Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
79° F Dallas, TX

2009 Chrysler Aspen Limited Hybrid


ENGINE: 5.7-L V-8 Hemi hybrid
MPG: 20, combined
photography courtesy of Chrysler

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: When I first turned the ignition, I heard nothing. A green light in the instrument gauges turned on. And that was it. It was (at first) like a multi-ton golf car. Then, when I hit the gas to pick up steam, the familiar (fossil) experience returned.

BOTTOM LINE: I averaged about 20 miles per gallon with the Aspen. While that’s better than the 13 to 15 mpg I hear other full-size SUVs get, it’s still not all that I hoped for—or what many consumers would pay for. The hybrid Aspen is much like its conventional, less-expensive gas cousin: a mushy riding, albeit comfy, dinosaur.

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY: If you haul a lot of people or stuff and still want to be—or at least appear to be—green, I say go for it. It’ll just take a while to recoup all the extra cash spent on the hybrid system via fuel savings.