2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup Review:Driving Impressions

Ron Sessions, Independent Expert | Oct 29, 2021

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup is an over-the-top, 9,000-pound, 1,000-horsepower recreational toy that runs well beyond the wants and needs of most SUV buyers. And yet, it helps pave the way for a new generation of GM EVs that make a good business case without government incentives.

How a Former Gas-Guzzling Pariah Turned EV Became the Lynchpin of GM’s Electric Future - Find the best GMC deals!

Suppose you were a fly on the wall at a General Motors product planning meeting in the aftermath of the automaker’s historic bankruptcy in 2009. In that case, you might have heard calls for GMC to “adopt” the iconic 4x4 products such as the H3 and H3T orphaned by the closing of the Hummer brand. The business case was obvious: The immediately recognizable Hummer models were the best chance GM had to cash in on the fast-growing and highly profitable rugged 4x4 market the Jeep brand had commandeered. But the Great Recession was raging at the time, and even though a Hummer model or two would be a natural fit for GM’s “truck” division, U.S. government officials controlling the purse strings of GM’s financial bailout preferred a product mix skewed towards affordable, small, fuel-efficient passenger cars, which the Hummers of the early 2000s were not.

Fast forward a decade that saw unprecedented economic expansion, and today’s GM is essentially a pickup truck, SUV, and Corvette company. Most of the fuel-sipping hatchbacks and sensible sedans are gone. Although GM devoted significant resources to developing and marketing the plug-in gas-electric Chevrolet Volt and battery-electric Chevrolet Bolt, sales and especially profits have been elusive.

Enter what General Motors considers a game-changer, the 9,000-pound, almost-full-size 2022 GMC Hummer EV. This fall, it hits showrooms as a loaded 1,000-horsepower all-electric 4-wheel-drive pickup truck with 4-wheel steering and an MSRP of $112,595. And one more thing—zero tailpipe emissions.

The new GMC Hummer EV is the first to be powered by GM’s new Ultium battery pack, a drive system that will underpin dozens of the automaker’s future EV models. While the Ultium battery isn’t the solid-state type that will eventually replace the current lithium-ion technology, it does use significantly less cobalt, an expensive mineral sourced from some countries that aren’t necessarily friendly to the U.S. It can also be charged at an 800-volt DC fast charger, cutting charge time by more than half. So, the Ultium battery is much less expensive, potentially lowering the cost of electric vehicles (EVs) to consumers and much faster to charge at DC fast-charge stations, reducing or eliminating another big EV customer complaint.

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup is the first of several electric-powered trucks on the near horizon, including the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertruck, and the recently announced Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup.

GMC recently made the Hummer EV pickup available for an hour-long walk-around and on-road driving session in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My impressions follow. For more nuts and bolts detail, read our 2022 GMC Hummer EV Preview article.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup Price and Release Date - Find the best GMC deals!

GMC is introducing the most expensive Hummer EV pickup, the Edition 1, in an unusual top-down approach. Priced at an eye-watering $112,595 including destination, the 3-motor, 1,000-hp Hummer EV offers appropriately eye-watering 3-second 0-60 mph acceleration and a long-legged 350-mile range. It’s available this fall, although GMC says the initial build is sold out. It’s also the GMC Hummer EV pickup for which I drove a pre-production version.

Next up will be a $99,995 GMC Hummer EV 3X pickup with three motors, 830 hp, 3.5-second 0-60 capability, and 300 miles of range, arriving in the fall of 2022. That is followed by an $89,995 EV 2X version with two motors, 625 hp, and 300-mile range in the spring of 2023 and an EV 2 model with two motors, 625 hp, and 250-mile range in the spring of 2024.

GMC will also offer an SUV version of the Hummer EV, but trim levels and prices have not been announced.

Independent Expert Opinion: Interior Design, Comfort, and Utility - Find the best GMC deals!

2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup White Front Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

As iconic as the new GMC Hummer EV pickup’s exterior is, the cabin splits the difference between rugged SUV functionality and luxury fitments you’d expect in a product costing six figures. The interior space is roughly equivalent to a GMC Sierra 1500 Double Cab pickup, so almost full-size. The cabin can seat five comfortably, and there’s a 5-foot cargo bed with GMC’s signature, 6-position MultiPro tailgate, and a power-retractable tonneau cover.

The heavily sculpted leather front buckets have generous lower torso bolsters for keeping you in place at steep off-road angles but less-aggressive thigh bolsters that might impede vehicle ingress and egress. The driver interacts with two large displays, a 12.3-inch one for the driver and a 13.4-inch center infotainment touchscreen, the same size as now offered in other 2022 GM full-size pickups. Both screens provide high-resolution detail and are rich in startup animation. Developed by Epic Game, the Fortnite video game maker, the animation puts on quite a show. The GMC representative was also quick to point out that most functions are also accessible with redundant hard buttons. Standard reinforced side steps and removable rubberized flooring in place of carpeting emphasize the Hummer EV’s adventurous mission.

The rear bench can handle three adults easily, but headroom and legroom are not as spacious as in the Sierra’s Double or Crew Cabs. Interior storage is generous, courtesy of a broad, two-tier center console. A vast front trunk (frunk) that’s visibly larger than the trunk of many compact sedans is big enough to store all four panels of the truck’s removable transparent roof sections.

Independent Expert Opinion: Infotainment, Technology, and Safety - Find the best GMC deals!

2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup White Interior Dashboard

Photo: Ron Sessions

The GMC Hummer EV pickup uses the same 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen just introduced for other 2022 Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickups. Although an analog rotary knob provides for audio on/off and volume control, all other functions are accessed via touchscreen tiles, steering wheel buttons, or voice control.

A 14-speaker premium Bose Centerpoint surround-sound system fills the cabin with rich audio entertainment and doubles as a vehicle sound-enhancement system that adds electric-appropriate “propulsion” sounds.

The system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and a subscription-based 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Driver-assistive tech content is comparable to that in other GMC premium truck and SUV offerings but also includes a 3-year subscription to GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driving-assistance system that adds a lane-change feature for 2022.

Independent Expert Opinion: Driving the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup - Find the best GMC deals!

2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup White Rear Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

There is a lot of capability in the GMC Hummer EV pickup. Features such as 800-volt DC fast charging, 4-wheel steering, CrabWalk, and adaptive air suspension are standard on all but the base Hummer EV and the top-of-the-line, check-all-boxes Edition 1 adds torque vectoring and the electric equivalent of launch control dubbed Watts to Freedom.

Behind the wheel of the Edition 1 test vehicle, 9,000 pounds never felt so alive. All electric vehicles offer brisk acceleration courtesy of the instant torque available when the accelerator pedal is depressed. Except in the new GMC Hummer EV, the accelerative sensation that presses you back in the seat keeps coming. The nose rises just a bit, and the Hummer EV keeps thrusting forward. It’s a thrill ride absent the angry combustion of fossil fuel that the Ram 1500 TRX driver never saw coming. The Hummer EV’s giant 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires just plain hook up sans tire smoke for a clean, 3-second 0-60 blast.

The big tires make for lots of grip when it comes time to stop. Also helping to bring the Hummer EV’s 9,000 pounds to a dignified halt are its driver-selectable Regen on Demand and one-pedal driving features. The level of Regen on Demand braking is adjustable using a steering wheel paddle.

More than a parlor trick, the Hummer EV’s 4-wheel steering enables tight turns in even tighter spaces without the need to back and fill. And in CrabWalk mode, the driver can punch in the desired amount of same-phase front and rear steering and literally drive the big SUV EV diagonally around obstacles.

The air suspension allows custom tailoring of ride height, lower for easy entry/exit and better high-speed dynamics, and higher for added ground clearance. Selecting Extract Mode jacks the Hummer EV an extra 5 inches for getting out of particularly deep holes.

Independent Expert Opinion of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup - Find the best GMC deals!

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup is an over-the-top, 9,000-pound, 1,000-hp recreational toy that runs well beyond the wants, needs, and likely budgets of most SUV buyers. And yet, in this year of the rugged SUV renaissance, the electrified Hummer pickup helps pave the way for a new generation of GM EVs that make a good business case without government incentives. Owners can also recharge it in a little more time than it takes to fill the tank of a fossil-fueled SUV. Now, everybody CrabWalk!

Ron Sessions is a seasoned vehicle evaluator with more than three decades of experience. He has penned hundreds of road tests for automotive and consumer websites, enthusiast magazines, newsletters, technical journals, and newspapers.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2022 J.D. Power

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