2000 Hummer 4-passenger Open Top (323)

Overview:
Why would anyone want to own a Hummer? A. Because it’s practical, B. Because it’s economical, C. Because it’s a diesel, D. None of the above. – Answer: D. None of the above. Is that your final answer? Well there is no final answer, because there are many reasons to own a motor vehicle and this is the ultimate adaptation of the popular SUV with off-road capability.

But because of the purchase price it’s only suited to the rich and foolish? I heard Arnold Schwartzeneger say, “I’m a Hummer kind of guy”. Well, I guess that speaks volumes about the kind of guy who’d buy one. And before you say that’s a sexist comment, this is one of those rare instances where 100% of buyers ARE men. The price of his toys just went up.

If you like the idea of being one of the few who has what you have there isn’t any comparison or competition. All you have to do is fork over about $100,000 to be the proud owner. You’ll sit about 6 inches higher than most SUV’s, in a vehicle nearly 2 feet wider, and this “bad boy” also weighs about double the Range Rover, for example, as it tips the scales at 6640 lbs.  Ground clearance is also double at 16 inches. That doesn’t sound like much, but it allows you to climb over larger obstacles than anything else can.

The first time I tested one of these Hummers a couple of years back I got stuck in mud up to my tousch. Every vehicle has its limitations which I failed to consider until that humiliating off road course experience. Solution: buy it with a winch. Perhaps the illusion of being invincible is because this Hummer is the civilian version of the military Humvee (HMMWV, for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle), which was made famous in the Gulf War – or operation Desert Storm. The street legal Hummer is available in four trims: Hard Top 2-Door, Hard Top 4-Door, Open Top, and Wagon.

Handling & Performance:

Hummer is a military jeep with an almost car like interior. It’s wide for stability, but too wide to be useful in tight places. It is more at home on the wide-open ranges. The turbo is wonderful with enough poop to go from 0-60 mph in 19.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 82 mph. It is amazingly easy to drive on the highway and has good power steering necessary for tight spaces, which everything becomes for a vehicle this wide. I noticed a lot of “Play” in the steering wheel and don’t know why, but it reminded me of the old days when that was very common.

Styling:

This Hummer is Government Issue (GI) wartime functional and thus has that look, even without the gun turret. That’s what the appeal is all about. Finally a car you’ll feel safe driving through South Central Los Angeles to get to a USC football game while not being out of place in Beverly Hills where you’re likely to find the Hummer climbing over speed bumps with ease. Hummer fits the screen image of Sylvester and Arnold and is in sharp contrast to the usual Porsche, Mercedes and Rolls or Bentley basic transportation.

Fit and Finish:

Military, except the interior is spruced up with leather and wood trim.

Conveniences:

You gotta understand, for someone who drove a duce and a half in the military, this Beverly Hills cruiser is embarrassingly appointed. Leather seating, stereo with cassette and CD player, power windows, etc. But on the other hand, you’d better not put stuff on the passenger seats and start to drive, because if you need it, you have to stop and climb over the snow covered peaks of the center console. They should make a communication system standard equipment to overcome the noise level, too.

Cost:

Too much unless you’re planning a war, then the gun turret will hike the price even more. Cost to maintain is unknown, but it consumes diesel fuel like you’d expect from a Pentagon product and at prices as obscene as gasoline.

Recommendation:

There is no recommendation other than if you have the dough and want to be different, just go for it. Even if I could afford one to get away from it all, hiking or horseback would be more my style and the feed bill is less. The competition is almost laughable, because there is nothing on the road that comes close to the most unique utility vehicle available.

The Competition:

Chevrolet Suburban $25,921-30,780, Ford Excursion $34,245-40,985, GMC Yukon XL $35,752-39,639, Jeep Wrangler $14,890-22,435, Land Rover Range Rover $62,000-68,000, Lexus LX 470 $61,405, Lincoln Navigator $43,645-47,395.

Good News:

Versatile, off-road capable in open terrain, auxiliary fuel tank, unique.

Bad News:

Poor visibility, oversize inconvenience, huge but cramped interior, expensive to own and operate, need for auxiliary fuel tank, small cargo area and noisy.

Standard Equipment:

6.5 liter V8 GM Turbo Diesel engine that produces 195 horsepower with 430 lb-ft of torque, 4-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, full-time 4-wheel drive and 4-wheel independent suspension, inboard mount power disc brakes, power steering, power door locks, remote entry, power windows, AM/FM Stereo cassette, 25 gal. Fuel tank and 17 gal. auxiliary fuel tank.

Gas Stats:

Not available, but I estimated under 10 mpg.

Pricing:

MSRP $79,065 plus the option package to include tire inflation system, cruise control, driveline protection, brush guards, trailer towing package, run flat tire system, power mirrors, heated windshield, power rearview mirrors, for a total of $89,936.

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