2009 Chrysler Aspen

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9 CITY / 15 HWY
Overall Quality
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What Changed for 2009:
  • New Hybrid model with Hemi V-8 engine and two electric motors
  • Hybrid provides 25-percent increase in fuel economy and 385 hp
  • Next-generation Hemi V-8 engine up to 365 hp
  • UConnect GPS now has 30-gigabyte hard drive
  • Sirius Backseat TV available with rear DVD entertainment system
Chrysler added the midsize Aspen SUV for the 2007 model year. Like the Dodge Durango on which it's based, the Aspen is larger than most midsize SUVs and competes more directly with full-size SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia. Standard seating is for 8, with front bucket seats and folding bench seats in the second and third rows. Aspen adds a hybrid model for 2009, and is also offered with two V-8 engines. Rear- or all-wheel drive (RWD or AWD) are offered.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Chrysler Aspen is available in Limited and Hybrid models. The Limited is offered with RWD or AWD, while the Hybrid is only AWD. Standard features on the Limited model include front and rear air conditioning; wood and leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with audio controls; cruise control; cloth upholstery; front bucket seats; 8-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar adjustment; second-row 40/20/40-split folding seat; third-row 60/40-split folding seat; heated power mirrors; power windows and locks; remote keyless entry; 276-watt, 8-speaker Alpine AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input jack; Sirius satellite radio; UConnect Tunes radio with 30-gigabyte hard drive; electronic vehicle information center; universal garage door opener; automatic headlights; theft-deterrent system; power rear liftgate; fog lights; roof rails; and P265/60R18 on-/off-road tires on chromed alloy wheels. An option package includes leather upholstery; heated front seats; auto-dimming rearview mirror; UConnect Phone wireless cell phone link; UConnect GPS with navigation system and 30-gigabtye hard drive; automatic climate control; power-adjustable pedals; memory for the seats, mirrors, pedals, climate control and radio; remote engine starting; 368-watt audio system; and P265/50R20 tires. The Hybrid model has the equipment from the option package, plus a 4-way power-adjustable passenger seat. Other options include a sunroof; heated second-row seats; rear DVD entertainment system with available Sirius Backseat TV; and a towing package.

The 2009 Chrysler Aspen Limited comes standard with a 4.7-liter V-8 engine that produces 303 hp at 5650 rpm and 330 lb.-ft. of torque at 3950 rpm. This flex-fuel engine can run on regular gasoline, E85 ethanol, or any combination of the two. Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine is optional. It has been upgraded for 2009 to deliver 365 hp at 5600 rpm and 390 lb.-ft. of torque at 3600 rpm. The Hemi has Chrysler's Multiple Displacement System, which shuts down four cylinders when cruising to conserve fuel. A 5-speed automatic transmission comes mated to either engine. The EPA fuel-economy rating for the 4.7-liter engine is 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway with RWD and 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway with AWD. The 5.7-liter V-8 engine gets 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway with RWD and 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway with AWD.

The Aspen's 2-mode hybrid system is shared with the new round of big hybrid SUVs from General Motors. It features the Hemi 5.7-liter V-8 engine teamed with a new electrically 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. Total output is 385 hp. Regenerative braking charges the batteries. Chrysler estimates fuel economy at 18 mpg city/19 mpg highway.

The Hybrid and models equipped with the 4.7-liter V-8 engine have a single-speed transfer case that provides AWD and AWD \"high\" operating modes. A 2-speed transfer case is standard with the available 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. It features an AWD mode and AWD \"high\" and \"low\" modes. The 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid is rated to tow up to 6000 pounds compared to the 8700 pounds for a properly-equipped standard AWD model. A RWD Aspen with the Hemi V-8 engine can tow up to 8900 pounds.

Standard safety features on the 2009 Chrysler Aspen include dual-stage front air bags and head-protecting curtain side air bags that have rollover sensors and cover all three seating rows. Also standard are a tire-pressure monitor; rear park assist; rear backup camera; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist; Chrysler's Trailer Sway Control; traction control; and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. Trailer Sway Control monitors the vehicle's intended path and uses a yaw sensor to detect sway. It reduces engine torque and works with the anti-lock brake system to apply brakes to individual wheels to keep the vehicle on its intended path when towing, Chrysler says.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the Aspen 5 stars for the driver and front passenger in frontal impacts, 3 stars for rollover resistance with RWD, and 4 stars for rollover resistance with AWD. The Aspen has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Like other hybrid systems, the Aspen's gasoline engine turns off at stoplights and restarts when needed. Go easy on the throttle, and the Aspen can run on electric power alone up to 25 mph. With heavier throttle, the gasoline engine starts. On the inside, the Aspen Hybrid has a power gauge that shows when the electric motors are aiding power or being charged. The power gauge also has a green \"economy\" zone that drivers can use to aim for optimal fuel economy.

The Aspen comes with Chrysler's UConnect Tunes as standard equipment. UConnect Tunes includes a 6.5-inch touch screen and a 30-gigabyte hard drive to hold music and picture files. UConnect GPS is standard on the Hybrid model. To UConnect Tunes, it adds Chrysler's UConnect Phone wireless cell phone link and a navigation system with voice activation and real-time traffic. The hard drive also holds navigation map information, and voice commands can be used to input navigation destination information when the vehicle is in motion. The optional rear DVD entertainment system is available with Sirius Backseat TV, which has three children's channels: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network. DVDs and TV can be played on the front navigation screen when the vehicle is in Park.

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