A 303-hp 4.7L V8 is standard, and a 376-hp 5.7L Hemi V8 is optional. New to the line-up is a 399-hp 5.7L Hemi Hybrid, which gets 40 of those horses from a 300-volt battery. The hybrid engine comes mated to a continuously variable transmission.
The 4.7L can run on blends of ethanol and gasoline up to 85% ethanol (E85), and the 5.7L benefits from the Multi-Displacement System, which turns off four of the cylinders to save fuel when less power is required.
Aspens equipped with the 4.7L engine and AWD get a single-speed transfer case system, while Hemi AWD models get a low range good for creeping up steep off-road inclines or boat ramps, or getting through sand. Both systems have a 2WD mode, and they revert to a 48/52% split front/back in AWD mode.
The Aspen's truck-based underpinnings are closely related to those of the Dodge Durango. It rides on a stiff hydroformed frame, has an independent front suspension and solid rear axle with coil springs as well as a Watts linkage setup, which improves roadholding.
Inside, the Aspen is comfort-oriented. Standard features include wood accents, air conditioning, a garage door opener, front and rear LED lamps, a CD sound system and a rear power outlet. Eight can be seated comfortably with the standard layout, which includes a second-row bench seat and a 60/40-split folding third-row seat, but there's also an optional seven-passenger layout with second-row bucket seats.
Standard safety equipment includes electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, front side air bags and roll-sensing side-curtain air bags.
Major options on the Aspen include leather upholstery heated first- and second-row seats, full leather upholstery, a power memory driver's seat, a back-seat DVD entertainment system, power sunroof and several flashy wheel designs, including huge chrome-clad 20-inchers.