• Oct 17, 2008
Click for a high res gallery of the Aspen and Durango hybrids

Those who have had a hard look at their needs and still come to the conclusion that a full-size SUV would fit the bill officially have a new option. The Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango hybrids are now on sale and the EPA has determined that the pair have the best fuel economy of any such vehicles on the U.S. market. The Chrysler duo are officially rated at 20 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the open road. Chrysler has opted to offer the Two-Mode hybrid trucks only with all-wheel-drive while GM's similarly powered Tahoe/Yukon can be had in rear- or all-wheel-drive. Comparing like configurations, both brands get an equal 20 mpg in stop and go traffic. Once you get up to cruising speed, the Chryslers pull out ahead, topping the GM SUVs by 2 mpg. At about $45K, the Chrysler/Dodges provide what may be an even more important advantage over the competition. An AWD Tahoe will run you $53,000. You don't really give up anything in terms of equipment or features for that price difference, so it's worth checking out. We sampled it ourselves this summer and came away with a fairly positive impression.

[Source: Chrysler]


Most Powerful Hybrid SUVs Now Offer Best-in-Class Fuel Economy


* Official EPA Fuel Economy Ratings Announced for 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango Hybrids: Best-in-Class 20 city/22 highway
* Chrysler and Dodge hybrid SUVs boast fuel economy improvement of more than 53 percent in city, 40 percent overall; offer better city fuel economy than a V-6 Honda Accord
* Most powerful hybrid SUVs with 400 horsepower
* Full-size SUVs deliver rare blend of fuel economy, utility, capability and performance
* Customers can expect a tax credit of up to $2,200


Auburn Hills, Mich., Oct 16, 2008 - Yeah, it's gotta HEMI® Hybrid. And best-in-class fuel economy, too.

Official EPA fuel economy numbers for the 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid are 20 city and 22 highway, achieving best-in-class fuel economy ratings for a full-size 4x4 SUV.

Chrysler LLC's first production hybrids are coupled with the renowned 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with fuel-saving Multi-Displacement System (MDS) technology. Total output, when combined with the advanced two-mode hybrid system, is 400 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque – the most powerful hybrid SUVs.

The Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid are priced nearly $8,000 below the competition. Additionally, customers can expect a tax credit of up to $2,200.

"Our new 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango hybrids deliver best-in-class fuel economy of up to 22 miles per gallon-an improvement of more than 53 percent in the city and 40 percent overall," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC. "This unique combination of value, fuel economy, performance and capability gives SUV owners a no-compromise hybrid alternative."

Capable of towing 6,000 lbs., 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango hybrid vehicles deliver seamless, dependable power and performance on demand, in an efficient package. With an electrically variable transmission-featuring the best characteristics of an automatic transmission and hybrid drive-and two different hybrid modes of operation, the drive system dramatically improves fuel economy around town and at highway speeds.

The 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango hybrids are built at the Newark Assembly Plant in Delaware. The new 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango Hybrids arrive in showrooms this year.

Chrysler Brand
Chrysler is the seventh largest brand in the U.S. automotive market. The brand's succession of innovative products continues to solidify Chrysler's standing as the leader in design, agile performance and innovative technology built around a customer's needs, all at an extraordinary value.

The award-winning all-new 2008 Chrysler Town & Country has 35 new or improved features that include the innovative Swivel 'N Go™ seating system.

Arriving later this year, the new 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid will give a unique option to customers who need the cargo and towing capability of a sport-utility vehicle, but want a more efficient alternative. Chrysler Aspen Hybrid is better than 53 percent more fuel efficient in the city and 40 percent more fuel efficient overall. Also, for customers seeking additional fuel efficiency, the Chrysler Sebring sedan and Chrysler Sebring Convertible both achieve 30 miles per gallon (mpg) highway fuel economy and have been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) SmartWay program, which recognizes the cleanest, most efficient vehicles sold in the U.S.

Dodge Brand
With a U.S. market share of 6.4 percent, Dodge is Chrysler LLC's best-selling brand and the sixth largest nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. In 2007, Dodge sold more than 1.3 million vehicles in the global market, including the best-selling minivan in 2007 total sales, Dodge Grand Caravan.

The Dodge brand's first crossover vehicle-the all-new 2009 Dodge Journey-arrived in dealer showrooms in the first quarter of 2008, and is now available outside North America in petrol and diesel powertrains in both left- and right-hand drive. Arriving in dealerships this year is the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram with game-changing exterior and interior design, innovations, best-in-class features and craftsmanship; the all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger, a modern interpretation of the American muscle car; and the new 2009 Dodge Durango Hybrid, a hybrid-electric vehicle that combines fuel efficient advanced hybrid technology with full-size SUV performance and capability. Last fall, America's best-selling minivan, the all-new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan, arrived in dealerships with 35 new or improved features including the newest innovation, the Swivel 'n Go™ seating system. In 2007, Dodge Avenger and Nitro entered key volume segments outside North America, joining the Dodge Caliber, the highest sales volume vehicle for the company outside of North America.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I gotta be honest, its not good looking, but it doesn't suck. They are pretty roomy inside. I guess I would grab it over the Tahoe hybrid if I needed a big vehicle.

      Also shows how GM is doing it wrong, they can put out the Tahoe hybrid for less.

      Or...scrap the Tahoe, only offer the Suburban, and then also hybridize the Traverse.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Grabbing the hood from the Sebring was *not* a good idea.... :(
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am just so grateful that I don't need one of those. Cause for the "best of" it sure is ugly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My 1989 Cherokee with 6cyl, auto and 250,000 miles on the clock gets 22mpg on the hwy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Brian:

        1. EPA ratings for your vehicle (directly comparable to the Aspen's ratings, unlike the estimate you provide) are: 14/18MPG for 4WD auto I6, 14/20MPG for 2WD auto I6. So the Aspen gets about 42% better fuel economy in the city, and from 10-22% better fuel economy on the highway.

        2. The Aspen has 3 rows of seats, which seat a total of 8 people. Your Cherokee has 2 rows, which seat 5 (4 comfortably).

        3. The Aspen has 385hp vs. your Cherokee's 177hp.

        4. My Kia SUV gets better gas mileage than an Aspen Hybrid, too. So what do either of our comparisons have to do with anything?
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's still getting 22 MPG at a 1/4 million miles because you have the AMC I-6 in it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's more important to get the least fuel-efficient vehicles better mpg numbers than it is to improve the mpgs on, say, compact cars. Getting a full size SUV from 15 to 20mpg means it's using 200 fewer gallons of fuel a year (12,000 miles a year). If you took a compact car from 35 to 40 mpg, you're only saving 43 gallons of fuel a year.

      It's partially because we measure fuel economy instead of fuel consumption, but you get the biggest gains by going after the largest vehicles.

      Therefore, Chrysler gets a thumbs up.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've never liked Chrysler SUVs, this is no exception. They are always so ugly. :(
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chrysler cars actually got their charm if you think about it for a little moment. I really don't think Chrysler has the worst looking vehicles in the market (though I agree with the comment saying the SUVs are horrid), because that title belongs to Alfa Romeo. Down-triangle grills = horrid.

        Lately though, I've never really been an SUV fan like before and to be honest, the only Chrysler vehicle I like is the 300C, because it has two things I like: intimidation and luxury.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's pretty good MPG's.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wah? How much does it cost, for how many MPG's?

      Please. the quality doesn't justify any of it. It's a dream land for people who want to spend money that don't have an understanding of quality. Gee, LOOK, it's got a Hemi.

      (Give me an old 60's Belvidere (sp) with a Hemi - oh, wait, I can buy one on the Hot Rod market for the same amount of money.)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Brian:

      1. EPA ratings for your vehicle (directly comparable to the Aspen's ratings, unlike the estimate you provide) are: 14/18MPG for 4WD auto I6, 14/20MPG for 2WD auto I6. So the Aspen gets about 42% better fuel economy in the city, and from 10-22% better fuel economy on the highway.

      2. The Aspen has 3 rows of seats, which seat a total of 8 people. Your Cherokee has 2 rows, which seat 5 (4 comfortably).

      3. The Aspen has 385hp vs. your Cherokee's 177hp.

      4. My Kia SUV gets better gas mileage than an Aspen Hybrid, too. So what do either of our comparisons have to do with anything?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Too bad the engine is in SUV that is dated compared to the competition.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chris, might want to keep your zipper shut there.....
        • 6 Years Ago
        Xcountryflyer- Dated engine? That's the new 5.7l Eagle engine, not the previous-gen HEMI you must be thinking of. This one makes almost 400hp/400ftlb (in some variations) and now features variable cam timing, and improved MDS.

        (Though MDS will not be offered on many MY09 Chysler products due to some technical problems late in development. Look for it late in MY010.)
      • 6 Years Ago
      WTH is wrong with some of you saying 20-22mpg is a bad thing?!

      Is this a good number, yes look at the size of those things.

      Great to see some companies realizing that not all families can do with small hybrids, (please dont mention the Highlander, its Small)

      I love my Armada, only with Nissan would offer a Hybrid version. unfortunatly i'll have to deal with it being a Flex Fuel (E85) and if you think about it wont make that big of a difference when you think about the numbers.

      Why won't I get one of these or a GM? its all about styling and functionality. We test drove GM and Chrysler SUV's (non-hybrids) when car shopping and the styling didnt really appeal to us and the Armada made more sense with all the standard equipment. The Armada just works for my family for our Trips and the fact that we need it to tow the boat among other things.

      I guess the Caliber will be my comuter car a bit more until Nissan does something like this
      • 6 Years Ago
      if only they were spending more of their resources increasing the MPG of cars they will actually sell in any reasonable numbers, they might not be for sale now....
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