At the beginning of the 21st century, premium sport utility vehicles had become the latest hot trend. Wanting to capitalize on the trend, General Motors acquired the marketing rights to Hummer in 1999 morphing it into a brand. For the 2003 model year, the Hummer vehicle brand added a brand-new product as a smaller, lower-priced companion to the military-based H1. Called the H2, the vehicle relied on platform technology sourced from Chevrolet and GMC sport utility vehicle but received Hummer H1 inspired tough truck styling. Introduced as a four-door wagon, the 2003 Hummer H2 included standard four-wheel drive and a 325-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8 engine. Other standard features found on the H2 for 2003 consisted of multi-zone climate control, remote keyless entry, cruise control and a nine-speaker stereo system. In 2005, the Hummer H2 gained a second body style with the addition of the SUT model. The 2005 Hummer H2 SUT replaced the wagons closed cargo area with an open truck-like bed measuring about 34.7 inches long by 47.3 inches wide. When the H1 was dropped from the Hummer line-up after 2006, the H2 became the de facto flagship for the brand.
For 2008, the Hummer H2 gained a powertrain enhancement resulting in a more powerful 393-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 engine and a smooth six-speed automatic transmission. An appearance package called the Black Chrome Limited Edition was part of the 2009 Hummer H2 line featuring unique trim pieces such as 21-inch wheels. Only 1,300 examples of the H2 Black Chrome Limited Edition were made available. While the Hummer H2 proved very popular in the early years of production, its characteristic large stature and big V-8 engine was ultimately the vehicles undoing when gas prices spiked in the late 2000s. Production of the H2 ceased after the 2009 model year.