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2009 Hummer H3 Review

The 2009 Hummer H3 boasts great off-road capability in a distinctive, rugged package. However, if you can live without the brawny styling, rivals offer better fuel economy, more practicality and higher safety scores.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful available V8 engine
  • Impressive off-road abilities
  • Standard four-wheel drive
  • Decent on-road handling
  • Cramped back seat
  • Plain-Jane interior
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Terrible safety ratings




Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 7.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Hummer H3 Overview

There’s no question that the five-seat 2009 Hummer H3 is a fantastic off-roader. Its stand-out styling and hardcore performance are legendary, but if you’re looking for a more practical family vehicle, you may want to check elsewhere. The Hummer H3’s fuel economy is atrocious and it has dismal safety scores. Test drivers noted that its base five-cylinder engine felt underpowered, but that its on-road handling was surprisingly comfortable. Additionally, reviewers said that its interior was attractive compared with competing off-road SUVs. However, the Hummer H3 isn’t very roomy inside, and the back seat can be a bit cramped.

If you’re willing to sacrifice some practicality in favor of the H3’s off-road chops, it may be a great SUV for you. Other SUVs outpace the Hummer H3 with better safety ratings.

The base Hummer H3 comes with an inline five-cylinder engine and is available in five trims: base, Adventure, Luxury, Alpha and H3x. All come standard with four-wheel drive, and it’s one of the few SUVs that’s available with a manual transmission. Higher trim levels can offer near-Cadillac levels of interior luxury, with features like heated leather front seats, premium Monsoon seven-speaker audio system, navigation and a backup camera.

See the full 2009 Hummer H3 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the 2009 Hummer H3’s off-road abilities but want something that’s a bit more practical for your family, check out the 2009 Toyota 4Runner. It offers three rows of seats rather than the H3’s two rows, and there’s more headroom in the second row. While the 4Runner’s safety scores aren’t the best in class, they are better than the H3’s.

Like the Hummer H3, the 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee only has seating for five, but test drivers wrote that the second row was particularly roomy and comfortable. Plus, the Grand Cherokee offers the same off-road performance that earned Jeep its legendary reputation. The Grand Cherokee’s safety scores are also much better, so if you don’t need or want the H3’s distinctive styling, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is likely a better choice.

Compare the H3 to the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee »

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