Home Latest News 2022 GMC Hummer EV First Drive Review: Large and in Charge –...

2022 GMC Hummer EV First Drive Review: Large and in Charge – CNET

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If you want the ultimate in electric excess, it’s hard to get more over-the-top than the GMC Hummer EV.
With its wide stance, massive tires and big honkin’ diesel engine, the original Hummer H1 was imposing to say the least. The reborn Hummer keeps that larger-than-life, go-anywhere presence intact with one major difference: It’s electric.
The first GMC Hummer EVs are starting to hit the road as you read this. The already-sold-out Edition 1 comes first, priced from $110,295 including $1,595 for destination, but lower-priced variants will arrive later this year and into 2023 and 2024, priced between $80,000 and $100,000.
The Edition 1 has the most impressive specs. A 205-kilowatt-hour battery pack supplies enough juice for a GMC-estimated 329 miles of range in ideal conditions. Thanks to its 800-volt architecture, you can make use of the most powerful 350-kilowatt DC fast chargers, and GMC says the Hummer can take in 100 miles’ worth of energy in about 12 minutes. The automaker says it should take 42 minutes to bring the battery from a 20% to 80% charge at an average charging speed of 175 kW.
That 205-kWh battery powers a trio of electric motors in the Edition 1 — one up front and two at the rear. Total system output is 1,000 horsepower and 1,200 pound-feet of torque, which is nothing short of monstrous. Activate the Hummer’s Watts to Freedom launch mode and this 9,000-pound behemoth can accelerate to 60 mph in just 3 seconds. In a truck this big, that’s insane.
How big, exactly? The GMC Hummer EV is over 18 feet long and nearly 8 feet wide. Its width is so generous that it requires federally mandated marker lights and the windshield needs three wipers to keep it clean.
You’d think that would make the Hummer a hassle off road, but the truck’s rear-wheel steering makes it feel more like a midsize pickup. The rear wheels can move 10 degrees in either direction, helping to pivot the Hummer around any turn. The overall turning circle is a mere 37.1 feet, and I’m able to slalom through rocks that I’d normally clip in a truck this big. The rear-wheel steering is a game changer for off-road agility.
When the rear wheels move in the same direction as the fronts, that’s where the Hummer’s Crab Walk magic happens. It’s totally jarring to feel a car moving forward and sideways at the same time, and it’s one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had in a vehicle — including flipping a monster truck.
Oh yeah, there’s tons of room in here.
The Hummer has two different dirt modes: Off-Road and Terrain. There’s also an Extract setting that raises the truck to its maximum suspension height should you need to get unstuck (assuming you can even get this thing stuck in the first place). The maximum ride height is 11.9 inches, and the Hummer EV boasts a 44.3-degree approach angle, 33.7-degree departure angle and 25.4-degree breakover. That’s better than the Rivian R1T in all but breakover and it bests the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon in every spec.
When in Off-Road mode, drivers can dial in the strength of the regenerative braking. Remember: In an EV, as soon as you lift off the throttle, the vehicle essentially brakes. Oftentimes that’s great and exactly what you want, but I’d like to get the Hummer into some sand dunes, where lifting off the throttle at just the right time in a gas-powered truck is the difference between coasting over the dunes or sailing through the air. In the Hummer, it’s likely the difference between stopping and getting stuck at the top of the dune or conquering it like a badass.
Terrain mode uses the Hummer’s mechanical brakes, but the truck is calibrated to have the same pedal feel regardless of how it’s being slowed down. It seems a pity to bring the mechanical brakes in for this mode, leaving all that stopping energy to go to waste. However, GMC expects Terrain mode to be used in slow-speed rock crawling, and the company felt it could offer a bit more control by allowing drivers to simply rely on the good ol’ mechanical brakes.
The Hummer uses impressive computer engineering to put the correct amount of torque to each wheel, but unlike the Rivian R1T, it actually has front and rear locking differentials. Sure, the rear locker is virtual, but it still does the same job as the mechanical front locker — namely keeping the wheels spinning at the same speed regardless of traction. The short trail on my test drive doesn’t really require lockers, when I tested the rear in a few sections, what little wheel spin there was disappeared instantly.
The Hummer’s turning circle is about the same as a compact sedan.
The Hummer’s tires are provided by Goodyear, with 35 inches of rubber wrapped around 18 inches of wheel at all four corners. GMC says you can add 37-inch tires if you’d like, but the company didn’t have such a vehicle on hand at my test drive. The most surprising tire fact about the Hummer, however, is that it does not come with a spare. GMC designers told me it’s a packaging problem, but for a vehicle that is supposed to be an off-road monster, the lack of a factory spare is egregiously bad. Fortunately you can get a dealer-installed spare tire carrier in the bed, but this is something that really should not be an extra charge.
The ride quality off road is pretty smooth, largely thanks to the Hummer’s four-wheel independent suspension. My head doesn’t jostle around too much, and the seats are supportive, heated and cooled. Getting in and out of this big truck is easy thanks to grab handles at all four corners.
Driving the Hummer on pavement feels… well, normal. Sure, this truck is shaped like a brick and it wears fairly aggressive tires, but still, wind noise is tolerable. Of course, if you want the full experience, you can take off the roof panels. They are lightweight and can be stored in the frunk with an extra accessory. General Motors’ excellent Super Cruise driver-assistance tech is included on the Edition 1, and the hands-free, eyes-up system is pretty amazing, following the highway smoothly and modulating the truck’s speed before turns.
The Hummer’s blind spots are pretty large, making this truck somewhat cumbersome to drive in town. But the most jarring thing about the Hummer is its weight. This is 9,000 pounds of truck, and despite the Hummer’s excellent brakes, it takes much longer to stop than you’re probably used to.
Just because it’s electric doesn’t mean it’s efficient.
That weight also means the Hummer isn’t terribly efficient. With a 205-kWh battery and an estimated 329 miles of range, that works out to 1.6 miles per kWh. The Rivian R1T can get 2.3 miles per kWh with its 135-kW battery and the Ford F-150 Lightning promises to return 2.3 miles per kWh out of its long-range 131-kWh battery, too. Overall driving range of course drops on the dirt and while my short off-road trip isn’t really enough to make a final judgment, at the end of the trail run the computer said the truck’s efficiency was down to 1 mile per kWh, effectively a 205-mile range. That’s… not great.
Then again, nobody is expecting slipstream efficiency with a truck like this. If you’re looking for an EV that makes a statement, the Hummer is undoubtedly it. Sure, it has its flaws, but if you want to conquer it all — or at least look like you could conquer it all — the new Hummer EV is the rig for you.
Editors’ note: Travel costs related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the auto industry. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s staff are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.


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Deidre Richardson is a tech enthusiast who loves to cover the latest news on smartphones, tablets, and mobile gadgets. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A, History/Music), you can always find her rocking her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and LG Nexus 5 on a regular basis.