New for 2005, Hummer introduces its SUT, or Sport Utility Truck.

Based on the H2, which is itself based on a shortened Suburban frame, the SUT features the same massive in-your-face grille, steroid-pumped body and upright, square stance. In addition to the H2’s covered and locked storage area, the SUT adds a short cargo box with a locking tailgate, swing-away spare tire and an extra set of taillights in the bumper.

Like the Chevrolet Avalanche, the SUT features a “Midgate”, which remains upright when rear passengers are inside. When more cargo space is required, the power rear window lowers into it, and the Midgate and rear seat can be folded forward to increase the pickup bed. The bed also contains built-in cargo tie-downs, a hard tonneau cover, 110-volt outlet, and drain holes for easy cleaning.

As is to be expected, the SUT is packed with features, including leather interior, seat-position memory, a one-button express-down that lowers all four windows including the Midgate window simultaneously, a huge Sky Roof power sunroof, and OnStar Gen 6 with hands-free capability. A navigation system is optional.

The SUT uses the standard H2 6.0-litre V8, which receives an increase in 2005 from 316 hp to 325 hp.

For all its bulk, the H2 has an amazingly plush highway ride, and while it can’t quite keep up to its military H1 big brother in the worst of terrain, it’s capable of climbing steep grades that would leave most competitors spinning at the bottom. The interior is quite spacious and very comfortable, and the SUT’s versatility is definitely in its favour.

But while the SUT’s tailgate-mounted spare tire frees up a lot of cargo space, it can get in the way if you want to hitch up a trailer. And while H2 fans like to remind you that there are other big SUVs that get equally lousy mileage, it still takes as much out of your wallet at the pumps regardless of what the guy beside you is spending.

The H2 is built in Mishawaka, Indiana.

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