Chrysler sets price of hybrids

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear, I agree with you that many of the new hybrids will probably not be worth the money when compared to the overall savings in gasoline. But I remember the oil crisis of the '70s and the very poor responses that came out of Detroit. My father, with the best of intentions, spent the considerable extra money to buy a diesel Cadillac. After only 18 months and 3 transmissions he had the car towed back to the dealer and threatened to sue them unless they provided a more reliable car (as compensation my father received a "regular" Cadillac that got 10 miles to the gallon with a strong tailwind). My point is that while the first attempts to create fuel economy in the '70s were disastrous, our nation would be in much better shape had the fuel economy efforts continued into the '80s and '90s. So while a lot of hybrid cars may not be worth the money now, it's the advance in reliable fuel saving technology that will prove to be greatly worth some of the inevitable missteps. John Ellis

06/17/08 Chrysler LLC has set the price for its first two hybrids–gasoline/electric versions of the 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango sport/utility vehicles.

The Durango starts at $45,340 and the Aspen starts at $45,570, including shipping fees. The automaker says buyers are expected to get a tax credit worth $1,800.

The four-wheel-drive SUVs will arrive in showrooms in August. They are Chrysler's first use of the Two Mode hybrid technology it developed with General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Some of GM's Two Mode hybrids, including the GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe, are already on the road. Chrysler says its Two Mode vehicles are about $8,000 less. AutoWeek Magazine

[Editor's Note: Do the math before buying a hybrid. Depending on the difference in fuel mileage, the cost of a gallon of gas, the price difference of the non-hybrid version and how many miles you drive a year, you may not recoup the extra cost of the hybrid in the time you own the car.]

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