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The ultimate SUV, a Hummer

You've no doubt seen them on the roads all over town. But you may not understand why.

Folks who sell "Hummers", say the tank-like vehicles made popular during Operation Desert Storm, have spawned a civilian buying frenzy. News on Six anchor Tami Marler explains why "Hummers" aren't for the shy and introverted.

Put Marine Corporal Kurt Seidel behind the wheel of a Humvee and he's ready to tear up some ground. "You hear all the rumors, uh, Humvees can do amazing feats and they can." It's known for its ability to drive on just about any terrain. This new military model is decked out with all the amenities, even heat. "It's very comfortable now compared to the old A-1 models. We have a new style of seat; it's a bucket seat. In my opinion it's a very reliable combat vehicle." If you're going into battle or you're driving in winter weather, you want to be driving a Humvee. They may not look like the sleekest, sexiest things on the road, but the civilian Hummer sure is becoming popular.

Ron Lasky says Southpointe Hummer has been selling the new H2 models since July, and already he's sold more than 70, to people willing to pay a starting price of $50,000. “It's leather, heated seats, memory package, CD, Bose stereo. The Hummer name and the engineering that's gone into it, it's a safe and comfortable, yet luxurious vehicle."

If the name doesn't sell you, Lasky says the drive will. That sounded like a challenge. I didn't take it off-road, but we could have, without having to shift gears or push buttons. "General Motors recognizes that 95% of them will never encounter anything more than a gravel parking lot." If they do, Lasky says the General Motors H2 design may not be the same as the military model, but it has the power to tackle tough terrain in style.

The average income for H2 owners is $215,000. The average price tag is $60,000. Because it weighs more than 6,000, it classifies as "heavy equipment". So some owners are getting tax deductions of nearly $40,000.

The H2 gets between 10 and 14 miles to the gallon.
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