C&D Preview - 2005 Dodge Magnum SXT

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It could make wagons cool again.

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    BY AARON ROBINSON
    PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY G. RUSSELL
    May 2004

    It's been a long time since station wagons were hip. Or has it? The 2001 Audi S6 Avant had 340 horsepower and went 155 mph. That's pretty tight. Every morning the surfers roll into Malibu in retired kid shuttles with mismatched hubcaps and pitted chrome. They're cool.

    Now Dodge has this new wagon—oops, make that "sports tourer" in the company's preferred vernacular. We think it's way cool. Dodge planners wanted their version of the new DaimlerChrysler rear-drive LX platform to be "something different."

    It is. A flatworm has the requisite fingers to count up the Magnum's direct competitors. For starters, it's the only rear-drive station wagon on the market starting under $30,000—a Lexus IS300 SportCross starts at $32,455—and the only wagon under $50,000 to offer a V-8.

    Perhaps there's a reason. Dodge will certainly find out. DaimlerChrysler hopes dealers take their minds off Rams and Durangos long enough to absorb about 30 percent of the production from the Brampton, Ontario, assembly plant the Magnum shares with the Chrysler 300C.

    How many is that? The Dodge boys will say only that the plant can screw together about 240,000 cars per year. That's a maelstrom of Magnums. Whisperers say Dodge will soon get a version of the 300C sedan, and the company is already slated to sell a Chrysler-badged Magnum in Europe.

    Until then, people besides us had better think the Magnum is cool, too. The realistic sticker is a good start. For a base price of $22,495, the stripper Magnum SE delivers an encyclopedia of German rear-drive expertise propelled by a 190-hp, 2.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6. The Magnum SXT sends in the 250-horse, 3.5-liter SOHC 24-valve V-6 for $25,995. The R/T with the Hemi? It squeaks under 30 grand with a base price of $29,995 and an all-whistles tag of $36,820, including sunroof, curtain airbags, and navigation system. All-wheel drive arrives this fall.

    Rather than a conventional two-box wagon, Dodge gives us one box backed up to a bunny hill. The tapering roofline precludes a third-row seat and slices somewhat into available cargo space. The tailgate itself cuts a foot or two into the roof, to a fatter section of the body, to preserve the opening size. Engineers used a boxed 27-inch television as their template. No mention of whether Vaseline was required. The only downside: The open tailgate doesn't provide rain protection, so tailgate parties are more fun in the sun.

    The open cargo area exposes the ears to a little more road grain and exhaust rumble than in the sedan, but radio and conversation settings remain relaxed. With all seats at attention you get 27 cubic feet of space. The 60/40-split rear bench folds flat to make about 72 cubic feet, numbers within a few shoe boxes of a Ford Escape. Tennis rackets will slip into a shallow storage cubby below the sliding floor, which faces up with either a carpeted side for dry items or a rubber-laminated side for wet ones. An extra 12-volt socket powers your tailgating toys, and four light-duty D-rings (part of a $410 cargo package that includes a net and a roof rack) tie down the swag.

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    The Magnum's work area is starker (or is that sportier?) than the 300C's, with greater seas of monochromatic charcoal. Four white-face gauges lie at the bottom of tubes ringed with satin-metal-finish plastic. It's very "Oakland Roadster Show." The seat cloth of the SXT feels Euro expensive, finely woven and high friction. Magnum back-seaters get the same comfortable, spacious bench as in the sedan.

    The Magnum shares the 300C's Mercedes-inspired multilink suspension, except for stouter spring rates in the rear to handle cargo loads. Sachs Nivomat load-adjusting shocks come in a $500 tow package that gives Hemi-equipped Magnums a 3800-pound trailer rating. Jet Ski owners, take note. Without the package, hitch up 1000 to 2000 pounds, depending on the engine.

    Having already burned the treads off a 300C Hemi, we focused the drive time on a Magnum SXT with the 3.5 V-6 and four-speed automatic, a familiar Chrysler slushbox shared with, among other vehicles, the Dodge Dakota pickup. No manuals are offered on the Magnum or 300C.

    Tuned up for this year with a variable-length intake manifold, the big 3.5 pulls hard but doesn't generate grins like the Hemi. We ducked the cops on a desert back road to steal a 7.5-second 0-to-60 with a 15.8 quarter-mile at 89 mph. That's a leisurely two seconds slower to 60 than the 300C Hemi, but it's in the mix with most popular mid-size V-6ers.

    The chassis looks willing on paper and feels willing on asphalt. The SXT model—3900 pounds according to its press release—sinks the fangs into corners with confident turn-in and buttoned-down body stability. The steering dampens out some data, but the effort rises and falls where it should, and the mechanism is precise.

    Serious drivers, go ahead and submit your résumés. Dodge has a wagon that fits your talents. How cool is that?


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    2005 Dodge Magnum

    Vehicle type: front-engine, rear- or 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door wagon
    Base price: $22,495-$29,995
    Engines: DOHC 24-valve 2.7-liter V-6, 190 hp, 190 lb-ft; SOHC 24-valve 3.5-liter V-6, 250 hp, 250 lb-ft; pushrod 16-valve 5.7-liter V-8, 340 hp, 390 lb-ft
    Transmissions: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic with manumatic shifting
    Wheelbase: 120.0 in
    Length/width/height: 197.7/74.1/58.4 in
    Curb weight: 3850-4350 lb

    C/D-estimated performance:

    Zero to 60 mph: 5.5-8.5 sec
    Standing 1/4-mile: 14.2-17.0 sec
    Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph

    Estimated fuel economy:

    EPA city driving: 17-21 mpg
    EPA highway driving: 23-28 mpg

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  2. nucl3ar

    nucl3ar Guest

    I'd pimp it.
     
  3. Umpa Lumpa

    Umpa Lumpa The Asian Invasion!!

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    That's thing is pretty fast..
     
  4. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

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    That's one of the best wagons i've ever seen.
     
  5. krave

    krave Active Member

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    fugly
     
  6. coronet

    coronet Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep?

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    I wish to know more about the 2.7, and how much more the 3.5 will cost over the base price. :hs:
     
  7. coronet

    coronet Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep?

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    This is the wagon I got my username from

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    1970 Coronet
     
  8. GReddy EX

    GReddy EX Guest

    :down: x HEMI x :greddy: x :barf: = [​IMG]

    I don't know WHO told Chrysler that brickhouse designs were hot, but no...

    funny how now that they're :Owned: by Daimler, Mercedes' designs are gettin hotter and hotter, and theirs are getting worse and worse...
     
  9. Jonari

    Jonari Well-Known Member

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    the car looks good from certain angles and pics...but in this pic...it looks like shit
     
  10. GReddy EX

    GReddy EX Guest

    the grille is far too large.... and the entire front end is too heavy, visually...
     
  11. GReddy EX

    GReddy EX Guest

    THIS is when I realized Chrysler's designs were going to SHIT :uh:

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    not an attractive design by any stretch of the imagination...
     
  12. 70BirdGirl

    70BirdGirl New Member

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    Terrible interior, and too plain compared to the SRT8 concept. Sigh.
     
  13. Douchemark

    Douchemark Guest


    this from the jap neon guy :rofl:
     
  14. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It is the V6 vanilla flavor of the car, and the SRT-8 is still rumored.

    I haven't seen the Magnum R/T in person yet, but based on pictures I'd take it over a 300C. The 300 is cool, but a little too glittery for me.

    And I've always liked wagons. Especially fast ones. :)
     
  15. Buck-O

    Buck-O Guest

    They arent to bad looking untill you see one from the rear.
    I was behind a factory car here the other day on the freeway, and let me tell you, it looks REALLY fucking ghey rolling down the road on those 205 bicycle tires.
    Jesus, my Sentra GXE comes with 195's stock.
     
  16. midnite

    midnite OT Supporter

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    i like it. ill take the r/t please
     

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