By on September 28, 2006

front1.jpg Why? Why in the world would Chrysler release another gas-guzzling SUV into the domestic market? OK, sure, they probably pulled the trigger on the Aspen before gas crested three bucks a gallon and immolated SUV sales. But why bother? The official website proclaims the Aspen offers “Decadence without shame.” This from a vehicle that gets [an entirely theoretical] 14 mpg in the urban cycle? Whose shame are they referring to? Surely someone should be embarrassed.

I was, driving the thing. I mean, this could be the only vehicle capable of making the Durango’s ungainly, truncated snout seem svelte and perfectly proportioned. Honestly, the Aspen’s short, flat, striated schnoz rivals Cyrano de Bergerac’s proboscis for impure, adulterated hideousness. The protruding front bumper, a throwback to the bad old days when safety equipment was literally tacked on, adds aesthetic insult to non-injury. As for the rest of the design, again, it’s a Durango. How great is that?

ch007_009as.jpgInside, oy. We’ve been sounding the alarm over the proliferation of DCX’ generic cabins for a while now, wondering why so many of their distinctive-looking vehicles are virtually indistinguishable from the pilot’s position. The addition of some light colored wood, model airplane quality silver plastic and a cute little analogue clock to Chrysler’s identikit interior does nothing to lift this “luxury” ute into the luxury category. The column shifter, mouse fur headliner and poorly attached, revolting carpet do much to lower it into econobox territory. For a $30k – $40k product, the lack of tactile satisfaction and overall attention to detail is stunning.

Fold the second row seat forward and the nasty looking sharp-edged seat mechanism– complete with tire jack– stands ready to rip your shins to pieces. Press the cargo bay’s side panel and the entire flimsy plastic piece bows seriously inwards. The rear cargo hatch flies open, and then glides the final leg of its journey. Speaking of leg room, while we can dismiss the third row’s Geneva Convention defying limb constriction as par for the course, how can you justify a second row that requires a 5’10” driver to slide forward? Towing capacity?

side2.jpg Hey, it’s true: the Aspen provides best in class towing: 8950 pounds. That’s provided you buy the Hemi (an extra grand), a 3.92 rear end and stick with a 4X2 transmission– which would still make the Aspen a poor choice for anyone trying to pull a tree off a road so his ex-girlfriend and her new squeeze can get through. Anyway, our tester came with said 5.7-liter hemispherically combustion chambered V8, which should have provided an excuse– however shameful– to buy this rig. I mean, if you’re going to burn fossil fuel like someone who hangs around video gas pumps just for fun, your SUV might as well go like stink.

That it doesn’t. Our tester’s Hemi may have been greener than Kermit the Frog, but I bet the cloth covered amphibian is quicker off the line. Car and Driver clocked the Aspen’s zero to sixty sprint at an impressive 7.2 seconds. We couldn’t get near that figure. More importantly, the Aspen's 335-horse, 370 foot-pounding Hemi only responds to a whip hand; there’s none of that anywhere, anytime thrust that makes the similarly engined 300C such a pleasure to drive. I suppose you need a jet engine to fully motivate a 5400 pound truck, but again, low mileage should equal massive thrust.

back.jpg By tying down the SUV’s independent front, live axle rear suspension tighter than a gnat’s sphincter, Chrysler engineers managed to get a gi-normous body-on-frame truck with 20” wheels to stay level through the twisties. The downside to this technological feat: the ride quality is best described as “muffled discomfort” and the lack of body lean tempts you to drive this monster faster than you should. Good thing the seats offer no lateral support, the rack and pinion steering provides no useful feedback, the A-pillars cut off any practical view through a bend and the Aspen’s anchors are powerful and easily modulated. The stoppers are more than capable of saving your bacon the first (and presumably only) time you overcook it.

So what, dear friends, is the point of the Aspen? Don’t tell me (Steve Siler) that Chrysler dealers were clamoring for a vehicle more macho than a Pacifica, ‘cause the Aspen is about as macho as William Shatner’s truss. Nor will I accept the argument that this, this, “thing” is Chrysler’s Escalade. Even people with bad taste have better taste than that, and it ain’t nowhere near big enough for the Brothas. No, the only reason I can see for the Aspen’s existence is that someone in marketing said it would be cheap to build a Durango derivative for Chrysler. That’ll teach the suits not to do too much blow the next time they're minging at a Colorado ski resort.  

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115 Comments on “Chysler Aspen Limited Review...”


  • avatar
    CliffG

    Just because something CAN be done, doesn’t mean it should be. This is a good example of that. Incidently the Durango rear seat has been a violator of the Geneva Convention since its’ introduction. I think my 124 Spyder had more leg room in the back.

  • avatar
    GMrefugee

    So, did you like it or not?

  • avatar
    socsndaisy

    Its not often that I cannot find ANYthing to like about a vehicle but I must tip my hat to DCX here and congratulate them on offering a vehicle that manages to muster exactly zero interest from me here.

    ON the other hand, Only Farago could get me to click on a review of said vehicle. Now THAT is a compliment! Huzzah!

  • avatar
    Joe C.

    Dear Chrysler,

    You showed up to the party:

    Hours too late.
    Wearing too much chrome.
    Everyone can see you’re just another lame truck.
    Even your name says ’80′s.
    You’ve got beef, but everyone knows your shortcomings.
    The “cool people” have already exited the building.

    You should have put this money into an update for another section of your wardrobe, like a meaningful update of the PT Cruiser.

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    Here’s a question for you Robert:

    Is there ever a good case for badge engineering?

    I think it’s hard for us automotive enthusiasts to see the world through the eyes of the consumer who this kind of thing works on… while we look at this Aspen and see nothing but a Durango in Sheep’s clothing, there must be a group of car buyers out there that see this as an all new Chrysler product… or maybe just having a different ‘named’ car from their neighbor/sister/whoever already has a Durango is enough for some people. I don’t get it…. But clearly this badge engineering is good for somebody because car manufacturers keep doing it.

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    meaningful update of the PT Cruiser??? I thought that’s what the Caliber was… or should have been, I guess…

    Why does a manufacturer need two small “crossover” style vehicles? One with retro styling and the other with… um… would you call that mad max apocalyptic styling?

    If you ask me the PT cruiser should have died the day the Caliber hit dealer lots… judging from how cheaply you can pick up a very slightly used PTs these days, I’d say it did… noone bothered to inform DCX, though.

  • avatar
    1984

    It’s slow, heavy, and gets bad gas mileage. How is it different than other trucks that can tow 9,000 lbs?

  • avatar
    Sid Vicious

    I think the American consumer is finally catching on to Badge Engineering in the crudest sense (Escape/Mariner, Durango/Aspen). It’s just that Detroit doesn’t get it yet.

    On the other hand, how much of the general buying public would guess that Civic, CRX, Element and the small Acura share lots of improtant bits.

    “Detroit” is a French word meaning “Day Late and a Dollar Short”.

  • avatar
    Glenn

    Hey, BimmerHead, I agree somewhat with your comment

    “I don’t get it…. But clearly this badge engineering is good for somebody because car manufacturers keep doing it.”

    But I can tell you the reason they do it. They’re STUPID.

    The most successful car company on earth, Toyota, don’t do it (well, okay I guess they do kind-of with the Pontiac Matrix, but that is a contractual exception with a 50/50 JV, NUUMI).

    More to your liking, let me point out that unlike M-B and Chrysler, BMW DO NOT badge-engineer older versions of their vehicles and sell them “cheap(er)”.

    Can you imagine a new, reskinned 10 year old BMW sold for 50% less, as a “Glas” ? Glas was a none too successful German car company that BMW purchased (in order to get the extra plant capacity to eventually build the 5-series cars).

    Not coincidentally, BMW (which does not use their Glas name, which surely they still own the rights to) are one of the more successful and profitable automobile companies.

    Components sharing is one thing. Just badge-engineering or using cast-offs (like the Chrysler Crossfire) is pathetic.

    The car companies with bean-counters in charge do it because – well, they can.

  • avatar
    mdanda

    Shame on you, DCX management, for not halting this project.

  • avatar
    whitenose

    Badge-engineering is done because it generates incremental additional sales and because it is financially cheap in the short run. It is disastrous in the long run, as all of the Japanese companies are aware, and at least some of the Germans (the VW group has shown signs of veering into badge-engineering at times, but mostly avoids it in favor of platform/component sharing).

  • avatar
    whitenose

    Oh, and in some cases, because ‘the dealers need something to sell!’ — GM’s perennial problem. And Mercury/Lincoln’s. Is the Dodge dealer network still separate from the Chrysler one?

  • avatar
    Joe C.

    Bimmer,

    I think the Cruiser and Caliber appeal to two completely different demographics/market segments.

    Introducing the Caliber, though, does give Chrysler another head-scratching opportunity to compete with themselves at some level. Thus, we also have the Compass and Patriot.

    Failure to update the Cruiser (beyond minor tweaks) is another example of the 2.5′s inability to keep a good thing going through updating a successful product. The Corolla’s been around, what, 35 years? The Civic about the same? But, they still get generational updates every 3-4 years without straying from their initial purpose.

    Badge engineering, instead, is too tempting.

  • avatar
    1984

    What is the difference between “badge engineering” and platform sharing? Looks as if all of the sheet metal is different than the Durango… it’s not like it’s the old Plymouth and Dodge Neon.

    Toyota does do it… The Camry shares platforms with the Avalon, Solara, Lexus ES and Lexus RX. Are they “badge engineered”?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    The “Detroit Disease”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15004014/

    Long story short, 70% of Dodge/Chrysler’s portfolio are trucks and SUVs.

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    Sid -
    I don’t have a problem with bit sharing.. or even platform/chassis sharing… but when two cars share 95+% of their parts, I don’t really see the point… even if it’s cheap to do.

    Glenn –
    I presume you are talking about the Chrysler 300 (and all the other variants)’s use of former generation MB suspension pieces? This, I think, is actually OK. At least it makes an american car drive and ride more like a german car, even if it is a previous design german car. The previous design german car still drives better than any other American car I have driven (not that I have driven many).
    It does not bother me to know that a Chrysler 300 and a Dodge Hemi Wagon thing have the same under pinnings… they alter the rest of the design significantly enough that it is a different car… had they mearly changed the badges and put hideous woodgrain in the interior, that is when my panties end up in a wad.

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    joe C
    I think, based again on the used market prices of PTs, everyone who wants a PT has one… and maybe a spare… Updating a retro design is difficult… Ford somehow did it with the mustang, but I don’t see the same working for the PT cruiser.

  • avatar
    tms1999

    “Its not often that I cannot find ANYthing to like about a vehicle but I must tip my hat to DCX here and congratulate them on offering a vehicle that manages to muster exactly zero interest from me here.”

    0 interest indeed… for 72 month!

    Sorry, I could not resist.

    “but again, I reckon low mileage should equal massive thrust.”

    Not really, it’s the other way around: heavy monster truck = low mileage, thrust is a function of weight and final torque (i.e. crank torque multiplied by the gearbox and final).

    This thing is 50% heavier than a 300C, should be 50% slower.

    C&D probably clocked theirs in a freefall to 60.

  • avatar
    kasumi

    The commercials for this really make me want to buy it. As an incredibly business man, I will purchase an Aspen and drive through the neighborhood I grew up in to demonstrate my success via a badge-engineered boring SUV.

    DCX- why not save your money?

    What’s this thing’s competition the Aviator?

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    Isn’t this kind of badge-engineering driven by the extended dealer networks? IOW if DCX is selling x thousand Durangos, then the Chrysler dealer says “hey, I want some of those sales, too.”

    They did it back in the 70′s when the SUV craze was only beginning. The Dodge Ramcharger became the Plymouth Trailduster. All they bothered to change were the nameplates. They never did come out with a Chrysler version, but maybe that’s because there were no Linconln or Cadillac SUVs back then either.

  • avatar
    Joe C.

    Is the experience/perception distinction between visiting a Dodge dealer for a Durango and a Chrysler dealer for an Aspen as wide as it is between visiting a Toyota dealer for a Camry and a Lexus dealer for an ES 350?

    I think that’s where one of the lines gets drawn between platform sharing and badge engineering.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I love this article… it is the exact reason why I just dont get American car companies or their products. Why make yet another of the same vehicle which doesnt offer anything particularly unique or desireable. What is the point? Redundancy for the sake of redundancy for the sake of production capacity utilization and expansion of brand lines?

    Platform sharing can yield sibblings with different talents and niche appeal. VW does this very well… Conversely badge engineering yields things like that Caddilac cimmaron (SP?) which are so closely related to their bretheren that it takes a parent to tell em apart.

    You want the best example of platform sharing… VW/Aud/Seat/Skoda A-platform… There are probably a dozen or more variations on the same platform. VW has the Golf 2 door, 4 door, variant *wagon*, jetta sedan & variant, new Beetle 2 door & convertible. Audi the TT, A3 2&4 door. That leaves Seat & Skoda for which I’m not an expert but I know both have A platform cars. You would never know that the TT is very simmilar to a Skoda or Seat by looking at it from 5 feet away. When was the last time you thought a Jetta wagon looked remarkably like a new beetle convertible? I should note that VW sells some of these cars in markets without others. The Jetta variant is not sold along side the Golf variant… only difference is the windshield forward bodywork… swappable too.

    Depending on where in the world you are you may have a combination of A platform cars avaialble. In Spain the Seat may be the favorite vs say in Germany the VW Golf. Various countries get unique combinations of brands and products. If you put them all side by side there is overlap but by how they are marketed and where they are marketed there is less much less overlap.

    The latest example of VW platform sharing is the R8… based on the Gallardo but the two cars are very different on both the inside and outside. Between the door skin and sheet metal, the hood(trunk) and the belly pan… is the area where the cars share parts & engineering.

    Maybe its not so glaringly horrible to have two very simmilar vehicles in production simultaneously if they are both pleasing and serve unique purposes… but I dont think there is a whole lot of differentiation between the Aspen and the Durango. A co-worker has that same dash design in his Ram 1500 pickup… and he’s got the wood trim & plastics harder than a hockey puck WTF?

  • avatar
    mikey

    Call me an old guy if you must,I prefer body on frame in a SUV.I don’t think its the smartest vehicle for todays market,but an SUV that is a real truck and not the size of an oil tanker does have a market.
    G.M. says there is no buyers for mid size SUVs.Mopar has a diferent view.
    I can see a lot of these babies selling to us old guys.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Does it not offend anybody that the most pofitable vehicles on the road have some of the worst interior quality? I’m generalizing about SUVs of course but still… When did rubbermaid become a competitor of Faurecia formerly Bertrand Faure… folks that make VW/Audi’s inteiors.

    Blow molded plastics harder than a hockey puck in a $40k vehicle which hands a profit back to mfg is just plain old being mean to the customer… fair enough maybe the customer doesnt know any better and its just not required anymore… at least till that customer drives something with a competent interior. Its only the part of the car the driver is in contact with more than anything else.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    qfrog: See the comments under my Ford F150 King Ranch review, but Americans seem to give crappy truck and SUV interiors a pass, because…. they can haul dirt.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    What’s with the name ?

    I remember the Dodge Aspen as the 1976 vehicle of choice for degenerate high school teachers and slipshod golf pros.

    How can you possible announce that you’re driving an Aspen at a cocktail party?

  • avatar
    imageWIS

    Hahahahaha:

    “Good thing the seats offer no lateral support, the rack and pinion steering provides no useful feedback, the A-pillars cut off any practical view through a bend and the Aspen’s anchors are powerful and easily modulated.”

    Jon.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    AH right the dirt hauler interior quality exemption.

    But does the average Aspen buyer have topsoil hauling in mind or are they more of a mulch connisseur (sp?) transporting only the finest in landscaping stuffs for their suburban palace.

  • avatar
    pb35

    Yeah, I had an Aspen. IN 1978!!! It had a slant 6 with no power steering. It had that huge 3-spoke Duster steering wheel that would threaten to break your fingers when it snapped back.

    Just those memories would never allow me spend 40k on a new one. I saw the infomercial about it on that new channel that has new car previews last night and it was ridiculous.

  • avatar
    ktm

    1984 asks, “What is the difference between “badge engineering” and platform sharing?

    Platform sharing is just that, platform sharing. Chassis and drivetrain, nothing else (typically).

    Badge engineering means taking an existing product, say the Dodge Durango or Ford Fusion, changing the grille and other minor cosmetic changes, and slapping a Chrysler or Mercury badge on the vehicle.

    qfrog brought up the VW A-platform, which is the most widely used platform in the world. CAR magazine pointed out that it is used in 16! models across four VAG brands: Skoda, SEAT, Audi and VW.

  • avatar
    Ty Webb

    Two words that sum up all you need to know about the evils of badge engineering – Cadillac Cimarron.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    qfrog: Of course not, but we’re about six to seven minutes away from some commenting, “yeah but you could tow a boat!”

    So?

    I’m looking at you, Sajeev.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    “[T]his could be the only vehicle capable of making the Durango’s ungainly, truncated snout seem svelte and perfectly proportioned.” – Farago

    What?! Have you already forgotten the Uplander?

  • avatar

    Fair dinkum.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    “Chrysler Aspen. The Plymouth Volare of SUV’s”.

  • avatar
    Joe C.

    “Sales of the Dodge Durango midsize SUV have dropped off precipitously,” so WHY introduce a clone now??

    They’re saying DCX has caught “Detroit disease.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15004014/

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    “Chrysler Aspen. The Plymouth Volare of SUV’s”.

    I’d say “the Dodge Aspen of SUVs.”

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Meet the new… short bus!!!

    (Did I really say that?)

  • avatar
    JimHinCO

    Is it okay if I chuckle a bit when these things pass me, or me them, and they are getting 1/2 the gas mileage than I am in an incredibly fun car that was less expensive (subaru legacy spec-b)?

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Lucky you, that’s a fun car. Weird clutch pedal though.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    JimHinCO: but what if you have to… haul a boat?

    What then?!?

  • avatar
    Joe C.

    Jonny,

    No problem: Subaru owners only own kayaks and canoes.

    I’m kidding!

    JimHinCO – sure you can, but Barbie won’t notice. She’ll be on her phone, making a tanning room appointment.

  • avatar
    1984

    Every car company “badge engineers”

    I’m not sure you can find a company with more than 2 brands without a car or truck that just did not modify the front and rear sheet metal on the same car.

    However it does not make any sense that both vehicles should have the same available options.

  • avatar

    Joe C:
    The Corolla’s been around, what, 35 years? The Civic about the same? But, they still get generational updates every 3-4 years without straying from their initial purpose.

    The Corolla from as late as the early ’80s (I had a ’77, which weighed less than 2000 lbs) was the same size as today’s Yaris. Nonetheless, the model name always meant quality, even if they grew it. So I’m quibbling.

    My favorite part of the review was the comparison to Cyrano de Bergerac’s nose.

  • avatar

    Martin Albright:
    “Chrysler Aspen. The Plymouth Volare of SUV’s”.
    I’d say “the Dodge Aspen of SUVs.”

    Same dif. (My parents had the Volare. POS.)

  • avatar
    JimHinCO

    Thanks for the fun replies. :) I feel very lucky to have a spec-b.

    I figure I can use my truck to haul the horses, boats, flat-bed for when friends move (and they all remember me during those times!), etc.

    For a daily driver, I just can’t imagine a huge gas-gussler…if I had one more garage door bay, then as a weekender, it’d be great.

    Off topic: Has anyone developed a way to push text messages via lights/laser onto your rear window? I’d love to flash a “Please get off of the cell phone” or “Your turn signals appear to be burnt out when you change lanes” messages.

  • avatar
    shabster

    Many really cute and funny jabs at the Aspen. Made me chuckle.

    Luckily for Chrysler, not all consumers are pistonheads. Luckily for Chrysler, not all consumers are car experts like the readers of TTAC.

    At the end of the day, some people, including myself, like the look of this SUV.

    Now that gas prices are dropping, don’t be surprised if they sell a fair amount of these vehicles.

    Okay everybody, you can now slam me.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Jim…. at a risk of running aground on off topic island I must post the following to help you share the love… I’m from Jersey and not affraid to communicate in the native signing.

    http://www.roadrage.com/

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Shabster — Slam!

  • avatar
    New2LA

    Some here have said they can’t understand why Chrysler would create such a thing. Well I do: they had to develop a direct competitor to the Olds Bravada and Buick Ranier!

    Have a nice day.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    ‘cause the Aspen is about as macho as William Shatner’s truss.

    I don’t know if it makes any sense, but I laughed when I read it.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Speaking of “war of the noses”, has anyone seen the ’07 Lincoln Navigator? The new front ensemble looks like a chrome-plated storm drain cover.

  • avatar
    phil

    OK, click on the first photo, look at the headlights, tell me you don’t see Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein.

  • avatar
    ktm

    I’m not sure you can find a company with more than 2 brands without a car or truck that just did not modify the front and rear sheet metal on the same car.

    The VAG group has more than 2 brands and they don’t badge engineer.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I’ve been watching adverts for this clone all night long on USA… electro/hiphop beat. Cut to/ cut from rolling footage of a black truck, during the cut from frames you have the spelling out of aspen with each letter as a virtue or an attibute of the aspen. Ads air during CSI episodes both SVU and CI.

    I dont remember the first three letters the only one I really find absurd is E for elegance. OH really??

    What is elegant about a 5300lb truck with a sub par interior? Elegance is a word I associate with proper saloons like a MKII Jaguar or the Bugatti Royale… elegance as in beautiful and refined with attention to detail and precision. A black A8 W12 is IMO the modern definition of elegant. Oh right I’m an Audi afficionado… Since we’re on the topic of DCX their definition of Elegant should be the S class not the Aspen.

    Merriam Webster

    1 : marked by elegance
    2 : of a high grade or quality : SPLENDID

    The denotation of Elegance is not any more apropriate in describing the aspen… perhaps Aspen colorado is a place frequented by people with a particular familiaraity with elegance.

  • avatar
    chanman

    Chrysler’s Boom and Bust cycles are still going strong I see…

    K-car and minivan followed by another dozen years of K-car derivatives…

    Cab-forward and new minivan followed by another decade of mild updates.

    300C/Charger now followed by the Jeep that’s a rebadged Dodge and the Chrysler that’s a rebadged Dodge.

    Dodge just can’t be allowed to keep a unique vehicle, can they?

  • avatar
    ttilley

    Glenn wrote, regarding Badge Engineering:

    The most successful car company on earth,
    Toyota, don’t do it (well, okay I guess they
    do kind-of with the Pontiac Matrix, but that
    is a contractual exception with a 50/50 JV,
    NUUMI).

    Lexus.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    “Decadence without shame” they say? Well, I wonder: is this kind of dated approach to transportation the real reason our poor troops are mired down in Iraq, whilst trying to secure the oil fields? If Chrysler wanted a vehicle to showcase the Hemi, this piece seems like the most ridiculous approach to that idea they could’ve come up with. They’d been better off working with the Cunningham family to build a modern version of the Cunningham sports car.
    The name “Aspen” will live in infamy with car enthusiasts, due to that absolute piece of rolling garbage the former Chrysler Corporation built in the 1970s. I have heard stories of things literally just falling off the Dodge Aspens and Plymouth Volares of that time.
    Chrylser is most likely going to take a big bath with this newest example of an Aspen; and well they should methinks.

  • avatar

    It’s funny that they should roll this “Durango with Crossfire DNA” (I don’t feel at all well after writing that, BTW) out now considering their problems at the moment. I went on a road trip last weekend, having rented the last Taurus ever made, and my girlfriend asked me “what’s a K-car?”

    “Oh,” I replied in my most authoritative tone, “it was a car that underpinned everything Chrysler made in the 80s when Lee Iacocca tried to save the company he had previously tried to kill. Everything from Reliants to Voyagers to Imperials where part of that. You remember him on TV, don’t you?”

    “No, but I saw him with his granddaughter on a commercial recently.” “She’s an actress,” I said, to her stunned amazement. This Aspen is like that for me. Lido’s fake granddaughter.

    - bob

    P.S. My girlfriend said “no way! How can that be true? She called him ‘granpa’!”

  • avatar
    misterbozack

    This is one of the greatest car reviews I’ve ever read. If mainstream auto mags penned stuff like this, The Big 2.5 might have taken it in and not be sinking a not-so-slow-anymore death.

    And to think RF was kind enough not to mention the fact that this complete waste of time is named after one of the worst cars Chrysler has ever made.

    So, my fellow auto aficionados, how long til the folks at Chrysler have swallowed enough little Blue Oval and Big General stupid idea pills to sink themselves?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    IIRC, one of Iacocca’s books said the original Aspen was so poorly crafted it’d start rusting before it was even shipped to the dealer. Let’s hope the new ones don’t follow suit in the “sales bank” mentioned in this week’s Autoextremist rant.

    “yeah but you could tow a boat! I’m looking at you, Sajeev.”

    Howdy, pardner! No way I’d tow a boat with an Aspen, do they even have boats in that thar fancypants town?

    Call me an ol’ ranch hand reachin’ for the stars, but I find the interior of the F150 about a bazillion times better than the Durango, and I’m assuming the Aspen’s interior isn’t much better than the Dodge. (points to the 300/Magnum)

    FWIW, I’ve seen two Ridgelines since my last comment on the B-series review, both in the poseur-SUV part of town. I laughed when I looked up its $27k base price. But I continue to giggle when I think about a de-contented Mercedes GL-based truck avoiding the same price/content black hole that the Ridgeline occupies…or the Aspen for that matter.

    Fake trucks and most truck-based SUVs are not long for this world. Trucks (the REAL ones) shall always sell to the people who need or want to need them.

    Your move, Señor Lieberman. :-)

  • avatar
    Chadillac

    Glen,
    Just FYI the Matrix/Vice aren’t both built there, NUUMI couldn’t meet production demands for both so the Vibe is built there and teh Matrix is in Canada.

    shabster,
    Consider yourself slammed. Lol. If you like it, w/e, but I don’t see how….

    But anyways yeah this car is hideous.

  • avatar
    Jan Andersson

    From a European’s horizon, the Americans sudden panic with gas prices is, if not amusing, so very close. If you lived in Sweden, you must this day pay $5.40 per gallon for your car’s elixir of live. And if you consider the vast difference in average purchasing power between the US and Sweden (you have an advantage of 77 %) this means $9.56 per gallon. So what if your SUV only gets 15 or 20 mpg? You pay this day $2.30, one fourth of that. AND you can find Americans SUVs here as well.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Still haven’t driven a GL450, have you Sajeev?

    Yes, we have boats cause we’re near… what’s that thing called? Oh yeah, the Pacific Ocean.

    I still refuse to buy into the mentality that dictates the need to ride around in a giant, uncomfortable, poor handling penis-substitute because one day a year you take the kids jet skiing.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Penis substitute?
    Thank you Dr. Lieberman, I guess that’s why I drive a pickup truck…

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    While every other car review site/magazine is struggling to find positive things to say about the Aspen, Robert (uniquely) just tells is like it is.

    I love TTAC.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    C&D wasn’t that nice either, subtitling their preview “Chrysler Creates the 300 of Durangos”. They also called the Pacifica limp-wristed.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/previews/11759/2007-chrysler-aspen-limited.html

  • avatar
    windswords

    Well it’s been fun reading these comments and I thought I would make some observations:

    The Japanese were not geniuses for introducing “new” small cars like Yaris and Fit in the US just as gas prices got hiked up. These cars were already in Japan where large cars are heavily taxed. They simply brought them over here with a minimum of changes. Smart move to be sure, but they are not some kind of genius prognosticators. Yet I haven’t seen here or anywhere else these same automakers being slammed for producing the Sequoia or Armada.

    On the other hand Chrysler is not a dunce of a compnay for developing a vehicle badge engineered or totally new, of this size just when gas prices shot to the moon. The decision was made before the price increase. Also now that gas prices are falling, are we going to declare the Chrysler folks geniuses if gas drops below $2 a gallon and big SUV sales take off? Somehow I don’t see the people who write and post here doing that.

    As to the looks of the Aspen – I don’t think its great but I don’t think it’s bad either. I think RF was unreasonably critical here, it’s certainly miles ahead of the Durango, but style and design is a matter of personal taste, isn’t it?

    Finally this brings us to the bottom line: sales. If you’re working for a automaker and your market reasearch shows that you can move several thousand units of an upscale vehicle badge engineered off an existing vehicle, thus saving money and making more profit on each one, what are you going to do? Are you going to say to yourself “Nah, we can’t do that, the folks at TTAC will roast us alive and all the blog commenters will post and make fun of us!” Or do you do it and make millions of dollars. Tough call.

    Now I am not saying this car is a great idea. That will be determined by the market. If sales really suck then you folks will be proven right. But if sales are even decent, will anyone here be man or woman enough to say you were wrong? Not about the aspects of the car: styling, ride, interior, etc. – that’s personal taste and everyone is entitled to their opinion; but wrong about the whole idea of producing the vehicle in the first place.

    And as for Herr Lieberman, it seems you take great joy in dictating (I mean strongly suggesting) what types of vehicles we should buy. But alas, in a free capitalist society (at least for the moment) you don’t have that kind of power. Life’s a bitch, eh?

  • avatar
    windswords

    I forgot to mention that although Terry Parkhurst is correct that “the name “Aspen” will live in infamy with car enthusiasts” Bob in his post points to something that we as enthusiast forget, the buying public doesn’t remember what was made 20 or 30 years ago. That’s why they can ressurect the Aspen name without any worry. The writers will snicker but that will not affect the consumers decision to buy or not to buy. And let’s face it, all the good names are just about taken. Witness Accura’s and more recently Lincoln’s move to alphanumeric designations (what the hell was Accura thinking when they named a car Vigor?).

    And Jan Andersson says that even in Sweden some will buy big SUV’s

  • avatar
    1984

    KTM,

    Volkswagen? LOL!

    They are the worst when it comes to “badge engineering”. The stuff is so simular that its possible to bolt on a Jetta front end on a Golf to make a “Jolf” or vice versa to make a “Getta”.

    http://www.18turbo.com/brianthorns-jolf-4.jpg

  • avatar
    kasumi

    If gas does go below $2 again, the SUV will not come back raging. Its done. Yes, people will always buy them and pay dearly to fill their tank no matter the price.

    When you’re looking at spendin $25K for a vehicle, that is not for most people a spur of the moment purchase. You now have to consider gas prices and the fact that they might go down, but that will change. They will go up again. I may be wrong, maybe we’ll get this oil thing fixed up and locate an enormous oil field under the White House, but whats more probable?

    The SUV craze as we know it is dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.

    People have ignored it for too long. This was not because of Katrina, but the fact that there is only so much oil to go around.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    You just couldn’t leave the truck thing alone! After the debate on your KR review, I took the opportunity to drive a GL450. It is a phenomenal vehicle. Fast, powerful, quiet, luxurious. Everything you said it would be and a bag of chips.

    I cannot see for the life of me, how you can compare this wonderful vehicle to the equally wonderful F-150.

    To start, the base price (all prices $CDN) is $73,500. With a few options (Xenon Headlights, Off-Road Package, Leather and Light Group) the GL rang in at over $81,000!

    If you compared the GL to say, a Lincoln Navigator (which, when fully-optioned is comparable in price) I can see your point. The Merc is a runaway winner.

    IT IS NOT A TRUCK.

    I would never risk taking the GL into a field or on a lumber road (I shudder to think of the body repair costs). I asked the dealer about towing, he smiled and said the Merc can tow (7,500 lbs, a wimpy V8 Ford Explorer can do that) but the tow kits are expensive. It is not an easy installation either.

    I won’t even comment on hauling capacity.

    Would I get into my GL in my smelly work clothes or snowmobiling suit after a howl up the side of Mount Revelstoke? Not a chance. Actually, I’d like to see a GL on a six-inch lift kit…

    We can argue about crappy interiors but the KR interior will wear well. Ford may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer right now but they know their truck interiors and they know the beatings they will be asked to take. So what may look cheap and tawdry is not. It is designed to be cleaned up and still look decent.

    Anyway, I thought we were talking about the Aspen here!

    An answer to a question no one asked.

  • avatar
    mdanda

    As a contrarian car investor, a full-size SUV is an economical decision right now.

    Have you seen the discounts lately? Holy moly!!

    I will spend maybe $500/year more on gas in a big SUV than on a 4-banger sedan. If the discount on an SUV is $4,000+, I have 8 years of ownership until the break-even point. Not a bad deal at all.

    Of course, that means that Detroit isn’t making a profit on the SUVs, but we’re talking about ME and MY NEEDS, not theirs. They lost track of ME years ago.

  • avatar
    Ed S.

    “They are the worst when it comes to “badge engineering”. The stuff is so simular that its possible to bolt on a Jetta front end on a Golf to make a “Jolf” or vice versa to make a “Getta”. -1984

    Dude, you totally miss the point of the two cars. While they had MANY of the same (read: identical) parts, they still occupied separate parts of the market. The Golf was only available as a hatchback. In America that can be a scarlet letter to consumers. They were smart to segregate this model by name. The Golf also had a personality-defining model called the GTI, which was and still is a very credible competitor in the sport compact market.

    While the Jetta was not much different it was still only available in four doors. Plus it was and is a very good German entry-level sedan.

    Finally, the impact of all this platform sharing to the piston-head market was slight. First, they new the GTI was a good car, plus it had strong aftermarket support. And while not many piston-heads would consider the Jetta, I knew one VW tech that took a Jetta wagon and made it into a 225hp Getta with coil-overs and Porsche brakes in a weekend! I think the fact that that is possible commands respect from the piston-heads.

  • avatar
    1984

    What is the deal with the gas mileage argument on here?

    “My scooter gets 70 mpg so I’m sure glad I did not buy that gas guzzling Camry piece of crap!”

    Cumon… I mean really… it’s all relative; it just matters on what extreme you want to take it to. Find a like vehicle at the same price that can tow 9,000 lbs… And see what the mileage will be. It’s like complaining that a Yaris will not keep up with an Acura… The comparison is just plain stupid.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    JL: the boat comment I made was referring to the city of Aspen, not your town. :-)

    I still refuse to buy into the mentality that dictates the need to ride around in a giant, uncomfortable, poor handling penis-substitute because one day a year you take the kids jet skiing.

    You’ll come around, trucks don’t seem to be in your demographic so I see why you say that. Having a truck around is like owning a gun to many, or in my case a handful of specialized automotive tools I almost never use. The A/C coupling tools, code scanner, voltmeter, battery charger, etc may get dusty, but I’m not gonna borrow someone elses tool when I can own it myself. The truck is a tool, just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean its not the ideal vehicle for everyone else who loves them.

    I haven’t driven a GL, but I drove a Porsche Cayenne S and Turbo, which has most of the same hardware and wild asking price. It drives fantastic, and I expect the GL will do about the same. But to think a real truck based off of that chassis can be made for $20K is most unreasonable.

    The GL will not perform better than a truck (towing or otherwise) without its fancy air suspension, high compression motor, big brakes, lightweight suspension components, 7-spd auto, performance tires, and–this is the important one–single bodystyle configuration.

    Its gotta have a real frame, real cab, real bed and real leaf springs if its gonna sell to this demographic.

    CSJohnston: you mentioned Mercedes tow kits. Had a friend with an ML who tried to get the dealer to install a brake controller for it…took them 2 weeks and they still screwed it up.

  • avatar
    dean

    mdanda: do you know why the discounts on new SUV’s are so big? Have you checked out the used market? The discounts are so big because the bottom has fallen out of the used SUV prices and the market will not support a huge premium for buying new. If you do keep the vehicle for 8 years then obviously that is less important, but there is a good chance your gas price differential will be more than $500 per year in 2015.

    And even with a $4k discount, what 4-banger sedan is going to cost the same up-front as a full-size SUV?

    As for the Aspen, it IS better looking than the Durango. How’s that for damning with (very) faint praise?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    CSJohnson –

    There’s a button on the dashboard of the GL450 that you press and you get a six inch lift.

    Air suspension.

    Also — I took it off road — pretty damn impressive.

    Of course if you can afford the GL, you get someone else to haul dirt for you.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    1984: No badge engineering, >= 3 brands…

    BMW. BMW, Mini, Rolls Royce. No badge engineering at all. Separate niches completely.

    Honda. Well, they only have 2 brands, but they make DAMN sure that an MDX and a Pilot look and seem VERY different, even if the platform is the same (and shared with the Odyssey and Ridgeline). Likewise the Element, CR-V, Civic, RSX, MDX… The only badge engineering Honda does is in Canada (CSX which is a Civic, and TSX which is a euro/canadian Accord. The TSX isn’t badge engineering here, because we get a very different Accord.)

    Toyota. OK, they do have ONE badge engineered Lexi: The LX470. But who buys those?

    The ES, on the other hand, although sharing a HUGE amount with the Camry, is designed to look, seem, and feel very different…

  • avatar
    gfen

    Actually, if you want a trunk on your VW GTI, you simply buy the Jetta GLI. ;)

  • avatar
    1984

    nweaver:

    BMW seems to be the one.

    Sorry, I’m sort of sick of hearing “badge engineering” when no one can agree how to define it, almost every car company does it and vertually no consumers are aware or care about it.

    The Lexus ES is a Camry XLE with a 8,000 price mark up. They even have the same front fenders and rear quarter pannels.

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    That Aspen is one ugly spud, and an answer to a question no one was asking. I saw a commercial for it on TV last night that confirmed in my mind what RF had written. As other people have said here, badge engineering at its worst.

  • avatar
    kasumi

    Badge engineering is making minor changes to a car to sell it as a different car by another company. See Ford Fusion/Milan, generic GMC SUV/Saab 9-7.

    Whether consumers care about it or not doesn’t make it right. It creates filler, subtracts from innovation or updates. Its cheap and brings down a brand on both sides. The companies that do not do it, Honda, VAG, BMW seem to do okay with out it.

    I don’t know if Detroit, Nissan or Toyota would be better off with out it, but I think its lazy, smoke and mirrors.

    K.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    BMW = no shared platforms between the 3 brands, no badge engineering possible.

    Everyone else uses common platforms to save $$$, it’s all a matter of degree. Whether it be obvious with shared body panels & interiors such as Durango/Aspen or Tahoe/Yukon, less so such as Pilot/Odyssey/MDX/Accord/TSX or Volvo S80/LR2/Ford Galaxy, it’s just the game everyone plays. The luxury makes are supposed to give you better experiences and services, but I wouldn’t know, having resolved not to buy a luxury car.

    Are consumers aware of the differences? I remember going to different GM dealerships as a 10 year old in 1979 and noticing that all the mid-sized wagons looked awfully similar and had the same peculiar rear tailgate, and saying in front of the salesman, “That Buick works just like the Oldsmobile!”

    Remember the ads from the late 1980′s with the Lincoln Town Car, Buick Electra, Olds 98, Cadillac DeVille, that Cadillac threw back in Ford’s face several years later with the DeVille vs. Taurus, Sable, and Continental?

  • avatar
    FunkyD

    I suppose that Ford and GM will be naming their next small cars “Pinto” and “Vega” respectively.

  • avatar
    Joe C.

    starlightmica – I followed an Equinox yesterday, staring at the rear end. “Something is missing here – no bowtie?” It was a Torrent, as usual, hard to tell. Old habits die hard.

    FunkyD – can we please never mention those two unmentionables on these pages again? Really, truly bad memories.

  • avatar
    chanman

    Honda sells the Euro Accord as the TSX in Canada. We get the same NA Accord the US does…

  • avatar
    Spartacus

    My biggest contention with this piece is that it seems to be the latest installment of “How much hyperbole can I fit into one review?”

    Honestly, the Aspen’s short, flat, striated schnoz rivals Cyrano de Bergerac’s proboscis for impure, adulterated hideousness.

    Impure, unadulterated hideousness? For crying out loud, you’d think Farago was reviewing an Aztec! Or a Fiat Multipla!

    I like open, honest reviews; but, it feels like TTAC is trying too hard to be entertaining.

  • avatar
    JimHinCO

    “I still refuse to buy into the mentality that dictates the need to ride around in a giant, uncomfortable, poor handling penis-substitute because one day a year you take the kids jet skiing. ”

    And that is why it’s tough to take articles seriously at times on this board. It’s juvenille and pathetic. Please be a man and edit that garbage out…that is, if your testicles are big enough. (see, doesn’t it sound idiotic?)

  • avatar
    xargs99

    C’mon guys, the GM/Toyota joint venture is NUMMI, for New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

    Some of those badge engineered beaters were fun! I drove a Cimarron that was on its last little j-car legs, and there weren’t ANY snowbanks that were safe from the broadsliding Cimmie.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    You are a terrier, never say die! I do not doubt the GL capability but its affordability if something gets dinged, dented, flattened, scratched, spindled or mutilated. My friend has a very off-road capable RR Sport Supercharged but he would rather not face repair costs when some of that sophisticated machinery (or bodywork) got damaged. So he has a Silverado 2500 HD for the rough stuff.

    I see the RL suspension adjustment has a maximum travel of 600mm (about two feet) very impressive. Consider (I think you used to own a Jeep) that a six-inch lifter on a pickup will likely give its owner the ability to not only raise the suspension but add some very large gumballs too (again, I like the picture of an RL raised) meaning the lift should provide a lot more than six inches of clearance.

    I would also hazard to guess that the truck would still have the edge in hard use durability. It’s kind of like Shermans versus Tigers.

    Shall we just “let it go” Indiana?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    We named the dog, Indiana.

    And JimHin — see the URL. I’m sure there’s a site dedicated to the truth about dirt, and the hauling of dirt and how your truck is bigger and dirt-haulier than my truck, etc.

  • avatar
    ktm

    1984, then you know nothing about badge engineering. A Jetta is a Golf sedan. The Golf is a Jetta hatchback, much like the Civic hatch is to the Civic sedan. Secondly, a Jetta is a VW the same as a Golf. Badge engineering is slapping a different manfucturer’s badge on a car and calling it something else. You recognized this earlier by challenging anyone to know a manufacturer that had more than one BRAND. Jetta and Golf are not brands.

    A Golf does not look like an A3; a Jetta does not look like an A4. SEAT and Skodas look nothing like the above two or each other.

    Don’t forget that VAG also owns Bugatti and Lambo.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    I always loved that dog…

  • avatar
    1984

    Ok, so by your definition the Aspen is not badge engineered because of the front and rear sheet metal. Thanks for clearing this issue up for me.

    LOL?!

  • avatar

    FunkyD: I suppose that Ford and GM will be naming their next small cars “Pinto” and “Vega” respectively.

    No, to continue the trend those would have to be the names of their next big SUVs.

    These comments are making me reminisce about the Volare. A lady at my daycare drove one back in the early 80s. It was a rusted-out abomination of an automobile. Now that I’m older, I realize the thing literally couldn’t have been more than 7-8 years old. Same goes for the near-death Maverick driven by my friend’s mom. (Yes, I remember these things from my daycare days. I learned to read by reading street signs and make/model names off the back of cars.)

    My point, is that no matter how much we (rightfully) rag on the current crop of crap Detwa squirts out, the quality has come a long way in the past 25 years.

  • avatar
    kablamo

    My point, is that no matter how much we (rightfully) rag on the current crop of crap Detwa squirts out, the quality has come a long way in the past 25 years.

    Of course, most anything has also progressed significantly in quality over that time. Very few things have not either improved in quality or dropped in (inflation adjusted) price.

  • avatar
    JimHinCO

    Ah, so you aren’t a big enough man…got it.

  • avatar
    Tiger Commanche

    Sounds like DCX completely massacred the ‘badgineered’ Aspen. Maybe they should have named it the “Columbine”.

  • avatar
    ktm

    1984, what are you babbling about now?

    You asked about the differences between badge engineering and platform sharing. I obliged by posting the differences.

    You then comment that no manufacturer with more than 2 brands does not badge engineering. Myself and one other give you two examples, BMW and VAG.

    You further erroneously comment that VAG is the worst at badge engineering because of the similarities between the Jetta and Golf. I correct you yet again.

    The Aspen is a Dodge Durango. It looks like a Dodge Durango with a different grille.

    ktm: “Badge engineering means taking an existing product, say the Dodge Durango or Ford Fusion, changing the grille and other minor cosmetic changes, and slapping a Chrysler or Mercury badge on the vehicle.”

    1984: Ok, so by your definition the Aspen is not badge engineered because of the front and rear sheet metal. Thanks for clearing this issue up for me.

  • avatar
    1984

    Did you really think that I did not know from the beginning what the objective was of calling the Aspen badge engineered? My point is no one has a congruent definition on what it means because “badge engineering’ is subjective and has no true definition.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    What, no option for rich corinthian leather? For Shame.

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    I saw one on the road yesterday and had to get behind it to find out what it was. The most charitable description I can come up with is “ungainly”.

  • avatar
    David Yip

    Badge engineering sucks. Sure, it saps innovation and creativity. But innovation and creativity are expensive.

    Toyota does it with Lexus, Honda does it with Acura, and as mentioned the Big 3 do it. That’s funny, because the CSX is uglier than the Civic, and the ES is uglier than the Camry.

    Badge engineering is hardly hardly a yes / no paradigm, but more a difference in effort put in by the manufacturer. With the GM the effort / cost it them is quite minimal. With Toyota and Honda the effort / cost seem to be a bit more.

    At one point of the continuum you have totally different platforms. Then you move to platform sharing, and then a few bits later, badge engineering to varying degrees.

    So I agree that it is somewhat subjective. The furore raised over Big 3 badge engineering is only because it’s so obvious.

  • avatar

    How not close to 7.2 seconds did you get?

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    How in God’s name can you start with a loser in it’s market ( the dodge durango) and think you can come up with a winner? Even though this is chrysler’s largest suv, it never fit right with the big guys or the intermediate sector. It’s mister in between, but not good enough to defince a new segement in the market. Whether you like the jeep compass or not. it has an entirely different body than the dodge caliber. This is acceptable (and the caliber sells well). When non of the sheet metal panels are interchangeable you have a different vehicle. How do you advertise the chrysler aspen? Get the same fuel millege as a suburban or expedition with three quarter of the size. All of the fuel guzzling satisfaction with none of the excess bulk. etc. Go figure.

  • avatar
    windswords

    Jerry,

    On what basis do you say that the Durango is a “loser”?

    It can’t be on sales. Over the past two years (04 and 05) sales have averaged 135,000 units.

    It can’t be buff magazine ratings. C&D rated the Durango over the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, Chevy Tahoe (not the just introduced model), and the Ford Expedition. PBS’s Motorweek program also gave a glowing review to the Durango.

    An entire factory is kept running with building this vehicle.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    windswords: I base my conclusion on the soft prices at my local dealer for durangos and the fact that dodge gives you $5000 cash on each one of these success stories. I tried to find the unsold inventory, but couldn’t. Want to wager me it’s closer to 100 days than 50? The fact that the factory is busy is exactly the problem, they were building full bore all year and storing the iron. Success is on sales at a profitable level, therefore

  • avatar
    JimHinCO

    jerry:

    I think you are confusing $5,000 cash back on a limited number of vehicles and profitability over the entire platform sold. Dodge still makes a profit selling 135,000 vehicles…even if the last 30,000 are $5K under MSRP (which could still be a profit for Dodge anyhow).

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    jimhinco I don’t argue that the durango had a reasonably successful past, or that there is no profit in them. I merely wanted you to realize that they are a dwindling dying segement. Without diesel or other new technology, the entire larger suv group is doomed. I’m sure chrylser’s financial models for durango didn’t envision as many lying in storage lots and dealers lots with the crimped profits. Also the slower selling rate of them is the trend, not the glorious past when they were introduced. Ford has the same problem with the explorer.

  • avatar
    windswords

    I think that no one can predict the future. You say that large SUV’s are a sying segment. That may be true. Or not. For one I have heard of no plans by Toyota or Nissan to discontine the Sequoia or Armada. That would be telling.
    As my earlier post said we will have to wait and see what kind of sales the Aspen makes.

    Who knows what will happen? Gas may continue to go down. Or Hezbollah, Hamass or some other terror group (Islamic Jihad maybe?) may attack Israel and the price may go up to $100 a barrel. SUV’s may never return to their glory days but there should be plenty of sales worth fighting for. Minivans haven’t returned to their glory days of the 1980′s but they are still made and by most major auto companies.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Toyota does rebadging, but is only better at putting on more makeup to hide it. Toyota Camry = Lexus ES. Lexus RX =Toyota Highlander. Lexus GX and LX both have Toyota equivilants. Lexus does have some unique products, but most of them are either based on Toyota’s sold here or elsewehre. I am sick of this “Toyota Can Do No Wrong” attitude. Its compleatly unfounded. I’ve owned Toyotas (a Camry and an old Tercel) and they both had their problems.

    Back to Chrysler: The Aspen simply proves that the 300C and Charger were flukes and Chrysler is still in as much, if not more, trouble than GM or Ford.

  • avatar
    delmartian

    Appreciated the review of this vehicle … but found boring and absolutely meaningless all the car bashing that is posted … the only useful and meaningful reviews and commentaries were from actual owners/reviewers of this vehicle. Wish there was a filer for that. …

  • avatar
    splicer

    This is a nice suv with lots of power,if you don,t like don't buy it, so its not the best on gas ,its not suppose to be, if you need a suv to pull your boat or camper ,it will do it.


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