6”, giving it even less clearance space. 

The angle did allow it to compete with other SUVs at the time, but how many people were trusting vehicles such as the Chevy Tahoe for off-roading? 

Plus, the fuel economy of 12 MPG and limited cargo space created headaches for many consumers who picked the H2 as their daily driver. 

Hummer Off-Roading

3. The H2 Feels Cheap 

The dash and interior components of the H2 are made of plastic. As you drive or store items the plastic makes nerve-racking creaks and pops that don’t provide confidence. The clam-shell hood is also made of flimsy fiberglass that shakes as you open the hood to reveal a GMC engine. 

But because the Hummer is comprised of GMC parts, at least it’s easy to repair. One GMC part that we feel is necessary to point out is the center console that’s identical to the one found in the GMC Express Van. 

That’s right, this military beast has the center console of a VAN. That provides confidence in a unique off-roading vehicle, right? 

Maybe the new Hummer will address these issues. An electric model will improve the fuel economy at least. Until then, avoid used Hummers for something lighter and more capable for off-roading, unless you want to have that cool Hummer look.