Used 2008 HUMMER H3 SUV Used 2008

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

If you're attracted to the Hummer look and capabilities, but don't want the stigma or expense of thirsty fuel consumption, the 2008 Hummer H3 might be your candidate. It's an H2 look-alike built from the same sensible foundation that's shared with the Chevrolet Colorado pickup. The H3 is reasonably sized, rather roomy inside and quite good off-road. The addition of a more powerful V8 in the new H3 Alpha should effectively silence critics of the original five-cylinder model, although fuel economy does suffer at the hands of added horsepower and torque.


You'll Like This SUV If...

Without losing appreciable off-road capability, the H3 produces a far more civilized experience than bigger Hummers, especially when compared to the original H1. If you seldom venture off-road (which is true of almost all SUV owners), the gentlemanly ride and tamer responses are sure to satisfy rather than annoy highway riders.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

Fervent off-roaders, who savor the brutishness of the traditional Hummer, could be put off by the H3's more refined nature. But if smoothness is a top selling point, note that, on five-cylinder models, automatic-transmission operation can turn rough when trying to accelerate at low speeds and lethargic when passing or merging.

What's New for 2008

A new model, the H3 Alpha, joins the Hummer line and features a 300-horsepower V8 engine. Head-curtain side airbags become standard on all models, as does StabiliTrak stability control and traction control.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

With a suspension that's surprisingly springy and reacts quickly to bumps, the H3 delivers an impressively easygoing ride. Cruising with the optional XM radio playing, you can even forget you're inside a Hummer. This Hummer also handles more adeptly than its bigger brothers. Still, pavement irregularities will not go unnoticed. Acceleration with the automatic isn't bad from a standstill, and the 3.7-liter engine provides a marked improvement in passing power over the previous 3.5-liter version. Unfortunately, low-speed downshifts can produce a harsh jolt, and passing and merging can seem to yield more noise than action. Quiet on the highway, the H3 emits only a little driveline drone at low speeds.

Favorite Features

External Spare Tire
Not only does the gate-mounted spare look rugged, it releases substantial space behind the rear seat for additional cargo. The gate swings out easily, too, revealing a sizable luggage area.

Dead-Square, Upright Profile
An H3 might be smaller and gentler, but it still doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is: A capable, traditional Sport Utility Vehicle that looks the part of a serious off-road machine.

Vehicle Details


Five passengers enjoy reasonably abundant space, though getting there requires a substantial upward climb. Side steps may help less-agile riders with that chore. Optional leather upholstery adds a dash of richness to the Hummer experience. Bright-accented instruments are small but easy enough to read. Side bolstering and support are modest, but the front seats are comfortable. Despite a slight knees-up position and so-so headroom, outboard rear-seat occupants should be satisfied. The rear center spot is simply awful, though - high, hard and with minimal headroom. Visibility isn't as impaired as the squat windows might suggest, and is helped by no-nonsense rectangular mirrors.


Dimensions are more moderate than its brothers in arms, but the H3 exhibits the unabashedly boxy profile that Hummer fans praise and critics love to denounce. Built on a 111.9-inch wheelbase, with a wide track and short overhangs, the H3 rolls on huge tires and looks taller than its actual height. Like its larger mates, the H3 promises impressive rock-climbing prowess, with the ability to clamber into and out of deep holes. Round headlamps set within square openings flank the H3's "signature" seven-slot louvered grille. Towing capacity is 4,500 pounds (6,000 with the V8) and ground clearance is 9.1 inches. A full-size spare is rear-mounted on the swing-out tailgate.

Notable Standard Equipment

GM's OnStar communications system is standard, along with cruise control, remote keyless entry, head-curtain side airbags, StabiliTrak stability control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with traction control, OnStar Safety and Security package, a heavy-duty trailering/suspension package, 16-inch wheels, and cloth upholstery. Either 32-inch Goodyear all-terrain tires or Bridgestone 33-inch off-road rubber may be installed.

Notable Optional Equipment

Popular H3 options include the Off-Road Suspension Package, which features a fully-locking rear differential, off-road suspension and LT285/75R16 on/off-road tires. Stand-alone options include XM Satellite Radio, power sunroof, Monsoon stereo, chrome wheels and leather upholstery. Heated leather seats and DVD navigation are also optionally available, as is the Rear Vision system and OnStar. Dealers can install a wrap-around brush guard and side steps in a choice of three styles.

Under the Hood

The 3.7-liter in-line five-cylinder engine provides good and low-end torque, and should be well-suited to the needs of most H3 owners, providing a 4,500-pound towing ability, strong acceleration and power to pass, along with respectable fuel consumption. With the five-speed manual the H3 can be quite spirited. Of course, those not worried about fuel costs will want the added horsepower and towing provided by the 5.3-liter V8.

3.7-liter in-line 5
242 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
242 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (manual), 14/18 (automatic)

5.3-liter V8
300 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
320 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/16


Pricing Notes

The H3's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) ranges from just over $30,000 for the base H3 to a high of $43,000 for a loaded H3x. The V8-powered Alpha starts around $39,000 and can push past $45,000 fully loaded. Like other Hummers, the H3 has a personality of its own. Nevertheless, it competes against the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, BMW X3 and Nissan Xterra. Before you start comparison shopping, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which shows the typical transaction price the H3 fetches in your neck of the woods. As with its big brothers, the H3 is expected to retain a good portion of its original value, beating out most of its domestic rivals, but still just shy of the values held by Toyota, Honda and Nissan SUVs.

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