Off-Road Trip: 2007 Hummer H3 Alpha and 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Since the day it was released (and even before for some prophetic pundits) the H3's worst quality has been that it could lose a race to Rosie O'Donnell riding a turtle. Who knew that a 220-hp compact pickup engine would seem sluggish in a 4700-pound SUV? Anyway, Hummer engineers have remedied the baby Hummer's biggest problem by dropping in a Chevy Silverado V-8 and calling the resulting monster the H3 Alpha. That engine is a 295 hp, 5.3-liter unit with an aluminum block. A high torque rating--317 lb-ft--allows the four-speed automatic H3 Alpha to tow up to 6000 pounds. The H3 has always been smaller and more maneuverable off-road than its big brother, but now it's a better vehicle on road, too.

The four-door Wrangler Unlimited is the ultimate automotive leatherman equivalent. Because of its long wheelbase, it performs better on road than its two-door counterpart. Because its still a Wrangler, it will also tackle the Rubicon and any other trail with ease, and it will do it all as the world's only four-door convertible. But the Wrangler doesn't stop there; in addition to the top, the doors can also be removed, allowing your legs the same tanning privilege as your head and neck. Even with the doors off, the new Wrangler has speakers on the dash and roll cage to blast tunes on the way to the beach with four friends and a cooler of beer while towing two jet skis. What more do you need?

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