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2008 Chrysler Aspen

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2008 Chrysler Aspen Review

A competent full-size SUV that offers the practical hauling and towing capabilities of a truck with the passenger comfort and versatility of an SUV.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Chrysler Aspen is the brand's first-ever sport utility vehicle (SUV). It’s a big, traditional SUV capable of towing substantial loads, but it offers more luxury amenities than others in its class. Designed to appeal to consumers interested in premium features and an upscale appearance, the Aspen can seat up to eight, comes standard with V-8 power, and has a well-rounded collection of luxury and convenience features.

The Range

Body Styles: full-size SUV
Engines: 4.7-liter V-8, 5.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Chrysler Aspen Limited

What's New

The 2008 Chrysler Aspen carries over from the previous year with just a few updates. A new 4.7-liter V-8 engine is rated at 303 horsepower, and inside, there is a new audio and navigation system with a rearview camera.

Exterior

A large SUV, the 2008 Chrysler Aspen has a total length of 202 inches with a 119-inch wheelbase. The styling features Chrysler’s traditional grille, with bold crossbars and classic Chrysler medallion, and slightly curved bodylines. Embossed strakes in the hood run back to the windshield, inspired by the jewel-like cap on the famous Chrysler Building in Manhattan. The swept-back windshield looks sleek and aerodynamic. The medallion-and-wing look of the grille is repeated above the license plate recess, and gently bowed sides and a rounded top give the back end a smaller, less massive look than the rest of the vehicle.

The Aspen is available in a single Limited trim level with 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, and heated power-folding mirrors. For a more upscale appearance, the 28J Quick Order Package adds 20-inch chrome wheels, laminated door glass, and a power liftgate with rear parking assist.

Interior

The 2008 Aspen’s interior is strongly oriented toward passenger comfort. Standard features include wood accents, air-conditioning, a garage door opener, front and rear LED lamps, a CD sound system, and a rear power outlet. The standard seating layout offers seating for eight and includes a second-row bench seat and 60/40-split folding third-row seat. An optional layout with second-row bucket seats carries up to seven passengers.

The Aspen offers impressive cargo space. Folding the third-row seats opens up a generous 68.4 cubic feet. Everything behind the front seat can be folded and flipped to create a flush cargo floor with a capacity of 102.4 cubic feet.

A limited-edition Signature Series package adds a long list of additional equipment, such as two-tone leather seating, heated front seats, a power sunroof, an upgraded entertainment system, a backup camera, and Sirius satellite radio. Other add-ons include heated second-row seats, full leather upholstery, a power memory driver's seat, and a back-seat DVD entertainment system. Chrysler's MyGIG radio, which includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive that holds songs, pictures, and navigation system map information, is included in the Signature Series and available as a stand-alone option.

Performance & Handling

A revised 4.7-liter V-8, rated at 303 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, is standard on all 2008 Chrysler Aspen models. Customers can upgrade to an optional 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that generates 335 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come paired with a five-speed automatic transmission and the option of two-wheel or four-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the Aspen with the base 4.7-liter engine can tow up to 5950 pounds, while the 5.7-liter V-8 model can tow up to 8900.

The 2008 Aspen includes a couple of innovative fuel-conserving technologies. The 4.7-liter can run on regular gasoline or E85, a blend of 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol. The 5.7-liter Hemi uses Chrysler's Multi-Displacement System to conserve fuel by shutting off half the cylinders when the engine is running under a light load.

Safety

The 2008 Chrysler Aspen includes standard safety features such as anti-lock disc brakes, full-length side curtain airbags, and stability control with rollover sensors. Rear parking sensors are optional. The Aspen earns a perfect five stars for driver and front-passenger protection in the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s frontal-impact crash tests. The four-wheel-drive version of the Aspen gets a four-star rollover rating.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chrysler Aspen, 4.7-liter V-8, two-wheel drive: 14/19 mpg city/highway
Chrysler Aspen, 4.7-liter V-8, four-wheel drive: 13/17 mpg city/highway
Chrysler Aspen, 4.7-liter V-8, E85: 9/12 mpg city/highway
Chrysler Aspen, 5.7-liter V-8, two-wheel drive: 13/19 mpg city/highway
Chrysler Aspen, 5.7-liter V-8, four-wheel drive: 13/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful V-8 engines
  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • Impressive towing capability

You Won't Like

  • Tight second- and third-row legroom
  • Mediocre interior quality
  • Poor fuel economy with larger V-8

Sum Up

A competent full-size SUV that offers the practical hauling and towing capabilities of a truck with the passenger comfort and versatility of an SUV.

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