Overview & Reviews
"Only in America." Nowhere in the vehicular universe does that statement apply more than when in reference to the Hummer H1. Originally designed strictly for military use, this absolutely massive four-wheel-drive utility vehicle earned its 15 minutes of fame as a civilian conveyance when it became the ride of choice among Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes who thought it oh-so-chic to pilot the ultimate ruff-and-tuff image machine.
But the Hummer's early days were anything but glamorous. When the Army decided in the early 1980s that it needed a new go-anywhere vehicle, it held a design contest. AM General won the contest and the contract. The result was AM's High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV, which became known simply as the Humvee. Production started in January 1985.
Boasting 16 inches of ground clearance as well as super-aggressive approach and departure angles, the Humvee could clamber over a 22-inch-high obstacle, handle a 60 percent grade and wade through up to 30 inches of water.
After getting television exposure during its heroic performance in the "first" Gulf War, the Humvee struck a warm, fuzzy chord with the general public. So much so that AM General decided to introduce a civilian version for 1992 that was officially called the Hummer. Arnold Schwarzenegger, famously intrigued by this four-wheeled equivalent of his indestructible Terminator character, amassed a small collection. In 1999, General Motors bought the rights to the Hummer brand name and renamed the brute the H1.
All Hummers had the same basic four-door body that was available with a choice of tops: hardtop, slantback, soft top and wagon top. At 101 inches wide and weighing more than 7,000 pounds, a Hummer was nearly 3 feet wider than a compact car and weighed more than two midsize family cars. Nearly all were powered by a General Motors 6.2- or 6.5-liter V8 engine available in diesel or turbodiesel form. A 5.7-liter gasoline-fueled V8 was available for a few years (1995-'97), but was axed as it was overtaxed by the Hummer's great weight. Regardless of engine, all Hummers had an automatic transmission (either a three- or four-speed depending on the year) sending power to all four wheels. An onboard tire-inflation system allowed the tires to be "aired down" for serious rock crawling and then pumped back up before hitting the pavement.
Although incredibly capable on rough terrain, a Hummer H1 is not something you'd want to use as daily transportation on blacktop. The massive dimensions make maneuvering in city traffic -- not to mention parking -- a nightmare. Performance is sluggish -- the H1's 0-60-mph performance, at over 16 seconds, is nearly twice as slow as some economy cars and only marginally quicker than the Columbia Glacier. Lastly, the cabin is about as luxurious as a postal truck's, and with the tucked-up driveline components taking up valuable passenger space, the seats are comically small.
The final year of the Hummer H1 was 2005, though it actually continued one more year as the H1 Alpha. This model boasted a number of changes under the skin that made the beast the best it had ever been. But by this time, the Hummer's price tag was upwards of $100,000, diesel cost more than $3 a gallon and most people were no longer interested in posing as hard-core military personnel on a covert operation to the shopping mall.
Most Recent Hummer H1
Although most Hummers (pre-H1 and H1 alike) are visually identical, the 1996-2005 versions are most similar beneath the macho bodywork. For '96, a 6.5-liter diesel V8 replaced the former 6.2-liter engine and offered 170 horsepower to the 6.2's 150. But more importantly, a turbocharged version of the 6.5-liter was available too, which furnished 195 hp and 430 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter gas V8 was also available for 1996 and '97, but it wasn't a match for the heavy Hummer. Active safety was greatly increased for 1999 via the adoption of antilock brakes and traction control.
The new millennium saw the debut of the slantback model and the option of a CD changer, while 2001 brought a revamped gauge cluster, rear armrests and optional 17-inch alloy wheels. A 10th-anniversary package, complete with badges, marked 2002, as did a new steering wheel and more legroom for front passengers. An electronically locking rear differential became available for 2003, as did a 12-CD changer. The 6.5 turbodiesel picked up 10 hp and 10 lb-ft for 2004. The last Hummer H1 rolled out in 2005, replaced the following year by the more powerful H1 Alpha, which itself lasted just the single year.
Past Hummer H1 Models
Produced from 1992-'95, nearly all the earlier Hummers were powered by a standard 6.2-liter diesel engine (a 5.7-liter gas engine powered some '95s) and had minimal changes during its first four model years. These were even more lackluster performers than the later versions, as they didn't benefit from the option of turbodiesel power or a 4th gear for the automatic transmission.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 56.00
Not reliable - 1997 Hummer H1
By Sheryl - March 26 - 9:32 pm
I have owed a 1997.5 H1 for 10 years. It is with out doubt the most unreliable 4 x4 I’ve ever owned. It’s gone thru 2 engines 6.5l turbo . I’ve now up graded to the p400. As long as you run a electrical injection pump you will need $$$ and will have continual breakdowns. I’m finally getting rid of my electrical pump and going mechanical. Oh God I hope this will fix all problems. I’ve spent a mortgage on this truck in maintenance and repair work. Just hoping the mechanical fuel injection pump will fix all my problems so hopefully myself and my family will be able to finally enjoy going away in it. And not worrying about it breaking down again and putting on the back of a tow truck. Where it has spent 80% of its life living in a mechanics shop not being enjoyable experience owning one. I would love to have it run perfectly with no issues for a year or even two would be a dream come true. Fingers crossed for everything to finally be problems free and be able to enjoy some holidays with my wife and children. If your getting a hummer get either a duramax or a p400 then make it mechanical or it will live at the mechanics and you’ll wish you never ever brought one.
tuff momma - 2002 Hummer H1
By elvis corporal - October 18 - 3:53 pm
im a former military member and i always wanted to own one. the h1 is a great improvement from the military version as far as convenience. it rides great and i dont even use my drive way now i use my ditch. it turns lots of head and i loved it.
h1 - 2004 Hummer H1
By cesguz - January 2 - 7:00 pm
Great car, too fun to drive, excellent for off-roading, lot of power and much more comfortable than others SUV´s off road.
Like Nothing Else - 2004 Hummer H1
By mudhog - December 30 - 8:22 pm
This is the ultimate in 4x4 experiences. All other manufacturers can only hope to achieve on & off road performance like the H1. After driving one of these impressive vehicles for a year, I will never go back to any other type of 4x4. Although the price of a new unit is high the used market is affordable and booming. Once you have driven one, you will see why so many documentaries and "ultimate style" TV show feature the H1 as a true stand alone truck in what has become a world of SUV clones. Anyone who has a chance should test drive one of these, they are: "Like Nothing Else"
HI - 2004 Hummer H1
By havenblue - December 11 - 7:37 pm
This is a fun vehicle that can go almost anywhere. The milage is not too bad for its size.
big hummer - 2004 Hummer H1
By stromboli - October 28 - 2:00 am
i love my hummer. it takes me anywhere i ever want to go. all the cost is worth owning one of these awesome machines.
AWESOME - 2004 Hummer H1
By sneaden - October 24 - 2:00 am
The Hummer H1 is one of the beefiest and most amzing cars that i have ever driven. it doesnt ride or drive like a corvette but my guess is that if you made a vette that big it would drive or ride as nice as the H1. i love mine and when i get a new car it is going to be another one. they are big, bold, and always get you noticed when you pull up. a while back i accidentally pulled out of my drive too quick and ran flat over my brick mailbox, to my utter shock the only damage to my car was the tag was bent. the paint didnt chip, the bumper didnt bend... NOTHING!!! what was left ot my mailbox was dust and more dust.
My review - 2004 Hummer H1
By HazardMaster - June 6 - 2:00 am
its power is great
Hummer - 2004 Hummer H1
By havenblue - June 2 - 2:00 am
Very fun to drive - will go almost any where. Got it stuck the first week I owned it but a great winch
Beast from the Middle East - 2001 Hummer H1
By Jawad - May 21 - 2:00 am
Great vehicle. If you rate less than a 10, then you dont understand the capabilities of this truck