Although it sounds like a contradiction in logic, the Aspen HEMI Hybrid offers improved city fuel economy with the towing and passing power of a 5.7-liter engine. It also provides a 40-percent improvement in city fuel economy over the non-hybrid V8.
Chrysler's research revealed that, at trade-in time, 25 percent of its customers were swapping their cars for SUVs. The problem was, the brand had none to offer, hence brand-loyal buyers were forced to look elsewhere. That all changes with the rollout of the new Aspen.
On the surface of it, launching a large SUV into the current market might seem a little like showing up 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, up to now, had no player in this market. The Durango-based Aspen is an elegant addition to the large SUV landscape, even if that landscape is eroding.