We finally got to spend some time behind the wheel of the all-new full-electric GMC Hummer EV truck, both on and off road. What we learned is that it lives up to its ‘supertruck’ marketing hype, but also has some pretty big not-so-great aspects.
With the truck retailing for over $100,000, and the current resale market bringing well over $200,000, it’s important to know what you’re actually going to be buying if you can afford that sort of lifestyle vehicle. While this is a truck, it’s much more of a fun adventure vehicle than a truck to do truck things, as that is a big area it falls short.
If you want all the specs just go to the GMC Hummer website and get them directly. If you want a crazy in-depth look at what it’s like to drive and use this vehicle check out THIS STORY on our sister site GearJunkie. Now, if you just want a quick rundown on what’s great and what’s not about the GMC Hummer EV truck Edition 1 then read on, as you’re in the right place.
GMC Hummer EV Wins
This vehicle is fast! I mean, really fast. It sprints to 60 mph from a stop in under 3-seconds. Press the skinny pedal at any speed and the GMC Hummer EV just takes off. You’d have to be well into triple digits before you’d ever had an issue making a passing maneuver. It offers 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque (this massive torque number is arrived at by way of a ‘unique’ equation that doesn’t translate to other vehicles).
Luckily, the Hummer truck also has impressive brakes. I’m not sure how they do it exactly, but they slow and stop this very heavy vehicle with impressive urgency. The truck also allows you to left-foot brake without cutting power, which is great for precise off-road control.
One of my very favorite features of the GMC Hummer EV truck is the crazy smooth adaptive air suspension. This fully independent suspension system can not only raise and lower the truck to three heights -a forth taller “Extract” height will be unlocked with an over-the-air (OVA) update soon- but is also impressively supple over rough terrain on and off road. The suspension also does a very good job of keeping the body roll in check of this very large and very heavy truck.
Four-wheel-steering is much more than a party trick. Yes, it looks odd and cool at the same time, but in practice, it makes this massive vehicle very nimble. Whether driving around the city or out on the trail this feature makes actual use of the GMC Hummer EV considerably easier.
As with all modern off-road-focused lifestyle vehicles –Wrangler and Bronco included- the Hummer EV has removable tops for open-air adventures. The Infinity Roof Panels on the Edition 1 truck are see-through, heavily tinted, feel like they’re made of thin plexiglass, and stow neatly in the frunk. To top it off, factory roof bar options are available, which means you can install a roof-top tent or carry your bulky adventure gear with ease.
The sound system in the GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 is was better than it should be. It is a fourteen speaker Bose sound system, which even has a 10L subwoofer under the right rear seat. The speaker grills are Moon landing themed, with topo maps of the sea of tranquility -see if you can’t find the moon boot in the design. The AudioPilot 2 feature in the system auto-adjusts for internal road noise/wind noise/etc… (speed & microphone controlled). EVSE (electric vehicle sound enhancements) are also piped in through the Bose system and are most noticeable in the different driving modes, especially when using the Watts To Freedom (WTF) launch control.
The GMC Hummer EV comes with quality 35-inch all-terrain tires from the factory. On top of that, 37-inch tires are said to fit without modification.
Selectable lockers front and rear are standard on Edition 1, and work great when traction becomes hard to find on the trial. The front locker is an American Axle Manufacturing e-Locker and the rear locker is a ‘virtual locker’ by way of the computer system controlling the two rear motors precisely.
Oh yeah, the GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 also has a very usable 329-mile range on a single charge. After two hours of highway driving and four-hours off-road our test truck only used up about 60% of its charge.
GMC Hummer EV Fails
The reason this truck has such a good electric range is its massive 24 cell Ultium battery pack. Of course, that battery back, along with the three drive motors and other equipment, add up to a whopping 9,243-pound curb weight. That makes this one HEAVY vehicle! While the GMC Hummer EV does a pretty good job of disguising all that weight, the laws of physics still apply.
My biggest gripe with this ‘supertruck’ is the cheap-feeling interior materials, especially for a $100,000+ vehicle. There are lots of cheap-looking and feeling plastics throughout the interior.
While four-wheel-steering is super cool, I also witnessed it probably cause a flat on trail. The rear wheels turned hard into a steep sidewall on the trail with a protruding rock and proceeded to de-bead a tire instantly. The rock held the tire in, while the rear-steering pushed the wheel out, and the weight of the vehicle pushed the air out of the tire nearly instantly.
Speaking of tires, there is no factory spare tire on the GMC Hummer EV. You can option up to two in-bed tire carriers, but the stock truck has no place for a spare. The tire bed rack of course also kills any usable space there is in the tiny truck bed.
Behind the wheel of the truck, the seating position isn’t exactly optimal. I compare it to the horrible body position, for a truck, that you get in the Tacoma. In the Hummer EV’s case, the tall battery pack raises the floor substantially, so the seat is super low to the floor and the steering wheel doesn’t telescope enough towards the driver -at least for tall people like me.
To top off the list of fails for the GMC Hummer EV ‘supertruck’ I give you the sticker in the glove box that says that the truck is not to be used with a slide-in truck camper. There are a lot of reasons this won’t work -rear wing off rood, tiny truck bed, low payload capacity, etc…-, but it’s still lame.
First Drive: GMC Hummer EV Edition 1
Overall, this is one really impressive lifestyle vehicle that shows us the power and massive advantages of our electrified vehicle future. We can’t wait to see these technologies be refined and trickle down to vehicles that meer mortals can afford. Oh, and into vehicles that are much smaller while offering up a usable truck bed.