2008 Chrysler Aspen SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Chrysler Aspen SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chrysler Aspen Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.7 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 302 hp @ 5650 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Chrysler Aspen

  • The 2008 Chrysler Aspen is an enjoyable SUV, but it's not much of an upgrade over its workaday twin, the Durango. For a true luxury SUV, look elsewhere.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong V8 engines, smooth and quiet ride, impressive towing capability.

  • Cons

    Vague brake pedal feel, mediocre interior materials, tight second-row legroom, poor fuel economy with larger V8.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Chrysler Aspen full-size luxury SUV evolves with minor updates. Under the hood is a new 4.7-liter V8. This popular engine is now rated at 303 horsepower -- putting it on par with competitors' larger V8s. Inside, there's a new audio/navigation system with a rearview camera. And as with other Chrysler vehicles, the Aspen is now covered by a limited lifetime powertrain warranty. Later in the model year, a gasoline/electric hybrid model is expected to debut.

Full 2008 Chrysler Aspen Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Chrysler Aspen full-size luxury SUV evolves with minor updates. Under the hood is a new 4.7-liter V8. This popular engine is now rated at 303 horsepower -- putting it on par with competitors' larger V8s. Inside, there's a new audio/navigation system with a rearview camera. And as with other Chrysler vehicles, the Aspen is now covered by a limited lifetime powertrain warranty. Later in the model year, a gasoline/electric hybrid model is expected to debut.

Introduction

The Chrysler Aspen debuted last year as the brand's first-ever SUV. Chrysler designed it to appeal to consumers interested in premium features and an upscale appearance. In most respects, the Aspen delivers. It can seat up to eight in three rows of seating, comes standard with V8 power and has a solid collection of luxury- and convenience-themed features.

Mechanically, the Aspen is based on the Dodge Durango. Differentiation comes about via slightly different sheet metal, a wood-trimmed interior and a higher level of standard equipment. Chrysler says it also retuned the suspension and made a variety of design changes to improve ride quality and minimize noise and vibration. This year, the Aspen receives a new standard 4.7-liter V8 engine with more power and claimed greater efficiency. There's also a new hard-drive based MyGIG navigation system that can also be used to store and play digital music files.

Though the 2008 Chrysler Aspen represents a well-rounded package for large sport-utility buyers, we haven't found it to be much different from the old Durango, going on its fifth model year since the last redesign. As such, the Aspen is at a disadvantage against other premium or luxury SUVs. The reworked Toyota Sequoia and GMC Yukon, for example, have roomier, better-furnished cabins, while slightly smaller SUVs like the Mercury Mountaineer deliver better handling characteristics. And if you're just interested in a nicely equipped but lighter-duty people mover with carlike dynamics, a full-size crossover like the GMC Acadia would be another excellent alternative.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A large SUV, the 2008 Chrysler Aspen seats seven or eight and is offered in a single Limited trim level with either two- or four-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, heated power-folding mirrors, three rows of seating (seven-passenger capacity), an eight-way power driver seat, separate front and rear air-conditioning, full power accessories and a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack.

Customers who want a more upscale experience can opt for the 28J Quick Order Package that adds 20-inch chrome wheels, automatic climate control, leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats, driver seat memory, laminated door glass and a power liftgate with rear parking assist. A hard-drive-based premium audio system and an electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case (4WD models only) are also part of this package. Many of these items are available separately; other available features include a three-passenger third-row bench seat (eight-passenger capacity), second-row captain's chairs, rear seat heaters, a sunroof, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, the hard-drive audio system with a navigation system and a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, remote starting and skid plates.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on all Chrysler Aspens is a revised-for-2008 4.7-liter V8. It's rated at 303 hp and 330 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 providing 335 horses and 370 lb-ft of torque is optional. Backing both engines is a five-speed automatic transmission delivering power via 2WD or 4WD. Properly equipped, an Aspen with the 4.7-liter V8 can tow up to 5,950 pounds, while Hemi-powered models can lug up to 8,900 pounds -- impressive for a vehicle of this size. EPA testing for 2008 stands at 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway for a 4WD 5.7-liter V8-equipped model.

Safety

The 2008 Chrysler Aspen includes popular safety features like antilock disc brakes, three-row head curtain side airbags and stability control with rollover sensors and trailer sway control. Power-adjustable pedals and ParkSense rear parking sensors are optional. In National Highway Transportation Safety Administration frontal-impact crash tests, the Aspen earned a full five stars for driver and front-passenger protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

As a close relative of the Durango, the Aspen's cabin shares it strengths and weaknesses. Ergonomics and storage capacity are first-rate, as are the seating accommodations up front. Those riding in back aren't quite as fortunate, however, as the second row offers a tight fit and the third row isn't much better. The quad seating option with reclining captain's chairs in the middle row offers some relief, but the seats are fixed in place so legroom's still tight. The quality of materials is a bit improved over the Dodge, but still lags behind the class leaders. Maximum cargo capacity is impressive at over 102 cubic feet with all rear seats folded, though the load floor is sloped due to packaging constraints.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Chrysler Aspen's new-generation 4.7-liter V8 is stronger and reportedly more fuel-efficient than before, and is likely to satisfy most owners who seek a balance between power and economy. Those who tow will probably still want to go with the stouter 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Unfortunately, the five-speed automatic doesn't provide manual selection above 2nd gear so there's a great deal of gear hunting on hills and excessive brake use on downgrades. The ride is smooth and handling is quite respectable for an SUV weighing 2.5 tons, though the steering can feel a bit loose and the brake pedal feels vague, with lengthy stopping distances.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Completely fantastic suv-already own 3!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

I bought my first Aspen in 2008 brand new. So far I've driven it 40k and it has NEVER had any problems of any kind! After owning it for 2 years I bought 2 more. The ride is extremely quiet and smooth and seats are comfortable. Leather interior is VERY high quality. Gas mileage is great at 22 mpg on the highway. This vehicle does VERY, VERY well on snow and ice. I tow a large boat and haul 6-7 adults with it regularly. Handling is SUPERB! When I found out they were going to be discontinued, I bought 2 more. All 3 have never had any problems. I would certainly recommend this vehicle to anyone looking for a reasonably priced, large, high quality, luxury SUV.




Fantastic suv!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

We've had this vehicle for almost 2 years now and I have to say that is CERTAINLY the best SUV we have ever had! We have had Durangos in the past-- although nice they do not compare to the Aspen--especially in looks! The Aspen's ride is incredibly smooth! These vehicles do EXTREMELY well on snow and ice! We put 37K miles on our Aspen, and it has never had 1 problem of any kind. We have had Nissan Armadas in the past which only get 16- 17mpg on the highway whereas the Aspen gets 20 mpg. With the towing capacity and luxury you get for such a low price, I would definitely recommend this vehicle to anyone looking for a completely reliable, luxurious, and high quality SUV for a reasonable price.




Mom

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

Love the size, appearance, and all the bells and whistles. Very cool to have an A/C power outlet in it as well.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Never again

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

We traded in a Jeep Liberty for this Aspen and it is great as long as you do not hit any bumps. It has been in the shop 4 times for the same issue. It totally loses control going over bumps in the road. Barely missed a person on the sidewalk due to the vehicle bouncing so badly after hitting a manhole cover in the road. Going to have all the shocks replaced tomorrow (AGAIN) to see if it resolves the issue.




Not a bad truck just

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

Eats up gas. Bad shakes at about 68 to 75. Some come with no foot boards.




Good for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

We bought our Aspen used with the 4.7 liter engine and so far has been impressed with the vehicle. The only problem we had is with the door panels leather coming unglued but they were replaced under the warranty. On a trip from Louisiana to Connecticut we Average 24 miles a gallon at 70 with 5 grown ups and luggage, that was very impressive. It was the best price vehicle in its class ,the third row seat can fit grown persons for long trips and the vehicle itself it not overly huge. Mechanically so far has been solid no problems.



Talk About The 2008 Aspen

2008 Chrysler Aspen Discussions See all Started By

rbender
rbender
02-28-2013
Like most car makers they choose a small range of cars using the vin numbers then say Oh your car is not part of the recall in order to save money. If they get caught or sued then they EXPAND the reca...


fastsenior
fastsenior
07-25-2013
hi. I have a 2008 aspen wit the hemi and a 3.92 differential ratio. I have the tow package because it came with the car but I will not be towing anything. Does anyone know what will happen if I try to...


chuck1959
chuck1959
05-21-2007
Aspen needs to be axed. It was a creative way to use excess plant capacity at the Durango plant, but the large SUV market is shrinking daily and the Durango can handle any extra sales that the Aspen m...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 19
  • highway
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