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New for 2009-Chrysler

New for 2009-Chrysler

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2008
Critical Knowledge:
  • Chrysler 300 gets more power for Hemi V-8 engine, front-axle disconnect for AWD model, and revised styling and suspension for SRT8 model
  • Aspen adds a hybrid model
  • Crossfire, Pacifica, and PT Cruiser convertible are discontinued
  • PT Cruiser adds a limited-edition version called Dream Cruiser Series 5
  • Sebring drops all-wheel-drive (AWD) model and gets improved acoustics package
  • Town & Country adds available blind-spot-monitoring system and Rear Cross Path warning system
2009 Chrysler 300:Standard line models of the Chrysler 300 received a facelift for 2008 and the high-performance SRT8 model gets a revised front grille and new suspension settings for 2009. The 300C gets the next generation of the reborn 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. Horsepower increases from 340 to 359, though torque remains the same at 390 lb.-ft. Chrysler also says fuel economy increases 5 percent.

The Chrysler 300's available AWD system gets an Active Transfer Case with Front-Axle Disconnect for 2009. This system disconnects the front wheels from the driveline when they are not needed, reducing drag and therefore increasing fuel economy, Chrysler says. For a smoother ride, the Chrysler 300 Limited and 300C get a comfort-tuned suspension, while the 300C Heritage continues with a performance suspension, shocks and steering.

Other 2009 changes center around equipment shuffling and feature enhancements. Chrysler's MyGIG hard-drive radio grows from 20 to 30 gigabytes and changes its name to UConnect Tunes or UConnect GPS when paired with a navigation system. Normal cruise control is added to the available adaptive cruise control system, and LED lights are added to the map pockets and front cupholders. The trunk now has a cargo net, grocery hooks, a scuff plate, and a lid liner. Finally, the LX model gets additional chrome trim, while front side and side curtain air bags go from standard to optional on most models.

Get more information on the 2009 Chrysler 300

Other Chrysler Models:2009 Chrysler Aspen:The 2009 Chrysler Aspen gains a Hybrid model, more power for its Hemi V-8 engine, available Sirius Backseat TV, and a larger hard-drive audio/navigation system for 2009. The 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine gets 30 more horsepower, up to 365, and 20 more lb.-ft. of torque for a total of 390. The optional rear DVD entertainment system now comes with Sirius Backseat TV including three child-friendly channels: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Chrysler's hard-drive radio, formerly called MyGIG, is now known as UConnect Tunes and UConnect GPS when teamed with a navigation system. The hard drive is expanded from 20 to 30 gigabytes.

The biggest news, though, is the Aspen Hybrid model. Chrysler says the new 2-mode hybrid system boosts city fuel economy by 40 percent and overall fuel economy by more than 25 percent. The Aspen Hybrid is only offered with AWD and in Limited trim. In addition to the Aspen Limited model's standard equipment, the hybrid adds leather upholstery, a rear back-up camera, and Chrysler's hard-drive-based UConnect GPS hard-drive radio with navigation system. It also has a power gauge that shows when the electric motors are aiding the Hemi V-8 engine or being charged. The power gauge has a green "economy" zone that drivers can use to aim for optimal fuel economy.

Developed with BMW, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz, the Aspen's 2-mode hybrid system is shared with the new round of big hybrid SUVs and pickups from General Motors. In the Aspen, it features the Hemi 5.7-liter V-8 engine teamed with a new electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT). The ECVT has two electric motors and four fixed gears. One of the motors aids power at low speeds and the other at highway speeds. The Hemi V-8 engine also has Chrysler's Multi-Displacement System, which shuts down four cylinders under light load conditions to conserve fuel. Total output is 385 hp at 5300 rpm and 380 lb.-ft. of torque at 4200 rpm. Regenerative braking charges the batteries. Chrysler says the Aspen hybrid can run on electric power alone up to 25 mph. The 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid is rated to tow up to 6000 pounds compared to the 8700 pounds for a standard AWD model. Sales start in mid-2008.

Get more information on the 2009 Chrysler Aspen

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser:
The 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser was available in 4-door wagon and 2-door convertible body styles. For 2009, the slow-selling convertible body style has been discontinued. The remaining wagon gains air conditioning as standard, but loses its available firmer Touring suspension. New for 2009 is the Dream Cruiser Series 5 special edition. Available with either of the PT Cruiser's two available engines, the Dream Cruiser's exterior changes include Midnight White Pearl Coat paint with contrasting Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl paint for the roof and hoop spoiler; cross-hatched upper and lower solid billet aluminum grilles; 17-inch SRT Design wheels; chromed body-side trim moldings; and new "PT" door badges. On the inside the Dream Cruiser has a Pastel Slate Gray interior with contrasting Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl paint; Embossed Momentum seat fabric with silver accents; premium floor mats; and door sill plates. The Dream Cruiser is limited to a run of 1750 cars.

Get more information on the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser

2009 Chrysler Sebring:
The Chrysler Sebring was redesigned for 2007, with a new convertible model coming on line for 2008. Given these recent major changes, the Sebring receives only minor changes for 2009. The AWD model offered last year is no longer available, and Chrysler says it has improved the acoustic package to reduce cabin noise. The hard-drive radio, formerly known as MyGIG, gains 10 gigabytes to 30 and changes its name to UConnect Tunes or UConnect GPS when paired with a navigation system. Interior upgrades include standard floor mats and cabin air filter and available LED lighting. The convertible Limited model gets standard 18-inch wheels, while traction control and electronic stability control are now standard on the Touring model.

Get more information on the 2009 Chrysler Sebring

2009 Chrysler Town & Country:
Redesigned for 2008, the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country gains notable safety features. The new blind-spot-monitoring system uses radar sensors to detect if a vehicle is in the van's blind spots and warns the driver with lights in the mirrors or a driver-selectable audible chime. The Rear Cross Path system works when the van is in reverse, and is useful when backing out of a parking spot. It detects if vehicles are crossing behind the van and alerts the driver with illuminated icons in the side mirrors and with an audible chime. New SmartBeam headlights adjust to ambient light and oncoming traffic to deliver maximum lighting.

Chrysler's popular "Stow 'n Go" seating system is now standard on the base LX model. The optional DVD entertainment screens grow from 8 to 9 inches and gain a swiveling third-row screen. Chrysler's UConnect Phone wireless cell phone link adds an iPod interface. Finally, Chrysler says the brakes have been reworked to be quieter and more effective.

Get more information on the 2009 Chrysler Town and Country

Other Chrysler Models:

Get more Chrysler Information
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