Apparently hoping to avoid the ignominious fate of the full-size hybrid SUVs from two-mode hybrid partner General Motors, Chrysler is getting aggressive with the pricing of its new Durango and Aspen hybrids. At launch this fall, the Chryslers will be stickered at 45,340 and $45,570 respectively, some $8,000 below the four-wheel-drive versions from GM. GM recently had to slap $4,000 cash on the hood to entice customers to check out the Tahoe Hybrid and Yukon Hybrid. Unlike GM, however, Chrysler has chosen not to offer a two-wheel-drive variant of its hybrid SUVs. At this point we still don't know how equipment levels will compare between the GM and Chrysler models, so it's hard to do a direct comparison of these high-mpg hybrid SUVs.
The last time we talked to Chrysler about the hybrids, they were not planning to implement any of the weight savings measures that GM has used to offset the weight of the two-mode hybrid system in its GMT900 SUVs. On the GM models, an aluminum hood and tailgate, lighter front seats and special wheels drop the weight by about 150 lbs. Chrysler has apparently not given the hybrids unique body work either, which surely added to GM's cost. As for mileage, the official EPA numbers are apparently not in yet, but Chrysler is anticipating 20 mpg at best, which would be equal to the four-wheel-drive GM vehicles.
Chrysler LLC Prices New Hybrids Thousands Below Competition
Pricing Announced for 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI® Hybrids
* Chrysler and Dodge SUVs boast 40 percent fuel economy improvement in city
* 25 percent overall fuel economy improvement
* Customers to save hundreds of gallons of gas per year
* Full-size SUVs deliver rare blend of fuel economy, utility, capability and performance
* 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid starts at $45,340
* 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid starts at $45,570
* Customers to receive estimated tax credit of $1,800
Auburn Hills, Mich., Jun 17, 2008 - As Chrysler LLC goes green, customers will save some "green."
Chrysler announced today that it is pricing its full-size 4x4 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) hybrid electric vehicles nearly $8,000 below the competition.
The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for the new 2009 Dodge Durango HEMI® Hybrid is $45,340, including $800 for destination. The MSRP for the new 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid is $45,570, including $800 for destination. Additionally, customers are expected to receive an estimated tax credit of $1,800.
"The new 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and Dodge Durango Hybrid deliver fuel economy up to 20 miles per gallon-a 40 percent improvement in the city and 25 percent overall-best-in-class cargo room, and are priced nearly $8,000 below the competition," said Deborah Meyer, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer – Chrysler LLC. "Offering the unique combination of value, fuel economy, performance and capability, Chrysler's hybrid vehicles deliver exactly what SUV owners are demanding in today's marketplace."
The 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid vehicles are Chrysler's first entries in the hybrid market.
Capable of towing 6,000 lbs., the 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango HEMI 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 HEMI Hybrid and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid are coupled with Chrysler's renowned 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine. Total output, when combined with the advanced two-mode hybrid system, is 385 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. In hybrid form, the HEMI continues to feature Chrysler's fuel-saving MDS technology, which allows the engine to seamlessly alternate between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. The two-mode system provides assistance from electric motors, allowing the HEMI V-8 to remain in four-cylinder mode more often than without a hybrid powertrain, improving overall fuel economy.
The result: In typical use, Chrysler expects customers will reduce fuel consumption by several hundred gallons of gas per year.
Built at the Newark Assembly Plant in Delaware, the new 2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid and Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid vehicles arrive in showrooms this August.
2009 Chrysler Aspen HEMI Hybrid
Chrysler Aspen is a premium SUV that offers elegant styling, premium amenities and innovative engineering with the room and capability of a sport-utility vehicle. Bigger than its full-size SUV competitors, yet smaller than large SUV competitors, Chrysler Aspen offers unique benefits as a luxury SUV in a class all its own.
Chrysler Aspen exudes styling elegance with clean, angular front and rear fenders, rear doors and rear-quarter panels creating a seamless profile. Individual chromed "Chrysler" lettering adorns the bodyside on each of the front doors. Premium touches also include chromed accents on body-side moldings, door handles and side mirrors, as well as 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels. Chrysler Aspen's broad, chromed grille is crowned by a sculpted hood, a signature of Chrysler vehicles.
Standard interior appointments include wood-accented door panels and instrument-panel center stack, air conditioning, overhead console with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and Electronic Vehicle Information Center, front and rear LED lamps that may be individually aimed, uconnect gps, floor console with rear power accessory outlet, and a 60/40 third-row bench seat.
Standard equipment also includes premium leather-trimmed bucket seats, eight-way power driver's seat with memory, four-way power passenger seat, heated front-row seats, and a second-row bench seat, providing seating for eight.
Chrysler Aspen rides on a torsionally stiff, hydroformed frame with an independent torsion-bar front suspension setup featuring rack-and-pinion steering that helps provide a smooth and quiet ride and precise handling. An isolated torsion bar crossmember helps minimize road noise. Suspension and steering are tuned to deliver optimum comfort and driveability.
In the rear is a unique suspension setup with coil springs and a solid rear axle that delivers durability and strength. A Watt's linkage system is fitted to the rear axle, centering the axle and reducing rear-end skate over rough surfaces.
Standard safety features include Chrysler's exclusive Trailer Sway Control, Electronic Stability Program, Anti-lock Brake System and next-generation front air bags, ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System, ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera System, Tire Pressure Monitoring System and three-row side-curtain air bags with roll sensing.
2009 Dodge Durango HEMI Hybrid
Dodge Durango offers style, comfort, convenience and superior versatility in a real SUV, with three rows of seating and room for eight.
The Dodge Durango's styling is enhanced with a high beltline emphasizing its bold appearance, while short front and rear overhangs contribute to the vehicle's expression of concentrated power. Crisp angles and chiseled surfaces highlight a strong and confident front-end design. Dodge Durango's signature crosshair grille stands out prominently, flanked by rectangular headlamps with dual-halogen bulbs wrapped around the corners of the fenders. The rear design of the Dodge Durango is marked by "afterburner" taillamps, and a chromed appliqué accentuating the rear liftgate.
Standard interior appointments include premium two-tone door panels and satin silver finish instrument-panel center stack, air conditioning, overhead console with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and Electronic Vehicle Information Center, front and rear LED lamps that may be individually aimed, uconnect gps, and a floor console with rear power accessory outlet.
Standard equipment also includes premium leather-trimmed bucket seats, eight-way power driver's seat with memory, four-way power passenger seat, heated front-row seats, a second-row bench seat and a 60/40 third-row bench seat, providing seating for eight.
Dodge Durango rides on a torsionally stiff, fully hydroformed frame with an independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, providing a turning radius of 37.5 ft.-shorter than a Honda Pilot. Suspension and steering are finely tuned to deliver superior ride and precise steering. Dodge Durango's rear suspension features coil springs and a solid rear axle secured with a Watt's linkage system, resulting in refined ride and handling characteristics.
Advanced safety and security features include standard Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Program with Electronic Roll Mitigation and Trailer Sway Control, side-curtain air bags for all three rows, ParkSense® Rear Park Assist System, Tire Pressure Monitoring system, Sentry Key® engine immobilizer, and ParkView™ Rear Back-up Camera System.