Hummer H1 Vs. Hummer H2

by Jesse Sears

Hummer cars may not sell many units in this age of high gas prices and hybrid cars, but for the off-road enthusiast, they are still popular and sought after. Learn the difference between the Hummer H1 and Hummer H2 powertrains, transmissions, off-roader dimensional stats and the ideal type of buyer for each car.

Hummer H1 vs. Hummer H2 Engines

Under the hood, the Hummer H1 and H2 are two different beasts entirely. The H1 is a turbo diesel 8-cylinder, pushing out 300 horsepower and 520 lb-ft. of torque through 6.6 liters of displacement. The motor is known for its monstrous low-end perfection for hill climbing and getting out of sticky situations. The price is terrible fuel economy, with some drivers reporting as low as 8 mpg. The H2 runs off gasoline and has plenty of power for the dirt tracks, but it is a little more at home in the city. The 2009 H2 has a 6.2-liter gasoline engine that will also run off E85 Ethanol, outputting 393 horsepower but only 452 lb-ft. of torque.

Hummer H1 vs. Hummer H2 Transmissions

Both the Hummer H1 and H2 feature extremely low final drive ratios, showing their military off-road roots. The Hummer H1 carries a 5-speed automatic with a final drive ratio of 2.56:1. In layman's terms, it is the best vehicle on the road for serious rock climbing. While the H2 has more horsepower, its final drive ratio is a more pedestrian 3.73:1. Some have questioned the H2's off-road abilities, calling it better for picking up a load of groceries than for weekends at the dunes. If the dirt tracks are your thing, look for an H1 or an H3.

Hummer H1 vs. Hummer H2 Dimensions

The H1 has a full 16 inches of ground clearance, is a whopping 185.6 inches long and 86.5 inches wide. The H2 is actually slightly longer at 203.6 inches, though only 81.2 inches wide. The H2 carries only 9.7 inches of ground clearance, though, making it much more prone to getting stuck on the trail.

H1 or H2

If you must buy a Hummer, avoid the H2 and go for an H1 or an H3 instead. The H2 has become commonplace, and the H2 is not all that capable on the dirt trails. Both H1 and H2 make a big statement about who you are as a person, with their bold, military-derived styling. The H1 looks like a military vehicle because it is. Its interior consists of a big central table with four seats pushed toward the corners. The H2 has a much more cushy interior because it is a watered-down military design redesigned as a weekend rumbler.

H1 vs H2 Comparison Winner

If you seek to be unique on the road and do not care too much about comfort or fuel economy, spring for the H1. It will turn heads because there are so few on the road, especially with custom paint. The H2 is not all that capable on the dirt, and they are all over the road. Avoid the H2 and get an H3 instead if you want the Hummer image, plus a truck you can actually live with on a day-to-day basis.

About the Author

Jesse Sears is a Los Angeles-based journalist and photographer. He has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2008. Sears has been published in numerous traditional and online media ventures including "The Daily Sundial," "The Pasadena Courier," RSportsCars.com and others. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Official Hummer H1 Press Release PR Photo