Depending on who you ask, the GMC Hummer EV is either awful or awesome. It’s a brute that’s cheap as hell inside and a pain in the ass to drive 95 percent of the time. But it’s also fully electric, rips to 60 in 3.5 seconds, can ford 2.5 feet of water, and has the best hands-free highway driving system on sale today. And yet, GMC has 90,000 reservations for this expensive piece of eco-bro virtue signaling. Go figure.
Following the arrival of the Hummer EV pickup last year, GMC now offers the Hummer EV SUV, and it’s arguably the better buy of the two. The sport-ute is a little less expensive, starting at $105,595 including $1,595 for destination, though that’s of course for the fully loaded Edition 1 trim, which is the only one available right now. GMC promises that lower-content, less-powerful versions of both the Hummer EV Pickup and SUV are coming soon, culminating with a base version that’s expected to arrive in Spring 2024 with a starting price around $80,000.
|Quick Stats||2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Edition 1|
|Motors:||Triple Permanent Magnet Motors|
|Output:||830 Horsepower / 1,200 Pound-Feet|
|0-60 MPH:||3.5 Seconds (est.)|
|EV Range:||320 Miles (est.)|
Big Battery, Big Power
The Edition 1 has the Hummer’s largest available battery, with about 205 kilowatt-hours of usable energy, powering three electric drive motors – one up front, two in the back. Total system output is 830 horsepower and 1,200 pound-feet of torque, and before you rush to the comments telling me I’m wrong, note that GMC is being extremely misleading by promoting a spec of 11,500 lb-ft, which is for wheel torque, not the standard motor torque that literally every carmaker – General Motors included – publishes in its specs.
A big update for the 2024 model year is the addition of vehicle-to-vehicle charging, meaning your Hummer can power all sorts of accessories or even give juice to other cars. Like the pickup, the SUV has 300-kilowatt maximum DC fast charging, letting you add about 100 miles of range in 14 minutes under ideal conditions. Plugged into a 240-volt outlet, the Hummer's onboard Level 2 charger will replenish the battery at a rate of 19.2 kilowatts, where it'll take about 8 hours to get from 20 to 100 percent.
I still can’t believe a group of adults green-lit a name as stupid as Watts To Freedom just so they could get a WTF acronym in the Hummer lexicon, but I digress. Activate this mode and the Hummer EV SUV’s air suspension hunkers down, the thermal management system preconditions the battery to deliver maximum energy, and boom, this large lad hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, lickety split. Cynical as I want to be because of the dumb name, launching the Hummer in WTF mode is a total thrill.
Bringing it to a halt, however, is a wildly different experience. GMC won’t divulge the Hummer EV SUV’s weight, only saying it’s “less than the pickup,” but I’m estimating this thing tips the scales somewhere between 8,500 and 9,000 pounds. That is an absolute ton of mass – 4.5 tons, to be exact – to bring to a stop, and there’s pronounced front-end dive and rear-end skittishness under hard braking. Launcher beware.
Crazy Capable Off-Road, But On-Road Manners Need Work
The Hummer EV SUV is 20 inches shorter in length than the pickup, with 9 of those inches cut from the wheelbase. This makes the SUV easier to maneuver, especially in the city. The Edition 1’s standard four-wheel steering gives the SUV a really tight turning circle of 35.4 feet – about the same as a Chevy Bolt – compared to 37.1 feet for the pickup.
The truncated wheelbase has benefits for off-roading, too, with the Hummer EV SUV boasting increased departure and breakover angles of 49.0 and 34.4 degrees, respectively, as opposed to the pickup’s 38.4- and 32.2-degree measurements. The SUV comes standard with an air suspension with 13 inches of standard clearance, which can be raised to 15.9 inches for sticky situations.
I don’t doubt that the Hummer is pretty much unstoppable off-road, even though it’s way too wide for a lot of trails. The Edition 1’s four-wheel steering is what enables the Hummer’s most prominent party trick: Crab Walk. Here, the wheels can all turn in the same direction, letting the SUV drive diagonally, which sounds cool in theory but is genuinely quite useless in most types of off-roading. What’s more, the front-axle can be locked into an even 50/50 torque split, and the dual rear motors can have matching outputs acting as a virtual rear locker, helping the Hummer power through gnarly conditions.
If you want 35-inch tires wrapping 18-inch wheels, underbody cameras, full skid plates, and the locking front and rear diffs, you have to select the $5,000 Extreme Off-Road Package. GMC says this option pack will be offered on the upcoming EV2X and EV3X trims as well, so you won’t necessarily have to shell out for the big daddy Edition 1.
I don’t doubt that the Hummer is pretty much unstoppable off-road, even though it’s way too wide for a lot of trails.
I’d love to tell you more about how the Hummer EV handles off-road conditions from behind the wheel, but GM wouldn’t let me drive the SUV on a preselected course, due to excess rain and mud. Instead, my drive time took place on the backroads around Napa, California, where the Hummer EV’s width is noticeable to the point of exaggeration. There’s also zero feedback through the steering wheel and the Hummer’s body is constantly bobbing around. It’s taxing.
Superb Tech In A Lousy Interior
Get the Hummer onto the highway and it smooths out a little at higher speeds, plus you can activate Super Cruise, GM’s Level 2 driver-assistance system that allows for genuine hands-free operation on more than 400,000 miles of premapped roads in the United States and Canada. Super Cruise rules; its motions are natural and it’s a cinch to operate, and it even does automatic lane changes when approaching slower traffic.
The Hummer SUV’s seats are comfortable, but while the interior looks decent at first glance, the attention to detail in here is really poor. The finish on the dashboard and air vent surrounds were already showing scuffs and scratches in my tester – not a great look for a car with fewer than 900 miles of use. Cheap plastics are everywhere, the removable roof panels shake when you shut the doors, and if you roll down a window after it’s been raining, water will pour into the cabin.
Photo Credit: Steven Ewing / Motor1.com
Multimedia duties are handled by a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 13.4-inch central touchscreen. The main infotainment menu has a steep learning curve, with unlabeled icons and confusing submenus, and I hate that the icons at the bottom of the display for the climate control functions aren’t actually part of the touchscreen – you operate them via the toggles below. However, props to GM for using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine for the Hummer’s processing system, as this SUV has some of the best multimedia graphics around, with immediate responses to inputs. This really makes a world of difference.
Doesn’t Really Matter If You Love It Or Hate It
Whether or not a GMC Hummer SUV is "worth it" is truly a moot point, since this EV is in no way a rational purchase – it's all about emotion. And while it's easy to harp on the Hummer's high cost of entry, GMC's history with its premium Denali line proves buyers are willing to shell out tons of money for large-and-in-charge luxury trucks and SUVs. "We haven't seen the ceiling" of what customers will pay, one GMC executive said.
Furthermore, GMC says 75 percent of its Hummer customers are new to the brand and 70 percent are first-time EV buyers. Those are conquest numbers any automaker would kill for. Call it awful or call it awesome, the Hummer EV is fulfilling its mission as a rolling billboard for the possibilities of GM’s electric future.
2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Edition 1