2007 Chrysler Aspen

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2007 Chrysler Aspen. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Price
  • Many standard features
  • Third row roomier than most
  • Highway stability

The Bad

  • Fuel economy
  • Comfort for shorter drivers
  • Truck-like handling
  • Some cheap controls

Notable Features of the 2007 Chrysler Aspen

  • Related to Dodge Durango
  • Standard 4.7-liter V-8, optional Hemi
  • Seats seven or eight
  • Full-size dimensions

2007 Chrysler Aspen Road Test

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Kelsey Mays
Chrysler says the Aspen, its first SUV, competes in price with the GMC Yukon and in perception with the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade — lofty targets indeed. Don't be fooled: The Aspen is no Escalade. But given its bargain price, comfortable interior and upscale styling, I think it's a compelling alternative to some of the more everyday models out there.

The Aspen is closely related to the Dodge Durango. Seating capacity is seven or eight, depending on configuration, and four-wheel drive is available. Buyers have a choice of two V-8s, including Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi. I drove a four-wheel-drive Aspen with the smaller 4.7-liter V-8.

Exterior & Styling
Despite an abundance of chrome, I found the Aspen's profile more conservative than edgy. Those familiar with the Durango will notice similarities, but there are enough differences to keep the Aspen from looking like a me-too knockoff. The crosscut grille is standard Chrysler fare, and the hood strakes mimic those on the Crossfire roadster and Sebring sedan.

My tester came with 18-inch alloy wheels and P265/60R18 tires. Twenty-inch chrome wheels with P265/60R20 tires are optional.

Here's how the Aspen measures up against other full-size SUVs:

Full-Size SUVs Compared
2007 Chrysler Aspen2007 GMC Yukon2007 Ford Expedition2007 Toyota Sequoia
Base price*$30,745$34,365$29,175$33,160
Length (in.)202.1202.0206.5203.9
Width (in.)76.079.078.878.9
Height (in.)73.677.077.273.6
Max. seating capacity**8988
Turnin...

Chrysler says the Aspen, its first SUV, competes in price with the GMC Yukon and in perception with the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade — lofty targets indeed. Don't be fooled: The Aspen is no Escalade. But given its bargain price, comfortable interior and upscale styling, I think it's a compelling alternative to some of the more everyday models out there.

The Aspen is closely related to the Dodge Durango. Seating capacity is seven or eight, depending on configuration, and four-wheel drive is available. Buyers have a choice of two V-8s, including Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi. I drove a four-wheel-drive Aspen with the smaller 4.7-liter V-8.

Exterior & Styling
Despite an abundance of chrome, I found the Aspen's profile more conservative than edgy. Those familiar with the Durango will notice similarities, but there are enough differences to keep the Aspen from looking like a me-too knockoff. The crosscut grille is standard Chrysler fare, and the hood strakes mimic those on the Crossfire roadster and Sebring sedan.

My tester came with 18-inch alloy wheels and P265/60R18 tires. Twenty-inch chrome wheels with P265/60R20 tires are optional.

Here's how the Aspen measures up against other full-size SUVs:

Full-Size SUVs Compared
2007 Chrysler Aspen2007 GMC Yukon2007 Ford Expedition2007 Toyota Sequoia
Base price*$30,745$34,365$29,175$33,160
Length (in.)202.1202.0206.5203.9
Width (in.)76.079.078.878.9
Height (in.)73.677.077.273.6
Max. seating capacity**8988
Turning circle (ft.)39.939.040.842.3
Source: Manufacturer data for 4WD-equipped vehicles.
*Prices at time of publication; excludes destination charge.
**May require optional equipment.

Ride & Handling
As a body-on-frame SUV, the Aspen has an independent front suspension with double wishbones, while the rear suspension employs a non-independent, solid-axle design. Both sections have stabilizer bars.

Given the truck-based underpinnings, the Aspen's ride is expectedly floaty. Stretches of rough pavement induce plenty of wheel hop, which makes the suspension and steering come briefly unglued — not the most responsive sensation, but something many trucks are prone to.

On the highway, the Aspen feels much more planted. Expansion joints become muted thuds, and even at 70 mph with moderate crosswinds, I didn't find the steering wheel at all jittery.

Cornering is best done at low speeds, as there is marked body roll. The steering feels well-boosted — I easily wound the wheel with one hand — and, as has become the norm for this class, there's very little feedback.

At just under 40 feet, the Aspen's turning circle is better than that of most competitors.

Going & Stopping
While the Durango uses a V-6 as its base engine, the Aspen comes with a standard 4.7-liter V-8. Chrysler's well-marketed 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is optional. Thanks to a fuel-saving cylinder deactivation feature in the Hemi that disables four cylinders under low-load conditions, it achieves incrementally better gas mileage than the base V-8. With either engine, the Aspen is not substantially more — or less — thirsty than its competitors.

Aspen Engines
4.7L V-85.7L V-8
Horsepower (@ rpm)235 @ 4,600335 @ 5,200
Torque (lbs.-ft. @ rpm)300 @ 3,600370 @ 4,200
Transmission5-speed automatic5-speed automatic
Max. towing capacity (lbs.)7,500 (2WD); 7,350 (4WD)8,950 (2WD); 8,750 (4WD)
EPA-estimated gas mileage (city/hwy, mpg)14/19 (2WD); 14/18 (4WD)15/20 (2WD); 14/19 (4WD)
Required fuelRegular (87 octane) or E85 (most states)Regular (87 octane); midgrade (89 octane) recommended
Source: Manufacturer data

The Aspen I tested came with the 4.7-liter V-8 and the standard five-speed automatic transmission. Though the engine makes a modest 235 horsepower, it churns out 300 pounds-feet of torque at a fairly low 3,600 rpm. Horsepower comes into play as the engine revs, but torque moves things from a standstill — especially important for heavier vehicles — and the V-8 offered plenty of power around the city.

At highway speeds, the engine settles into a fifth-gear stupor, turning around 1,800 rpm at 65 mph. Kickdown takes a bit more pedal, and passing maneuvers — likely in fourth gear — aren't especially energetic. As the engine passes 4,000 rpm, there's more noise than power. The Hemi presumably offers a better experience, so drop me an email if you've driven an Aspen or Durango with it.

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.

Rear-wheel drive is standard. Four-wheel-drive models with the 4.7-liter V-8 include a single-speed transfer case. There is no two-wheel-drive mode — only four-wheel drive and four-wheel-drive lock. The latter distributes equal power to each axle via a locking center differential. In my tester, the system managed seamless switches between the two modes. In four-wheel-drive Aspens with the 5.7-liter V-8, a two-speed transfer case includes four-wheel-drive High and Low modes for even more control, something not many suburban SUV owners are likely to need.

The Inside
Thanks to broad doors that opened wide, I had no problem getting in. I'm nearly 6 feet tall, however, so shorter drivers may want to spring for the optional running boards — otherwise it could be a bit of a climb.

The front seats are comfortably wide, though the cushioning felt a bit firm for my taste. A standard eight-way power driver's seat offers plenty of travel in all directions. The steering wheel tilts but doesn't telescope; its fixed position, extended quite far from the dashboard, may prove too close to shorter drivers. They should also note the brake pedal's position, rather high off the floor. Amanda Wegrzyn, a Cars.com editor, found it a strain for her smaller feet to reach. If you find yourself in the same situation, check out an Aspen with the optional power-adjustable pedals to see if they actually lower the pedal height or merely move it fore and aft, and whether they help distance you better from the steering wheel.

The Aspen's dashboard feels contemporary, but it's vertical enough that there's no mistaking it for that of a car. The splotches of faux wood and metal trim in my tester looked far from genuine, but I've seen much worse. The instruments and controls are easy to see and use, though the manual air conditioning had an outdated blue-to-red slider — especially inconvenient if you're trying to adjust the temperature over a bumpy road. Go for the optional automatic climate control and its digital setup.

Thanks to a high ceiling, the second and third rows offer ample headroom. In my Aspen, each row had three seats. The fixed second row is positioned fairly close to the front seats, so legroom is a bit tight. The payoff comes in third-row legroom, which I found especially generous given what's normally offered in this segment.

Safety
All Aspens come with standard side curtain airbags for all three rows. Antilock brakes are also standard, as is an electronic stability system with Chrysler's Electronic Roll Mitigation. ERM attempts to predict rollovers using information from the stability system, and it can apply individual brakes in an attempt to keep the Aspen on all fours.

As of publication, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety — our preferred source — has not yet crash tested the Aspen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Aspen five stars, its highest rating, for frontal impacts.

Depending on drivetrains, NHTSA says the Aspen has a 19 to 21 percent chance of rolling over in a single-vehicle crash. SUVs typically range from about 13 to 33 percent, according to NHTSA.

Lower child-seat anchors are included in the outboard second-row seats. Top-tether anchors are included for all three second-row positions, but they're buried near the base of each seatback and require parents to maneuver the tether strap between the head restraints and down the seatback. The third row offers a more user-friendly tether anchor midway down the center seatback with a clearly marked cover, but there are no lower anchors for any of the three positions. As a whole, it's a perplexing setup that could be a lot better.

On the upside, all seats come with head restraints, and each one extended high enough for me.

Cargo & Towing
Cargo room behind the third row totals 19 cubic feet. A shallow storage well can accommodate a first aid kit or other small necessities, but it's not deep enough for larger items. The third row folds nearly flat, as does the second row. With all the seats down, maximum cargo room measures 102.4 cubic feet.

The towing capacity in a properly equipped Aspen totals 7,500 pounds with the 4.7-liter V-8 and 8,950 pounds with the Hemi. Adding four-wheel drive drops the rating by 150 or 200 pounds, depending on the engine.

Features
Starting around $31,000, the Aspen includes seating for eight, as well as power accessories with remote keyless entry, a four-speaker CD stereo, a power driver's seat and a full complement of safety features. My four-wheel-drive tester added optional leather upholstery, a rear backup sensor, a power liftgate and an Alpine audio system, among other items. Additional options include the Hemi V-8, a moonroof, a rear entertainment system and a navigation system. A fully-loaded Aspen costs around $45,000.

Aspen in the Market
The Aspen's comfortable interior, available Hemi engine and raft of standard safety features deserve a tip of the hat, but what truly stands out is its price. It starts thousands of dollars below most of its competitors, and its overall refinement is competitive with all but GM's redesigned SUVs — the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon and their siblings — which cost a lot more.

In an era of high gas prices, those who don't truly need full-size dimensions and lots of towing capacity should look elsewhere — crossovers, minivans, you name it. But if you're really in the market for one of these ogres, the Aspen is certainly worth a look.

Send Kelsey an email 



2007 Aspen Video

Watch MotorWeek on PBS. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Latest 2007 Aspen Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.3)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Most reliable car I?ve owned

by Anosh from Plano tx on September 12, 2018

I was really be happy with that ,it has enough space for picnic or family trip,it has cold air condition ,runs good automatic power window Read full review

(3.0)

Good Hauler

by KawaiiKoneko2 from Seattle, WA on August 21, 2018

Unfortunately as much as I liked this car it died on me at about 140K miles. It had an issue that I had previously experienced with my 03 durango with an evaporative emission leak. Car was nice and ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2007 Chrysler Aspen currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2007 Chrysler Aspen has not been tested.

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All Model Years for the Chrysler Aspen

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Aspen received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker