2009 Chrysler Aspen Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
The Chrysler Aspen is a capable if uninspiring performer. It provides improved handling from its corporate cousin, the Dodge Durango, but many reviewers felt that, compared to others in its class, the Aspen lacks controlled and responsive handling.
- "Although the 2009 Chrysler Aspen's handling and ride characteristics certainly passed muster a few years ago, newer and more refined competitors have put the Aspen in a less forgiving light." -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
The 2009 Chrysler Aspen has a standard 4.7-liter V8 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission, as well as a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine option. If buyers can swing the extra money, most reviewers say there's really no incentive not to buy the HEMI.
With this enhanced engine, the Chrysler Aspen can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.2 to 8.8 seconds. The Environmental Protection Agency finds the smaller 4.7-liter engine achieves 14 miles per gallon in the city and 19 mpg on the highway when using regular octane fuel and two-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive model, featuring the bigger 5.7-liter V8, should achieve 13 mpg in the city and 18 on highways.
- "The standard V8 is reasonably powerful, but with the Hemi V8, the Aspen is one of the quickest SUVs available for the money." -- Edmunds
- "The 4.7-liter V8 is strong off the line, but lacks passing/merging punch." -- Consumer Guide
- "The beefy V8 can pull as strongly as needed nine times out of ten, but when cruising under light loads it can shut down four of the engines eight cylinders to reduce fuel consumption and therefore harmful emissions by up to 20 percent." -- Automobile.com
- "The optional 5.7-liter V8 and five-speed automatic transmission combination is smooth and powerful." -- Kelley Blue Book
Braking and Handling
Reviews on the Aspen's handling are mixed.
- "Its bump absorption is borderline sloppy, particularly when the front wheels traverse pavement cracks. Lean is apparent in even moderate cornering. Its electric power steering is overboosted and lacks road feel." -- Consumer Guide
- "Body roll is moderate for a 5000-pound SUV, and once you find a groove, you can get around corners more quickly than you might expect. Ride quality is as plush as ever." -- Edmunds
- "Too big to be agile, the Aspen nonetheless handles with sure stability." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Ride and handling attributes are more mediocre than marvelous." -- New Car Test Drive
- "Floaty and imprecise, even for a 5,300-pound SUV." --The Orlando Sentinel
- "A fat, friendly drunk at a wedding: a little sloppy, but with good intentions all the way around." -- Autoweb
- "The Aspen's four-wheel-disc brakes have standard ABS. They felt mushy, but did their job when called upon. Hard stops are accompanied by some chassis dive, and afterward it can take the engine a moment or two to start crawling forward again." -- Cars.com