The Hummer was an iconic vehicle during its production years. But the brawny vehicle had a reputational issue because of its gas-guzzling engines.
In this article, we show the figures to let you know that the beloved Hummers’ fuel economy was not as bad as people claim.
Table of Contents
What Is the average gas mileage for a hummer?
The average gas mileage of a Hummer depends on the model, year, engine type, terrain, and driving habits. The H1 gets around 10 mpg, the H2 a low 10-12 mpg while the H3 can deliver up to 14 mpg on average.
There is no big difference between gas and diesel H1s regarding gas mileage. In fact, the few gas H1s have a lower range because of their smaller fuel tanks.
If you are keen on cutting fuel expenses, the Hummer is not the ideal vehicle for you because it’s size demands that the truck consumes a lot of gas.
However, your fuel economy will improve with time. Your driving habits can also affect the miles you can get from your Hummer. The slower your pace, the higher the number of miles you can get on a Hummer.
The truck is big and has a box-like design that creates a lot of drag. Achieving high speeds in such a truck requires the engine to burn more fuel to deliver the torque you need to reach your preferred pace.
Why Did the Hummer Have to Use So Much Gas?
The Hummer, including the H1 which weighed over 8,000 pounds and the tamer H2s and H3s were heavy vehicles. They required a powerful engine to move their bulk and defeat daunting terrains.
The H1 and H2 have poor aerodynamics.
It is like driving a brick box and the vehicle experienced tremendous drag. If you are driving it at high speed, a Hummer H1 or H2 requires more fuel and oxygen to crank out higher horsepower.
People marvel at the exceptional off-roading capabilities of the Hummer but complain about its fuel consumption. But if you compare similar-sized trucks and their fuel efficiency, it’s easy to see that the Hummer is not an outlier. In fact, the H3 delivers impressive fuel economy as we shall see in this article.
The Hummer was a victim of bad press. Considering the capabilities of the vehicle, there is no way to cut corners regarding its fuel consumption.
Like its military cousin the Humvee, it is normal for the Hummer to be a gas guzzler.
Hummer H1 Fuel Economy
The Hummer H1 had the longest production run. The first trucks featured a naturally aspirated diesel engine while later models came with Turbo diesel motors. The 95 and 96 model years introduced gasoline-powered Hummers.
However, most H1s were diesel-powered and delivered low mileage on the pavement.
This isn’t a big deal because the H1 was basically a military vehicle in civilian garb. It was not designed to be a speedster. Rather, the H1 was built to provide exceptional off-road performance.
The H1 could deliver an average of 10 mpg. Even the few gas-powered variants that used the Chevy 350 engine could only manage 7-11 mpg on the road. The 2006 H1 Alpha which is considered the best of them all offers only 10 mpg.
Popular auto writer Doug Demuro once tracked his Hummer H1’s fuel economy on a drive between Princeton and Philadelphia. He discovered that his gas-powered truck completed the journey with a mileage of 11.1 mpg.
People have reported getting an average of 9.6 mpg on the 2002 H1 after tracking the fuel consumption for 1,512 miles. Another Hummer owner tracked his 2003 H1 for 3,612 miles and reported an average of 10.2 mpg.
The H1 is heavily off-road-biased and no serious off-roader or overlander cares about fuel economy while crawling at 3 mph in the middle of nowhere.
H2 Fuel Economy
The H2 is smaller than the H1 and thus requires a smaller engine. Despite its relatively compact design compared to the H1, the H2 doesn’t impress in the mileage department.
According to data from Hummer H2 users, the vehicle has a mileage of around 10.5 mpg. This can vary from 9.2 mpg to 12.6 average mpg based on the model year.
The 2009 model year powered by a 6.2 L V8 could deliver 12.6 mpg while the 2003 H2 with a 6.0 L V8 could only manage 9.6 mpg.
There are no official figures of the H2’s mileage. Transport laws allowed vehicle manufacturers not to state the fuel economy ratings of vehicles that exceed a certain weight. This makes the experience of Hummer owners a valuable resource when determining the mpg you can get on these beastly trucks.
The H2 SUT seems to fair better than the base trim H2s. In a popular road test of the vehicle by the folks at caranddriver.com, the H2 SUT averaged 12 mpg over 1600 miles. It could deliver 13 mpg on the highway and 10 mph in the city. That is not bad at all for a vehicle that weighs over 6000 pounds.
H3 Fuel Economy
The H3 has the most accurate fuel economy figures of all Hummers. Because it weighed far less at 4700 pounds, the H3 offered spectacular fuel economy. This made it a favorite of soccer moms and bequeathed it with the effeminate title of the road queen.
The H3 has more creature comforts and was designed for the pavement.
But its off-roading capabilities trump that of regular SUVs. Here is a breakdown of the official mpg of H3 models.
|Model Year||Combined MPG||Highway MPG||City MPG|
The H3 has the most current mpg data and real-world fuel economy tracking.
All variants including the automatic and manual transmission H3s deliver over 14 mpg combined. This makes the H3s the most fuel-efficient Hummers. However, this is understandable since they are smaller, weigh less and use gasoline engines.
How Bad Is the Hummer’s Fuel Economy Compared to Regular Trucks?
Hummers have been portrayed as notorious gas guzzlers since they hit the dealerships in 1992. But how do they compare to other trucks in their class? Let’s find out.
Hummer H1 vs. Ford F-450
The H1 has a curb weight of 8,113 pounds and gets about 10-12 mpg depending on the speed, model year, and design. This is similar to the figures for the Ford F-450 SuperDuty truck which weighs 8,600 pounds.
Hummer H2 vs. Ford F-250
The Hummer H2 weighs 6,400 pounds and can achieve an average of 11-12 mpg. But you can get up to 15 mpg on the highway.
In comparison, the Ford F-250 weighs a little over 6000 pounds and gets an average of 15.5 mpg on the highway. There is no big difference between the two trucks’ fuel economy.
Hummer H3 vs. Chrysler Aspen and Jeep Commander
The 2008 H3 weighs 4,600 pounds and averages 14 mpg in the city and an impressive 18 mpg on the freeway. This is comparable to the fuel economy of the same model year of the Chrysler Aspen and Jeep Commander which get 14 mpg and 19 mpg in the city and highway, respectively.
From the above, the Hummer’s fuel consumption is not abysmal compared to similar-sized trucks. Many of the people who complain about the vehicle don’t look at the mileage of other trucks in its class, tainting its reputation forever.
So before you complain about the gas-guzzling nature of a Hummer, find out how many miles you can get on a similar-sized truck.
How Many Miles Per Gallon Does a Hummer Limo Get?
Considering that the Hummer Limo is derived from the H2, the fuel economy will be below 10 mpg. Some estimates put the gas mileage of Hummer Limos at 3 mpg.
This is because of their bigger size and often sluggish pace. Plus, the vehicle has to idle most of the time to keep the entertainment systems running.
Nobody rents a Stretch Hummer for fuel economy reasons. The vehicle is designed for partying and moving in style, not to conserve fuel money.
We have another in-depth article about the Hummer Limos and how much they cost to rent (or buy).
What Is the Size of a Hummer’s Fuel Tank?
If you are driving a gas-guzzler, you want the vehicle to have a decent fuel tank to extend your range. Here is the fuel tank capacity of each Hummer model.
H1 Fuel Capacity
The 92, 93 and 94 H1s have 25-gallon fuel tanks. This limited their range considerably because they could only manage about 10 mpg. If you plan to buy one of these, monitor your fuel gauge to avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere.
In 1995, AMG introduced a gas-powered H1 which had a 23-gallon fuel tank. The two-gallon reduction was because the tank also housed the fuel pump and needed space for vapor.
The diesel-powered trucks retained their 25 gallon tanks. But there was no noticeable improvement in the range of the gas or diesel H1s as both could only manage 7-11 mpg.
The H1s produced from 1996 to 2004 came with two fuel tanks that could hold 42 gallons. This provided a significant boost to the range of the H1, allowing users to drive for longer with fewer pump stops.
The 2006 H1 Alpha was a different beast entirely. Everything about the vehicle was redesigned and the fuel tanks were modified to meet the Department of Transport requirements. This increased the fuel capacity to 51 gallons, making the Alpha the H1 with the longest range.
H2 Fuel Capacity
The H2 has a fuel capacity of 32 gallons. All H2s are gas-powered and they can cover up to 415 miles on a full tank. This is impressive considering the vehicle’s size and poor aerodynamics.
H3 Fuel Capacity
The SUV-styled H3 has a smaller fuel tank that holds 23 gallons. It has a range of 392 miles and can achieve up to 18 mpg on the highway depending on the model, transmission, and driver.
How Much Does It Cost to Fill Up a Hummer’s Tank?
A gallon of gasoline and diesel costs around $3 in the United States. If you own a Hummer H1 with two tanks, a full tank will cost around $126 or thereabouts. That amounts to around $4500 to cover 15,000 miles which is the average distance most people travel in a year.
H2s with their 32-gallon tanks require $96 for a full tank. To cover 15,000 miles, you will spend up to $3750 on fuel.
The H2 needs only $69 to load up on gas. That’s around $3,200 to buy fuel if you will cover a distance of 15,000 miles.
There are different fuel you can use with your truck. Some petrol stations offer gas and diesel mixed with additives that increase mileage, reduce carbon emissions or make it easier to start in cold weather.
Your location can also affect the price of fuel. A Canadian gallon is around 4.5 liters while a U.S. gallon is 3.8 liters. So this can affect how much you spend on fuel.
The price of oil fluctuates every day. Political turmoil, economic troubles, and conflict can raise or lower oil prices at short notice.
How to Improve Your Hummer’s Mileage
First, if mileage is a big concern, you probably have no business buying a Hummer. The H3 might provide great fuel economy, but real Hummer fanatics don’t see it as the real thing.
Hummer owners try a variety of tricks to improve fuel economy. Here are some you can try out.
While this may not be fun, a great way to get more miles on the gallon is to take it slow on the highway. The Hummer’s thirst for gas increases with the engine’s demand for power. If you are driving an H1 or H2 at 65 mph, you risk frying the transfer case and your fuel economy will be abysmal.
There is no point in trying to break the sound barrier in a heavy truck with poor aerodynamics. Take it slow and you may save some gas money.
Retrofit the Vehicle
Many people have also claimed to get more mileage through aftermarket modifications. Some installed a Cold Air Intake and a Magnaflow Exhaust and gained up to 3-4 extra miles per gallon.
You can also remove the crossbars, spare tire, and other accessories that increase the vehicle’s weight. But make sure you are not breaking the law or compromising your safety. Anything that increases drag can reduce fuel economy.
Consider the cost of any modification and the potential reduction of fuel expenses. If you don’t plan to keep the vehicle for a long period, spending thousands of dollars on modifications might be a waste of money.
Install an Engine Tuning Chip
You may also bump your Hummer’s mileage with a SuperChip FlashPac tuner or an alternative. This device optimizes the engine, allowing it to deliver improved performance and higher fuel economy.
Use Synthetic Fuel
The fuel you use can also affect your Hummer’s mileage. Some observant owners reported varying mpg when they bought gas at different service stations.
This may be because of the additives in the fuel. In fact, you can buy synthetic fuel that offers higher mileage per gallon to boost your Hummer’s range.
Keep Your Tires Well Inflated
Low-pressure tires increase friction between the road and the Hummer, reducing fuel efficiency. You can gain a mile or two by ensuring that your tires are always well inflated.
Your tires can also affect fuel economy. So try to invest in top quality, terrain-specific tires to squeeze the maximum mileage out of your Hummer.
Use Two-Wheel Drive
If your Hummer comes with 4WD, you can increase fuel efficiency with a two-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive adds a lot of weight to the vehicle (an extra 400 pounds). This increases friction creates more drag and raises fuel consumption.
By using the two-wheel-drive mode, you disengage the moving parts from the engine. This reduces the load the engine has to support and the amount of work it has to do, boosting mileage.
Get a Hummer with a two-wheel-drive if fuel economy is a major concern for you. If you find yourself with the 4WD type, only use it when you need to.
In some cases, you may not be able to switch to a two-wheel drive, but this should be possible on most Hummers.
What Is the Gas Mileage of the Humvee?
The military Humvee from which the Hummer was developed has an atrociously low gas mileage. Depending on the variant, the vehicle could manage around 4 mpg in the city and 8 mpg on the highway.
Speed was not a major requirement for the designers of the Humvee.
Its mission was to transport troops and materiel from one location to another. Unfortunately, its civilian cousins shared its gluttonous appetite for fuel.
The Hummer is not for people conscious of fuel prices. If that is you, consider getting a Prius or Tesla. The vehicle’s weight, size, design, and the engine makes it inevitably gas-thirsty.
You need not complain about fuel efficiency if you bought a Hummer. Its atrocious need for gas is part of what makes the truck so powerful-it’s not a weakness.