LA Auto Show Report: Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen Hybrids
Chrysler has finally joined the hybrid party (symposia?) with the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango Hybrids. The slow-selling platform partners share the two-mode gas- electric hybrid system developed with partners BMW, Daimler and General Motors. On the surface it looks like Chrysler LLC is ready to give the tree huggers some love. As it turns out, the operative word is "some." Early in the unveiling at the LA Auto Show, Chrysler reps said the two-mode system would yield a 40 percent improvement in city mileage and 20 percent better highway mpgs. In practice, the extra batteries boost the TTAC Ten Worst-winning twins' expected mileage from 13/18 to 18/19. If Chrysler thinks that's the difference between sale/no sale, with a premium to pay to boot, they're kidding themselves. That said, the Durango Hybrid has the increasingly familiar HYBRID stencil across the bottom of the doors and the best hybrid gauge we've seen, nestled in that Lego plastic dash. This year's designer accoutrement?