By KBB.com Editors
On the surface, creating a new large SUV in the current market might seem a little like arriving at a party just as it's breaking up. Scratch that surface, though, and a rationale emerges. The segment for large sport utility vehicles, while shrinking, is still substantial, and Chrysler has had no player in this market. Based on the successful Dodge Durango platform, the 2008 Chrysler Aspen is an elegant addition to the large SUV landscape, one that gives buyers a way to remain in the Chrysler family when their own families outgrow the Town & Country minivan.You'll Like This Car If...
If your lifestyle regularly requires a vehicle with room for six or seven people, or lots of cargo, or you tow a trailer, or your travels or your climate make four-wheel drive more a necessity than a nicety, you now have another quality choice for your shopping list.You May Not Like This Car If...
Perhaps higher fuel prices took you out of the large SUV market, or perhaps you never really needed one in the first place. If so, you may find that a mid-size SUV, or a station wagon-like crossover, makes more sense and will use less gas, too.What's Significant About This Car?
The 4.7-liter E-85-compatible V8 engine bumps up the horsepower and refinement considerably. Chrysler's MyGIG multimedia audio system now includes a rear back-up camera.Driving It Driving Impressions
On the road, the Aspen has a well-cushioned ride fit for the longest road trip. Too big to be agile, the Aspen nonetheless handles with sure stability, and that includes during towing. Rearward visibility to the sides is hindered by wide C- and D-pillars. Four-wheel-drive models with the 4.7-liter V8 get a single-speed transfer case, while 5.7-liter powered four-wheel-drive models pack a two-speed unit, with all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive high and low modes. Few Aspens are likely to be called upon to venture off-road, but for such situations there is an optional skid plate package that provides protection for the transfer case and fuel tank (standard on J Package four-wheel-drive models).Favorite Features
The optional 5.7-liter V8 and five-speed automatic transmission combination is smooth and powerful. The HEMI engine is responsive on the road and strong enough to tow a maximum of 8,900 pounds.
Aspen doesn't have a bad seat in the house. If your passengers complain, it will be about your driving, not their accommodations.