A hulking, very American cross of a firetruck with a Chevrolet El Camino, the 2010 Hummer H3T was a love-it or hate-it design for GM. Sharing its chassis components with the “baby” Hummer H3, the H3T’s ruggedness, utility, and highly unconventional styling made it a promising design for the floundering brand. Some three years after the untimely demise of both the Hummer moniker and the famous H3T, we know that such was not the case. However, the sheer ambition of the H3T’s styling, along with its staggering versatility and a über-limited production run, has caught the attention of enthusiasts worldwide, ushering in a new era of collectibility for this off-road champion.
Definitely no tour-de-force of acceleration or handling, the H3T’s everyday appeal comes from its superb versatility. A stripped-down 4WD system sitting under a rugged, body-on frame construction provided unsurpassed off-road capability, and 9.5 inches of ground clearance shrugged off road obstacles, such as boulders, with ease. The wheelbase, at a massive 134.2″, provided copious amounts cabin room for passenger comfort as well as space for nearly 1,000 pounds of truck-bed payload. As if that already weren’t enough, even the base model H3T could tow up to 4,400 pounds, with the V8 model capable of an even more impressive 5,900 lb.
No place was the H3T more interesting, however, than under the hood. The base, adventure, and luxury trims all sported a 3.7-liter, inline five-cylinder (yes, five) engine good for 239 horsepower and a meek 241 lb.-ft of torque. General Motors, famed for the small block V8 that lives on in today’s muscle cars, shocked the world with their Volvo-esque 5-cylinder in such a capable truck. Whether the five-cylinder was a futile attempt for fuel efficiency (the five-cylinder only had 16 mpg combined) or a lapse of judgement on GM’s part, we may never know. But we can most certainly say that the oddity of H3Ts with the unusual engine is sure to attract truck, off-roading, and GM collectors in the future.
The H3T also had a 5.3 liter 300 HP V8 option in the Alpha trim level. The Alpha truck production numbers were even more limited. Finding a H3T Alpha for sale now is very difficult. A nationwide used vehicle search turned up only 3 examples of the 2010 H3T truck, with low mileage Alphas going for around $35,000.
Probably due to its massive dimensions and poor fuel economy, the H3T saw an immensely limited production run, especially during the Hummer brand’s final years. As of June 2010, only 945 H3Ts had been produced at GM’s Shreveport, LA, factory, and the remainder of the year only saw 321 more units manufactured. Even Hummer’s post-mortem site says that only owners who, “were fortunate enough to get one” truly understood the pickup’s great off-road performance. What will a 1,200 unit production run paired with legendary versatility get you? Hundreds of salivating car collectors ready to snap up H3Ts as soon as they hit the market.
Though tough and super-masculine, the H3T was also available with creature comforts to improve the off-roading experience. A DVD entertainment system came standard with the base, adventure, luxury, and alpha trim levels, while 16″ chrome wheels and heated driver and passenger leather seats came with the top-of-the-line Alpha luxury trim. Interestingly, only the Alpha base edition H3T came standard with the familiar 5.3-liter V8 seen on so many other GM trucks. Though worsening fuel economy to 13 city and 16 highway, H3Ts with the V8 will also see impressive followings from those purists who love good old American powerplants. It’s estimated that just 300-400 H3T Alpha trucks were produced in 2010.
The Bottom Line
With its odd engine, poor fuel economy, and passé frame, the H3T may seem like a vehicle of the past that GM needs to put behind them. However, because the truck belongs to a storied legacy of GM trucks and represents the largest recent automotive risk the corporation has taken, collectors will definitely see the H3T as a worthwhile investment. And the H3T’s super-low production numbers and ridiculous off-road capability certainly can’t hurt its appeal.
Since these Hummers are so scarce, TFLcar has not been able to get a hold of one for a full review. Please enjoy this review of another famous GM truck, the GMC Sierra Denali, instead.