The next morning kicked off a full drive day, which featured a mixture of driving on the pavement of Phoenix’s suburbs and highways, followed by a two-hour stint off-road.
We had a lot of questions after astute internet sleuths discovered that the Hummer EV weighed more than 9,000 pounds, chiefly: how would the titanic truck feel on the road lugging so much mass? Thanks to a trick air suspension, four-wheel steering and plenty of tire sidewall, the Hummer EV is a lot more docile than you might expect. Its ride comfort is superior to most body-on-frame pickup trucks and the rear-steering system makes U-turns a cinch. There’s also plenty of helpful deceleration from the regenerative braking in the Hummer EV’s one-pedal drive mode; it comes to a stop with as much decelerative force as any other electric vehicle. All of these aspects admirably hide the fact that it weighs about half a ton more than the heaviest Sierra 3500HD.
A few notes from the road: quite a bit of wind noise makes its way into the cabin, likely a combination of its bricklike aerodynamics, upright windshield and removable roof panels. It’s also not as silent as other EVs, as GMC teamed up with Bose to develop an engine-like sound that pumps out of the speakers while driving. And the front windshield is kind of short. While forward visibility is totally fine, it does necessitate the use of three wipers. (The Toyota FJ Cruiser, with its similarly stubby windshield, also had a three-wiper setup.)
The Hummer EV also comes with the newest version of GM’s hands-free Super Cruise mode, which can now execute lane changes without you even initiating one. I tried it briefly on the highway and it’s just as easy to use as I remembered.
The pinnacle of my Hummer EV drive was a two-hour off-road crawl. Our test vehicle’s Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires were up to the task of trudging through the dirt, as well as the light mud that formed as a result of the rain on my drive day. The trail narrowed considerably in spots, but the four-wheel steering really helped by kicking out the rear and making it so I didn’t have to take turns too wide. I also noted that the Hummer EV felt less bouncy and harsh than other vehicles I’ve driven off-road, though the trail was also easy enough that we didn’t have to engage any lockers.
A supertruck that stands alone
Like its primary competitor — the Rivian R1T — only a few examples of the GMC Hummer EV have made their way to customer garages. That’ll pick up over the next few months as GM races to get all of its limited First Edition models to buyers before the more widely available Hummer EV3X debuts this fall. The only other soon-to-be-released competitor in the electric truck space is the Ford F-150 Lightning, which is still a couple of months out and doesn’t have a spectacularly powerful version on sale — at least, not yet. As for the Tesla Cybertruck, it won’t be released until next year at the earliest, if it even launches at all.
With a starting price of more than $110,000, the Hummer EV First Edition isn’t for the faint of heart or light of wallet. But thanks to its 1,000-horsepower output and seriously impressive tech suite, the Hummer brand returns to redefine the automobile for a new generation.