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Published: Wednesday, 6/18/2008

Chrysler sets prices for hybrid SUVs


DETROIT - Chrysler LLC said yesterday that its new hybrid full-size sport utility vehicles will be priced nearly $8,000 below competitors from General Motors Corp.

It said the 2009 Dodge Durango hybrid will have a suggested retail price of $45,340 and the '09 Chrysler Aspen hybrid will start at $45,570.

A comparable four-wheel-drive version of the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid starts at $53,295, and the 2008 GMC Yukon hybrid starts at $52,855.

Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa said the hybrid Durango will cost $3,655 more than a comparable model with a gas engine, and the Aspen will cost $3,550 more.

The Durango and Aspen are Chrysler's first entries into the hybrid market and are to go on sale in August. Chrysler said the hybrid SUVs get up to 20 miles per gallon and improve fuel economy by 40 percent in city driving and up to 25 percent overall. Chrysler's hybrid system was developed in a partnership with GM, Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz division, and BMW AG, and it's the same system that's on the GM SUVs.

It can operate in electric-only mode at low speeds or with a combination of the gas engine and electric assistance for more power at higher speeds.

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