2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup First Test: HAHA OMG WTF?

gmc hummer-ev Full Overview

There’s no other way to say it: The 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup is absurd in the best possible way. As a pickup truck? Meh, but that’s not the point, is it? Everything about this truck is completely ridiculous, and we absolutely love it.

Each Number Is More Bonkers Than the Last

Nothing is more outrageous than the numbers. At 8,976 pounds, we needed a commercial-grade scale to weigh the Hummer because it’s heavier than a diesel-powered heavy-duty dually. The best part? It should’ve been heavier! Our pre-production test truck was missing the standard roll-up tonneau cover.

Despite being the heaviest four-wheel vehicle we’ve ever tested (fourth-heaviest of all time, regardless of wheel count) and the heaviest electric vehicle, the 2022 GMC Hummer is still insanely quick. This 4.5-ton behemoth launched from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds. That makes it the quickest pickup we’ve ever tested, period, beating the previous record-holder—the 835-hp 2022 Rivian R1T—by 0.1 second. It beat the fastest gas-powered pickup, the 702-hp 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, by 1.1 second.

How the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup achieves this is no mystery. The tri-motor Edition 1 trim makes a combined maximum 1,000 hp (830 hp in normal modes) and 1,200 lb-ft of torque (not that 11,500-lb-ft wheel-torque BS GMC’s been peddling). Although the Rivian has a better weight-to-power ratio and weighs about 1,800 pounds less, the Hummer leverages its absurd amount of torque into a slightly better run.

After the 60-mph mark, though, it’s a tight race. The Hummer can’t cheat its weight or aerodynamics forever, and while its 11.7-second quarter-mile run at 105.4 mph is absolutely batty for a truck, the Rivian is a tenth quicker and traveling as much as 6 mph faster.

Despite all the power and weight, GMC estimates the Hummer will travel 329 miles on a single charge. That’s slightly farther than the only other EV pickup on the market right now, the Rivian R1T with its 314-mile range. Of course, the Hummer’s battery being roughly 50 percent larger helps eke out those extra 15 miles, but add those stats together, and you get the worst mpg-e rating around at just 51/43/47 city/ highway/combined. GMC promises future Hummer models will do better, but with the Rivian at 74/66/70 mpg-e, don’t expect the gap to close significantly.

The Experience Is Even Nuttier

But forget the EV pissing contest. We cannot emphasize enough how utterly insane it is that anyone with $112,595 to burn can go out and rip off 11-second quarter-mile times in a 9,000-pound truck any time they want. (Pro tip: For best results, GMC engineers recommend more than 80 percent charge in the battery.) Seriously, literally anyone, with no special training, can just double-tap the stability-control switch, activate Watts to Freedom mode (WTF mode), and launch this thing to the moon.

That’s what it feels like. There’s so much pitch, dive, and roll when the GMC Hummer EV Pickup accelerates, decelerates, or changes direction, it looks like something out of a children’s cartoon. It doesn’t hurt that GMC amps things up with special graphics, pulsating audio effects, a vibrating seat, and the image of a Hummer EV pickup staged at a dragstrip on the moon to get you hyped while the suspension lowers and the battery conditions itself for maximum output.

This kind of silliness makes us giddy, but we also need to pause a moment and strongly recommend against ever using WTF mode on public roads. Cruising at 60 mph, the 9,000-pound Hummer needs 137 feet to stop when you mash the brake pedal on the floor. That’s 3 feet farther than a 2020 GMC Sierra 3500HD diesel dually. Even with its crazy amount of regenerative braking, this truck absolutely does not have brakes commensurate with its power and speed capabilities.

Think about it: In just 3.0 seconds, you’re traveling fast enough to need the same braking space as a dually, and you’re still accelerating like crazy. It would be beyond easy to get into a situation where you’re traveling way too fast to stop for another vehicle, a pedestrian, an animal, or anything else. You might not even be able to slow down enough to make a corner if you don’t lift and brake soon enough. This is a crazy amount of weight moving ridiculously fast on all-terrain off-road tires, and the laws of physics are merciless.

Furthermore, you should not use WTF mode while towing or hauling. We did, on our closed course, to see how it would work, and it was hilarious but sketchy. With 1,300 pounds of payload in the bed, the Hummer EV still hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, and with a 5,000-pound trailer on the hitch, it did it in 7.1 seconds. Again, though, you should not do this. With that kind of weight in the back, the truck squats enough to make North Carolina truck owners proud, with the side effect of having the windshield pointed at the sky. You can barely see the road over the hood. Do not do this. In fact, GMC should really lock out WTF mode when a trailer is detected. At minimum, it should engage the electronically controlled front-differential locker to quell the torque steer that goes from barely noticeable normally to MazdaSpeed 3 levels when you’re towing.

Also, don’t use WTF mode at night. The truck squats so much, it points the headlights at the sky rather than the road ahead.

The Actual Truck Stuff Is Nutty in a Different Way

This is as good a time as any to explain why the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup is somewhat useless as an actual truck. With a 1,300-pound payload capacity, a Ford Maverick Hybrid outhauls it, not that you’d fit all that much in the short little bed to begin with. With a 7,500-pound max towing capacity, the Hummer EV Pickup is no better than a Ford Ranger. It’ll bring your toys along, but that’s about it. Tow mode doesn’t seem to do anything about all the pitch and roll, so it’s not the most confidence-inspiring towing experience, either. It will pass a slow big-rig up a steep hill no problem, so that’s nice. We smirked at the animation of a Hummer EV pickup towing a Saturn V rocket, a little dig at Tesla’s yet-unreleased CyberTruck. But really, if you have another tow vehicle, use it instead.

The specs say it should be pretty good off-road, too. Most of ’em, anyway. Custom-designed 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory mud-terrain tires, electronically locking front differential and virtual rear locker, up to 11.9 inches of ground clearance in Terrain mode (15.9 inches at extremely low speeds in Extract mode), 13 inches of suspension travel front and rear, and approach, breakover, and departure angles as good or better than a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon mean the electric Hummer should be able to conquer any trail it can fit down. That’s the rub, because this truck is also 13 inches wider than a Gladiator Rubicon and just 1.3 inches narrower than a Ram TRX. At 86.7 inches wide, there are a lot of places the Hummer won’t go without accruing a lot of damage to the bodywork.

Indeed, while it can certainly crawl with all that torque and those mechanical and virtual lockers, it’s probably best to stick to wide-open trails. Just remember, your stopping distance is even worse on dirt. Keep the speeds down, and the truck’s rear steering makes it incredibly agile around a rally-style course. Just remember, you’re trying to make 9,000 pounds change direction on a loose surface. Plan for understeer, lots of it.

It Has Nutty Features, Too

Really, the rear steering is one of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup’s coolest features. Able to turn the rear wheels up to 10 degrees at low speeds, it allows this street-legal monster truck to slip through parking lots like a midsize SUV. No, really, it has the same turning radius as a Volkswagen ID4 EV SUV. It takes a lot of the work out of maneuvering a truck in tight spaces, which, for the massive Hummer, means everywhere.

It also allows for another party trick GMC calls Crab Mode. By turning the rear wheels the same direction as the fronts, the Hummer EV pickup can drive diagonally as far as you’d like to go, albeit at low speeds. We can envision a situation off-road where this might be useful, when the truck is on a loose, off-camber surface and gravity is pulling it downhill and off your preferred driving line. We didn’t have a chance to try that specific scenario, unfortunately. Crab Mode sure is fun to play with in a parking lot, though, where most people will use it to impress their friends.

You can also impress them by blowing the roof off. All four T-top panels come off in seconds with the twist of two levers and stack in Styrofoam “pizza boxes” or padded bags under the front hood. Be careful with the pizza boxes, though, as we watched a GMC engineer break the corner off one by accident trying to load it. Unbolt the front crossbar and roll down the rear window for the full experience. The rear crossbar doesn’t come off, GMC tells us, because then the truck would be classified as a convertible and subject to more stringent rollover roof crush requirements. Make of that what you will. Regardless, we recommend the opaque roof panels rather than the tinted transparent ones fitted to our test truck, which let way too much sun through on a hot day. It got to the point we were hiding in the shadow of the crossbar even with the panels on.

No, Really, the Whole Experience Is Insane

Just a ride in the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup will be enough to blow your friends’ minds. The way it pitches, dives, and rolls is hysterical. Ever been on the Indiana Jones ride at Disney? Same thing. This truck is your own personal amusement park ride. Every body movement is wildly exaggerated in a way that can’t help but make you laugh. Even the first-gen Ford F-150 Raptor didn’t whip you around like this EV does.

You’d think with suspension this soft, it would ride like a classic Cadillac, but that’s not the case. It soaks up the big bumps with no problem, but all the little stuff goes right through it and shakes the entire body structure. There’s just no getting around the weight of both the truck and its massive wheel and tire package.

At least the Hummer Pickup handles fairly well for its size. The excessive body movements are very well controlled by the suspension, so the amount of moving the body does appears to be deliberate. The steering has an on-center dead spot and the response is vague, but it’s at least accurate. That’s important when the truck takes up more than 7 feet of a standard 12-foot-wide lane, and especially so on narrower city streets and country back roads.

The rear steering makes a huge difference in keeping the Hummer EV stable when cornering at higher speeds, and you can tell the stability control was programmed by the Camaro’s former chief engineer. In our emergency lane-change test, the stability control intervened very precisely to apply just enough braking to keep the truck stable, much like it would in a good sports car, rather than grabbing brakes wildly like most truck stability-control programs do.

In fact, there were times we wished for more braking in a turn. The Hummer has multiple selectable levels of regenerative braking (if you can find that setting buried deep in the on-screen menus). We love how strong the regen is in its maximum setting and its ability to bring the Hummer EV to a complete stop. Our quarrel with it is when entering a turn, where the regen suddenly backs off when you turn the steering wheel. When you’re expecting a certain amount of braking force as you change directions and you suddenly get less, it’s an unwelcome surprise.

If you’re really worried about keeping it between the lanes, especially when other cars are around, GM’s superb Super Cruise system works brilliantly and allows full hands-free semi-automated driving on mapped freeways. The new automatic lane-change feature, which executes a pass around a slower vehicle ahead with zero input from the driver, is awesome when it works, which seems to be about half the time.

I’m Sorry, I Can’t Hear You Over the Sound of Awesome

Hopefully, the stress relief provided by Super Cruise will make up for the frustration of trying to hold a conversation on the freeway. The interior tire and wind noise is somehow worse than in a Wrangler or Bronco, mostly thanks to the upright windshield. It gets obnoxious around 45 mph, becomes problematic at 55 mph, and will have you shouting at each other by 65 mph. Above that, just forget about talking to other people in the cab. At lower speeds, the Tron-like sound the 2022 GMC Hummer makes adds to the vehicle’s overall character, but it too is drowned out at higher speeds.

Noise isn’t the only compromise in the stylish cabin. As much as we love the design, we’re more than a little disappointed to find all the neat metal-looking accents are just plastic, and we do mean all. At $112,595, it’s not unreasonable to expect actual metal trim. The reused seats, center console, and key from the much-cheaper Sierra is also a bit of a letdown. There’s also surprisingly little headroom for such a massive vehicle, a function of the enormous double-stacked battery pack you sit on top of.

Materials aside, we do love the way the dashboard looks, as well as its clever tricks. The built-in physical auxiliary switches with their digital labels and ability to be remapped is a clever update to a basic idea. The video game animations for the different driving modes are a wonderful bit of theater and a great way to utilize all the screen space for more than basic functions. We’re also big fans of the Google Maps integration in place of a proprietary navigation system. We’d like to see a better user interface, though, as the system is too layered and difficult to navigate.

Our appreciation for the design team’s work extends well beyond the interior. The exterior design screams Hummer despite the 11-year nap the brand took. The use of lighting is an absolute win, from integrating the traditional Hummer slotted grille motif into the new front lighting signature to the glowing rooftop blades that serve as the marker lights. Incorporating animations into the front lighting at walk-up and during charging is a delightful bit of theater to match what’s going on inside on the screens.

Wrap It Up With a Movie Quote

That’s really the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup in a nutshell. It’s a private amusement park ride. It’s a phenomenally curated experience, with all the sound effects and graphics and movements designed to thrill you. Going to the grocery store in it makes you feel like you’re starring in the next Jurassic Park movie. Disney Imagineers would be proud. What really makes it work, though, is the fact it never seems to take itself too seriously. There’s a deliberate whimsy here, a wink and a nod that lets you know this thing isn’t really about being a pickup truck, it’s about being unabashed fun.

Indeed, then, to borrow a line from the original Jurassic Park: GM’s engineers were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should. This isn’t the template future EV trucks should emulate; it’s overpowered and under-braked, and it might be the least environmentally friendly EV ever made with the amount of materials and energy it consumes. Still, it achieves one critical, overarching feat: It makes EVs look cool as hell, and there’s enormous value in that. As a statement, as a showpiece, as an experience, it’s an unqualified success, and every EV skeptic and outright hater it converts is worth the cost.

Looks good! More details?

SPECIFICATIONS 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1
BASE PRICE $110,295
VEHICLE LAYOUT 1 Front and 2 rear-motors, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door truck
MOTOR TYPE Permanent-magnet electric
POWER (SAE NET) 1000 hp
TORQUE (SAE NET) 1200 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION 1-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 8,976 lb (50/50%)
WHEELBASE 135.6 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 216.5 x 93.7 x 76.2-82.0 in
0-60 MPH 3.0 sec
QUARTER MILE 11.7 sec @ 105.4 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 137 ft
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 51/43/47 mpg-e (mfr est)

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