The 2009 Aspen is Chrysler's first entry into the SUV marketplace. It shares body-on-frame construction with its stable mate, the Dodge Durango. A carryover design from 2008, the 2009 Aspen maintains the family resemblance to its passenger car brethren with its wide grille, distinctive Chrysler winged logo and front-to-back hood ridges as seen on the Crossfire and Sebring.
Designed to impress, everything about the Aspen says, "BIG". Full length running boards span the distance between substantially flared wheel-arches filled with the standard 18-inch or optional 20-inch chrome clad cast aluminum wheels shod with massive all-terrain, all-season tires.
The base engine for the Aspen is a 4.7-liter V8 that produces 303 horsepower and 330 pound feet of torque. Our Aspen Limited test model came with the larger 5.7-liter Hemi that puts out 376 horsepower and 401 pound feet of torque. Chrysler mitigates the thirsty nature of the big V8 with its multiple displacement system, or MDS, that shifts from 8 cylinders to 4 during highway cruising and light acceleration.
A column mounted shift lever controls the standard 5-speed automatic transmission. Power is sent to the rear wheels or available all wheel drive with no low range. If you opt for the towing package like the one that came on our test vehicle you'll also get 3.92 rear axle gearing.
Fuel economy for the Aspen ranges from 14 miles per gallon city up with 20 miles per gallon highway, aided by the MDS.
Occupants are treated to leather and wood trim with all the options expected in an upscale SUV: Multiple power accessories, high-end audio, plus navigation and communication systems. Second row passengers enjoy the ceiling mounted DVD player through individual headsets. Seating is flexible, providing various configurations for up to 8 passengers or 102 cubic feet of cargo.
Standard safety equipment on the Aspen includes 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, electronic stability program, a standard backup camera, and a full array of front and side airbags.
Initial base MSRP for the 2009 Chrysler Aspen is $34,730. A fully loaded all wheel drive Limited model will top out at around $45,000. The Aspen is backed by Chrysler's impressive unlimited powertrain warranty.
Whether it's a long-haul road trip, or a jaunt to the corner store, the Chrysler Aspen will get you there in style, with versatility and capability to boot!