2009 Chrysler Aspen Limited HEV 4X4 SUV. (758)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2009 Chrysler Aspen Limited HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) 4X4 SUV. And an interesting one it is. It is about time we’ve begun to move more to hybrid for the SUVs we love so much. Of course it helps to justify ownership of this platform since the need still exists for large cargo and 6-7 passenger capability. The luxury is also nice, but necessity drives us more in satisfying the need to transport soccer or little league kids and all the equipment. The class also is great for the summer outings to the beach or winter outings to the slopes as well as those longer family vacations. If the need were only once a year a rental RV would do just fine, but our life styles are all year long.

The family is still alive and well and sometimes “want” isn’t all that drives us to have a large car. What’s really cool with this Hybrid is you CAN have both size and reasonable fuel economy. I’ve observed that families on a tight budget and large families generally buy smaller fuel efficient second cars.

Opinion:

Well, our government, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to give $ Billions to the Italian auto maker Fiat to help Chrysler out of the pits. Lee Iacocca pulled them out last time with similar financial loans and those were repaid plus interest. Hopefully present loans will also be paid back too. The odds are lousy on that bet.

Friend and colleague Merkel is ecstatic at the possibilities of finally having an American car maker selling small European style cars. He is even toying with the idea of going back to design engineering for his old employer. Go for it Merkel – they need all the help they can get. Meanwhile I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best – as I prepare for the worst.

Handling & Performance:

Merkel says of the Aspen, “this is a real car” and I must admit I agree with him on this one.

In fact this is a HEMI powered 5.7 liter V8 that is assisted by an electric motor to give it the better fuel performance. The first thing I sensed when I turned the ignition was the “Silence”. Ahhh this is a good thing I thought. As I pressed on the accelerator pedal – it was still quiet even when I needed more power and wa-la that big V8 kicked in and off we went with gusto.

Styling:

Typical great looking products coming from Chrysler in the past few decades and it is well appointed as well as being easy on the eyes. It is elegant and very comfortable. Nice job.

Fit and Finish:

Very good. No complaints here.

Cost:

When all was said and done the total price of this test vehicle is $45,270.

Conveniences and comfort:

There is something about real wood steering wheels that simply feels rich and special. The first SUV I tested that had such elegant appointments was the Cadillac Escalade.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you have a need for a large SUV this is a very good option that is seriously competitive at compelling pricing.

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler Aspen Hybrid $35-37,000, Cadillac Escalade Hybrid $73-87,000, GMC Yukon Hybrid $51-54,000, Nissan Armada $37-48,000, Infiniti QX56 $55-58,000, Toyota Highlander Hybrid $35-41,000, Mazda Tribute Hybrid $29-33,000, Dodge Durango Hybrid $45,040, Ford Expedition $35-51,000, Jeep Commander $29-46,000, Mercedes-Benz GL – Class $58-81,000, Lincoln Navigator $53-59,000, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid $50-53,000, Toyota Land Cruiser $64,755.

Good News:

Good fuel economy, spacious, priced well.

Bad News:

Hybrid and company uncertainties.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter HEMI V8 engine with electric motor hybrid power, auto trans with AWD transfer case, electronic stability program, regenerative 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, front and side curtain airbags, theft deterrent system, power steering, 27 gallon fuel tank, remote keyless entry, cruise control, power adjustable pedals, rear back up camera, power lift gate, air conditioning with rear air, power heated front seats, rear 20/40/20 split reclining seating, 3 rd row 60/40 split seating for 3, Sirius satellite radio with traffic feature (one year included), power windows and locks, steering wheel audio mounted controls, halogen lights and fog lights.

Gas Stats:

$2.34/ Gal avg. May 10, ‘09
www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

20 City and 22 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $45,270.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2009 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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