If you needed any more proof that the Hummer H1 officially kicks names and takes butt when it comes to overcoming offroad hurdles, perhaps a visual demonstration against the H2 and H3 models will suffice.
This video from YouTube user Off-Road Control shows the three generations of “civilized” HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, pronounced “hum-vee” somehow) strong-arming their way through a variety of different geological challenges, from fording an impressive water-filled trench, to driving up a steep incline of sand and clay, to cornering over a cliff face that tests the full range of suspension travel.
Frankly, we’re surprised at the relative competence of the Hummer H2 and H3 on these difficult trails. Both of these later iterations were based on very domesticated General Motors chassis, with more of a focus on comfort-level than on off-road performance. The electronic locking-differential was an optional extra on the H3, for example.
Nevertheless, the military-derived, red-white-and-blue (okay, tan or black) Hummer H1 is the most off-road competent by a mile. It takes on the clay and sand uphill with ease, and powers around the trying cliff face obstacle without breaking a sweat, the rear passenger’s side wheel shoved well into the fender on the other models.
It just goes to show that when it comes to capable off-road handling, the model without the DVD player and cheap plastic fascia is usually best.