November 22, 2002 6:33 PM   Subscribe

General Motors is releasing their newest civilian issue of the military hummer vehicle. It costs $52,000, weighs almost 7,000 pounds, is sixteen feet long, requires a 316-horsepower engine, and averages 10.1 miles to the gallon. It's a practical car that can be an everyday family driver. That's the actual review. So have we officially reached the point of American opulence where a three-ton piece of military equipment that comes standard with it's own 18-year old male to risk his life in the Gulf just for you is legitimately considered a "practical" addition to the American household, or was this reviewer just getting his own special hummer from General Motors?
posted by XQUZYPHYR (35 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason:

A minor note. As I understand it, it's not actually a piece of military hardware any more. It's just built on the suburban chassis and given a shiny, vaguely hummer-esque appearance. The engine is just a regular old gasoline-burning contraption, certainly nothing like the can-run-on-anything ubermotor in the real hummer.

Don't have much beyond that to add to the hypothetical discussion.
posted by kavasa at 6:41 PM on November 22, 2002

I am all for people making their own choices, and not for banning things, but these things are a disgrace. I have seen a couple on the road and they are obscenely huge. I was on my bike, and I had to get off and walk around it to pass it in some bad traffic. You people are free to buy whatever you want, but you are making a powerfully awful statement driving around in one of these anti-social machines.
posted by thirteen at 6:44 PM on November 22, 2002

I have to wonder how much of that 52K is "markup" because of the hummer name, and how much of it is because it's an expensive vehicle.

WTF. Anyone who buys one deserves to be shot.
posted by jaded at 6:44 PM on November 22, 2002

I'd buy one, because it'd compensate for my small penis and give the assumption to women that I have enough money to buy hulking behemoths, and should have sex with me immediately.
posted by Stan Chin at 6:48 PM on November 22, 2002

Gas mileage. Foreign policy. If there is a connection, and there is, it's a pretty scary world.
posted by kozad at 6:48 PM on November 22, 2002

My militia has already made plans to purchase a dozen of them. The Communist Shadow Government will fall!
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:51 PM on November 22, 2002

or was this reviewer just getting his own special hummer from General Motors?

Sounds to me like he's giving GM a "special hummer".
posted by Optamystic at 6:54 PM on November 22, 2002

Is this guy's name for real? Royal Ford?

And true, the new Hummer not actually a piece of military hardware anymore. But what I'm excited about is the M1 Abrams they are in the process of adapting for us urbanites (especially the ones who just can't stand all the little he-men you see these days driving Expeditions and Escalades). It's equipped with 8 plain-old V-12's, instead of the original single 1500-hp gas turbine powerplant, so it's really pretty tame. Anyways...
posted by shoos at 6:56 PM on November 22, 2002

Cue the SUV folks, insisting that they aren't self-absorbed I'd-rather-kill-you-than-you-kill-me bastards...

Oh, and also a verse of that old favourite, "I have a list of Republican scientists who claim that global warming is a sham".
posted by websavvy at 6:57 PM on November 22, 2002

Hrm, actualy I think it's kind of cool. I don't see the device itself as being moraly wrong, but rather people who drive SUVs all the time.

In a lot of ways, SUVs like the suburban and others that are never meant to go off-road are a lot worse. You know that people are never going to do anything but buy groceries, go to work, etc in 'em.

This thing on the other hand, you know you could reall take off road and do some fun stuff with, etc.
posted by delmoi at 6:58 PM on November 22, 2002

Here's an old thread that links to the best SUV review ever.
posted by Optamystic at 6:59 PM on November 22, 2002

That Car and Driver review on the Escalade was extremely funny. Sadly, they wrote a review of the H2 that lacks that sense of humour.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:03 PM on November 22, 2002

Royal Ford? No, Royal Ford.
posted by modofo at 7:06 PM on November 22, 2002

Arnold Schwarzenegger (I can spell Schwarzenegger! I am GrammarYoda!) drives one (sometimes with Mayor Rudy in the passenger seat). He may be compensating, but are you gonna tell Ah-nold he has a small penis?
(Jaysus H--here's Herr SchwarzEgg tossing General Motors "Hummer" baseball caps to schoolkids. Get 'em while they're young, I guess.)

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Hummers.

I once saw a LandRover--a real, serious, waaay-low-geared, Jeep-sized LandRover--that got less than 10MPG. It came standard with an emergency petrol can in its own holder in the back. I can respect a car that can climb muddy 45 degree hills, but I'm not going to drive one on pavement...
posted by Shane at 7:12 PM on November 22, 2002

...the new Hummer is not actually a piece of military hardware anymore.

General Motors Corp. bought the name Hummer from AM General Co. in 1999.

But what I'm excited about is the M1 Abrams they are in the process of adapting for us urbanites (especially the ones who just can't stand all the little he-men you see these days driving Expeditions and Escalades...

Now you've done it. I will dream tonight of driving a tank on the highway, screaming joyful obscenities, rolling over Expeditions and Escalades and Yukons and especially those uppity Lexus and Mercedes and Caddillac SUVs and those damn "custom" Eddie Bauers with their yuppy stainless travel mugs and ubiquitous cup-holders...
posted by Shane at 7:26 PM on November 22, 2002

Be fair to the author - twice he makes a point of saying that many will have serious ethical and/or financial issues with a 10.1MPG car. Including in the quoted sentence.
posted by avdi at 7:31 PM on November 22, 2002

...or was this reviewer just getting his own special hummer from General Motors?

A very interesting observation. As most car reviewers are treated like royalty by the manufactures. While I doubt he got his own Hummer, I believe that in one way or another, the manufacturer had a big influence on the objectivity.

Remember how the Ford Focus was always ranked one of the top ten cars? It had 16 or so recalls for fairly serious problems...yet this bit of information never made it into the reviews. (sorry I've been watching too many journalism shows on TV lately...)
posted by samsara at 7:38 PM on November 22, 2002

Don't worry about money ! Your credit car will finance your gas guzzling insane asilum for a mere 15,5 % year ! Your mistress will want one because she needs room for his second boyfriend (there's room for three, condoms not included !) , plus you wife will never let you drive it because she has to bring the kids to school (show other wifes HER car) didn't know you had 15 kids each one going in 15 schools, were did she go ? Your son will be so proud of it he'll prolly want to drive it to show his friends, who by chance are well know car freaks that will modify it into a dragster ! You daughter will conceive her first kid in the SUV with the car repair technician, man he's an ace with his screwdriver !

Hey, but you OWN one SUV ! Man, you're somebody, too bad nobody knows or cares.
posted by elpapacito at 8:00 PM on November 22, 2002

averages 10.1 miles

Let them have their guzzler. Just tack on a $2.50 per gallon tax on gas, and they'll sell it for a civic, pdq.
posted by crunchland at 8:04 PM on November 22, 2002

I bet they gave Arnold at least one of the several Humvees he owns...
posted by Shane at 8:07 PM on November 22, 2002

here in Cleveland, we had our first real day of snow today, and as I was slipping and slidding on the fresh, wet snow, I began to wonder whether it would be practical to get a half-track to drive to school in.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:08 PM on November 22, 2002

The question comes to mind, "What Would Jesus Drive?" a military Humvee or one of these road hummers.

"Global warming is the single largest thing human beings have ever done to the planet,"

"When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Landen" especially in a Hummer!!

And going be back to world war two with this reference to Hilter must mean the end of this thread.
posted by MaddCutty at 8:23 PM on November 22, 2002

You people should climb back into your civics and stfu.

These things will go the way of the Ford Excursion. They are no more than an oddity that will be chalked up to some severe stupidity at GM one day.

Your whining about it pathetic. How many times must the same thing be discussed.

And who the hell has $52k for this thing. Certainly not me.
posted by a3matrix at 8:29 PM on November 22, 2002

After being hit by a drunk driver and nearly killed, my wife wants a tank to drive. The H2 is the nearest thing to a tank we can find. So that's one argument in favor.

Here in the Las Vegas area we see a large number of H2s on the road already. However, in Los Angeles, where the roads are much more crowded, we hardly see any (but then again we're not tooling around Beverly Hills much either).

Mostly I want a silver one so I can put a Star Wars Imperial insignia on it and truely show my geekiness.
posted by IndigoSkye at 8:36 PM on November 22, 2002

Okay, because more than a few people missed it...

I didn't miss it, that's why I capitalized the pun (ie. oh he got the hummer, just not the Hummer) :P

It's often the case that a reviewer will take advantage of being pampered by the manufacturer while working on a review. There's quite a bit of controversy over the whole thing as many reviewers stand their ground in remaining objective even after being flown in, housed, catered to, entertained, and flown back at the manufacturer's expense. I could see how that could cloud some judgment...sometimes maybe...

I wish I could find some links on the extent of this, especially dealing with "enthusiast magazines" apart from really objective ones. (I suppose what sells is usually the enthusiasm over boring, stale statistics, go figure)
posted by samsara at 8:38 PM on November 22, 2002

Well ... this certainly has been a profound, insightful discussion utterly unlike any other ever held on the topic on MeFi.
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:38 PM on November 22, 2002

delmoi --- In a lot of ways, SUVs like the suburban and others that are never meant to go off-road are a lot worse. You know that people are never going to do anything but buy groceries, go to work, etc in 'em.

Errr... actually the North Dakota Geological Survey uses Chevy Suburbans extensively. They're great in the Badlands.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:42 PM on November 22, 2002

I've seen quite a few of these here in Austin in the past couple months.
posted by jbelshaw at 9:16 PM on November 22, 2002

The new GM Hummer is sad, sad... I joined the Marines just as the Hummer was replacing the Jeep ('86), and driving the two side-by-side was an incredible experience, like the difference between an off-road Corvette and an off-road go-cart. Just that stark.

While I could see something in the very limited release of civilian Hummers the first go 'round -- for ranchers and state patrols and movie stars, this emasculated gas-guzzler is the epitome of everything that's wrong with America: a big, glitzy waste of money that's in your face, but ultimately, useless when you need it.
posted by minnesotaj at 9:34 PM on November 22, 2002

it's funny how people get defensive about owning/wanting to own SUV's. the SUV fad is just one symptom of a greater problem, and that is the fact that vain overconsumption facilitated at the expense of poorer nations is probably not the most moral aspects of the american psyche.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:38 PM on November 22, 2002

a3matrix - the fact that Humvees are legal or acceptable at all.....well, it defines the bounds of the permissable. So the Humvee drivers make the act of driving a Chevy Suburban (AKA "Texas Cadillac") acceptable and mundane.

If anybody reading this thread wants to know the real stakes, I'd suggest reading this little piece from the Woods Hole Oceanagraphic Institute - whose director is now saying that a Global Warming driven shutdown in Ocean Circulation is "not a matter of 'if' but a matter of 'when' " This is a problem because major changes in ocean circulation have been linked with sudden, massive shifts in global climate.

Yearly, human CO2 release is only about equivalent to a bad eruption of a midsize volcano. But we do it year after year and we never stop. We also are busily attacking life forms which remove(sequester) CO2. We're pounding at the CO2 equation at both ends and, eventually, something will give (or snap). And if/when this occurs, Humvee wukk be usekk ss
posted by troutfishing at 9:47 PM on November 22, 2002

I saw poster ad for the Hummer in the DC Metro a few weeks ago, showing one of these H2's in an arctic setting, with the blurb, "DOES WELL AT THE POLES."

But someone had scrawled the word "MELTING" between "at" and "the."

posted by brownpau at 10:25 PM on November 22, 2002

Jeez louise, it's just a fancy-ass truck, people. Not a declaration of fuckery. Point and laugh, sure. But put away the rifles, and spare us the "this is unacceptable!" righteous indignation. If a person has a dough and is willing to pay the price/tax to buy, fuel and drive around a fancy-ass truck that gets 10 miles to the gallon, well that's freedom for you.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for my five-minute post-9-11-American masterba-thartic self-flagellation session.
posted by UncleFes at 10:33 PM on November 22, 2002

Amen, Crunchland. The best solution would be to adjust the price of gas to accommodate the entire cost, both present and future. In other words, let the price of gas reflect its production as well as future environmental consequence and cleanup, if quanitfying such a thing is even possible.
posted by ben-o at 10:35 PM on November 22, 2002

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