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contents of this article
Page 1 | 2 | 3 | Specs | Pictures

1. Model Lineup 4. Driving Impressions
2. Walkaround 5. Final Word
3. Interior Features  

The Hummer H3 applies the design cues that made the Hummer H1 and H2 so popular and so unlike anything else on the road. The difference is the more compact package. The H3 has an extremely upright windshield and side windowsClick for a larger 2006 Hummer H3 picture that more closely resemble those in a turret than a typical family wagon, as well as the very short front and rear overhangs and increased ground clearance that are vital for negotiating the sort of extreme off-pavement environments Hummers have to be able to survive.
One area in which the H3 differs from other Hummers is in the blistered fenders that cover its widely set wheels and large tires. The standard tires are 32 inches in diameter; special off-road tires developed for the Hummer H3 by Bridgestone are 33 inches tall.

Large round headlamps are positioned on either side of an upright grille with seven vertical slots. Large fog lamps positioned below the headlamps underscore the vehicle's height. Its width is accentuated by amber signal lamps positioned outboard of the headlamps, up above the front tires at the front of bulging frontClick for a larger 2006 Hummer H3 picture fenders. Lending even more strength to the H3's face is a wide black bumper with a pair of bolted-in D rings, each of which can support the vehicle's full weight. A visible reminder that Hummers are at home away from pavement, the H3 has a skid-plate, bright metallic underbody armor designed to protect its oil pan and other powertrain components from damage.
The hood has louvers that look like those on the Hummer H2 or H1 and a pair of air boxes at the base of the windshield supports. While the louvers are non-functional, one of the air boxes draws oxygen into the 3.5-liter five-cylinder engine.

Because of its military heritage as a Humvee, the wheels on the Hummer H1 have an integrated tire inflation system. The wheels on the H2 and H3 have a similar look, though they do not provide inflation on the go. However, the Hummer H3 does come with a standard tire-pressure monitoring system.

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The rear view of the H3 is dominated by the full-size spare tire mounted on the back of the rear door. A hydraulic strut eases opening and closing this tire-carrying door, which is hinged on the driver's side and thus can be loaded from curbside in parallel parking situations. As at the front of the H3, a metallic skidClick for a larger 2006 Hummer H3 picture plate protects the fuel tank and other underbody components at the rear of the vehicle's chassis.

Sport utility vehicles traditionally are built on pick-up truck platforms, and the Hummer H3 chassis is based on the platform of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pick-ups. However, only 10 percent of the pick-up trucks' components carry over in the H3, and the engine and transmissions account for most of that commonality. The other thing the H3 has in common with its pick-up truck cousins is that it is built on the same assembly line in Shreveport, Louisiana.

While the Hummer H3 is capable of extreme off-road driving, its passenger compartment was designed and equipped for extreme on-pavement comfort. Care was taken in designing the exterior to create nuances, such as the shape of the structure around the very upright windshield, to enhance both exterior aerodynamics and help keep the interior quiet at Interstate speeds. Special sound insulation materials and window sealing enable H3 occupants to carry on conversations without raising their voices even though the H3 we drove wore off-road tires, which have more aggressive and noise generating tread.

The leather seating surfaces in our test vehicle were comfortable for highway driving yet supportive for the severe off-road conditions we encountered. Lumbar support is good and headrests are properly positioned close to the back of theClick for a larger 2006 Hummer H3 picture driver and passengers' heads. In addition to the standard front and side airbags in the front seats, our Hummer H3 had the optional side-curtain airbags, which enhance occupant protection in broadside crashes.
Color-contrast piping around the edges of the leather seats enhances the luxurious look and feel of the H3 interior. The interior can be ordered in all black (ebony) or with contrasting ebony and cashmere (a beige tone) or ebony and Morocco (terra cotta) colors for the seats and door panel trim.

Metallic-colored trim finishes highlight the dashboard and center console. Switchgear is easy to find and intuitive in its use. Knobs for the HVAC (heat/ventilation/air conditioning) system are large enough to be easily turned byClick for a larger 2006 Hummer H3 picture gloved hands. Gauges are large and easy to read. Our test car was equipped with sun visors with pull-out extensions, a terrific feature for folks living in sunbelt states where the sunrise and sunset coming through the driver or front passenger's windows can be brutal.
The care that went into designing the interior might best be seen in the details of the vents in the dashboard for the HVAC system. Designers and engineers worked closely to create louvered vents that provide ample airflow but close flush with the surface of the dashboard when not being used.

Positioning the spare tire on the rear door provides extra room for cargo inside the Hummer H3. Even with the second row occupied, there's room for nearly 30 cubic feet of gear. Capacity nearly doubles with second-row seats flipped forward.

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