USA Today: Another MPD Chrysler Hybrid SUV Review
We reported earlier on the gold standard in this genre: Scott Burgess' Aspen Hybrid review. Clearly, USA Today car reviewer James R. Healey suffers from the same truth-telling conundrum: how do you diss a hybrid, even if it's a ridiculous idea whose absurdity is only matched by its shoddy execution? You know there's trouble right from the headline: " Chrysler's hybrid SUVs pull in near front of pack." Near? What pack? The pack of hybrid SUVs? Yup. "What makes Chrysler models superior to GM's?" Healey asks. Talk about the wrong question. (The answer is price, apparently.) After that bogus comparo, Healey gets down to business, and it ain't good for ChryCo. "Starting from a dead stop was lazy unless you pushed hard on the throttle, thus undoing the fuel-economy benefits (but generating lots of fun from the willing and eager Hemi V-8). Once underway, the hybrid's switching among modes was accompanied by tiny jerks and shimmies… As with most hybrids [?], there's a shudder when the gas engine fires up to aid the electrics, but it was barely noticeable in the Durango. The bulky battery pack under the second-row seat was a hurdle for access to the third row." Oh, and "Quiet: But electric motor whines at low speed."
More by Robert Farago