Even though the roaring era of Hummer production came to a halt in 2010, the allure of these rugged SUVs persists among enthusiasts craving a serious off-road adventure. Yet, the shadow of their gas-guzzling reputation, coupled with dwindling sales, ultimately drove the Hummer into the realm of discontinued legends. But just how thirsty are these beasts for fuel?
Buckle up for a ride through the varied landscapes of Hummer gas mileage. From model distinctions and engine types to the impact of size, driving style, and terrain, we’ll unravel the fuel efficiency mysteries that accompany different Hummer models. Stay tuned to navigate the diverse terrain of Hummer mpg and uncover the factors that shape your journey at the pump.
Why Hummers Use a Lot of Gas
On average, the mpg for a Hummer ranges between 10 to 14, but some can get better mileage depending on how you drive. You do need some serious money to own one of these beasts, as we have discussed before.
So why does the Hummer have horrible fuel economy? All Hummer models are pretty heavy, so they require a powerful engine and more fuel to move the vehicle. Most Hummers use a V-type, eight-cylinder engine, and while it’s powerful enough to tow heavy loads, it’s not very fuel efficient.
In addition, Hummers, mainly H1 and H2, use a lot of gas because they don’t have good aerodynamics. This generates a lot of drag, making it harder for the vehicle to move efficiently, especially when it’s windy. To overcome the drag, you need to increase your speed which means the engine will consume more fuel and oxygen to crank out higher torque.
Hummers are not that bad compared to other similar-sized trucks’ fuel economy, considering their capabilities. Most people who avoid buying Hummers do so based on negative press surrounding the vehicle and not facts. To debunk some of the bad press, let’s look at the fuel economy of different Hummer models.
Hummer H1 Fuel Economy
The Hummer H1 is arguably the most popular model and had the longest production run. When it was launched, the first models had a naturally-aspirated diesel engine, but later models were equipped with turbocharged diesel engines. Low mileage was not an issue for the earlier models because the vehicle had been engineered for military use and to provide exceptional off-road performance.
Weighing more than 8,000 pounds, the H1 model has the worst gas mileage compared to other models; on average, the mpg for gas-powered H1 models delivered between 7 and 11 mpg. However, the fuel economy of your H1 will vary depending on the year of production. For instance, the 2002 H1 has a fuel economy of about 9.6 mpg, while the 2003 models offer about 10.2 mpg for a gas-powered engine.
The 1992-1994 H1 models (first releases – street legal) have a total gas capacity of 25 gallons, meaning you can travel 250 miles on a single gas tank. In contrast, the 2006 H1 Alpha model has a fuel capacity of 51 gallons which translates to 510 miles without refueling, and offers only ten mpg.
Hummer H2 Fuel Economy
The Hummer H2 is smaller and lighter than the H1, meaning it runs on a smaller engine and offers slightly better fuel economy. However, compared to other brands in the same class, H2’s fuel economy is still not that impressive. The vehicle is still heavy, weighing more than 6,000 pounds, and can deliver on average between 9.6 mpg to 12.6 mpg; the variance depends on the model and driving conditions.
Similar to its predecessor, your mpg will vary depending on the year of release. The 2009 H2 model with a 6.2 L V8 engine performs reasonably well, reaching 12.6 mpg, while the 2003 model using a 6.0 L V8 engine manages about 9.6 mpg. The H2 SUT model fairs even better, averaging about 13 mpg on the highway and about ten mpg driving within the city.
Despite being smaller than the H1, H2-series still has a large gas tank capacity of 32 gallons. All H2 models have the same tank capacity meaning they can cover up to 415 miles without refueling. Unfortunately, there are no official figures of the H2 because the law allowed the manufacturer not to declare fuel economy ratings, and you have to rely on data from other Hummer owners.
Hummer H3 Fuel Economy
The H3-series offers the best fuel economy out of all Hummer models, mainly because it weighs around 4700 pounds. Due to its impressive fuel economy and the addition of comfort features, H3s became highly popular because it was practical, especially among soccer moms.
The new features made the drive more comfortable on paved roads and offered better off-road performance than regular SUVs. H3 Hummers also have the most recent mpg data and real-world economy tracking, making it the only model with official and accurate mpg information.
H3 models manufactured between 2006 and 2008 have a combined mpg of 14 and can reach 13 mpg in the city and up to 16 mpg on highways. The 2009 model averages around 15 mpg, reaching 14 mpg in cities and 18 mpg on highways. The 2010 model offers the best fuel economy with a combined mpg of 16 but the same mpg in cities and highways as the 2009 H3.
As the smallest model in the H-series, the H3 is powered by a V-type, five-cylinder gasoline engine with a 31-gallon gas tank capacity that can travel for about 500 miles without refueling.
How Hummer’s Fuel Economy Compares to Other Trucks
Though Hummers have been portrayed as guzzlers, how do they compare to other trucks in their class? The Ford F-450 weighs around the same as a Hummer H1, particularly the F-450 SuperDuty model, which weighs 8,600 pounds, while the H1 is about 8,100 pounds. Both models deliver around 10-12 mpg depending on model year, driving speed, and driving habits.
The Hummer H2 model weighs 6,400 and can be compared against the Ford F-250, which weighs about 6,000 pounds. Though it’s a bit bigger, the Hummer H2 model can reach 15 mpg on highways, similar to what the Ford F-250 can deliver. Both models are great trucks, and fuel efficiency should not affect your decision.
Weighing at 4,600 pounds, the H3 model can be compared to the Jeep Commander and the Chrysler Aspen. The H3 model delivers, on average, between 14 mpg and 18 mpg, the same as the Chrysler Aspen and Jeep Commander of the same model year.
|Truck Model||Average Mileage (MPG)||Average Price (USD)|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||17-23||$29,000-$56,000|
|GMC Sierra 1500||17-23||$31,000-$59,000|
|Ford F-250 Super Duty||14-19||$34,000-$84,000|
|Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD||13-18||$35,000-$65,000|
|GMC Sierra 2500HD||13-18||$37,000-$68,000|
|Ford F-350 Super Duty||14-19||$36,000-$87,000|
|Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD||12-17||$37,000-$68,000|
|GMC Sierra 3500HD||12-17||$39,000-$70,000|
Conclusion – What Is The Gas Mileage For A Hummer?
Despite Hummers’ bad press, they deliver almost the same fuel economy as similar-sized trucks. Most people who complain about the fuel consumption of Hummers do so without comparing the mileage of other trucks in the same class. Additionally, Hummers are not ideal for fuel-conscious drivers because their weight, design, size, and engine make them thirsty for gas.
Sam is Automole’s editor-in-chief and classic car enthusiast. Sam is studying mechanical engineering at Cockrell School of Engineering, Austin. He also writes for many top automotive publications and appears on the Collecting Cars Podcast.