2006 Dodge Magnum R/T
The Good :)
Unique exterior looks. Loads of Hemi V8 Power. Great amount of passenger
room and luggage capacity. Available in all wheel drive or rear wheel
The Bad :(
Looks will not suit every personality. Interior parts are bland, should be
of higher quality.
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Dodge continues to dominate American
carmakers by offering the unique Magnum with updated options and high
performance variants. "Armed with cutting-edge technologies, the Dodge
Magnum muscled its way onto the streets last year and changed the way
customers think of family transportation," said Darryl Jackson, Vice
President, Dodge marketing, Chrysler Group. "Now, the 2006 Dodge Magnum
continues to offer fun and functionality in a family vehicle unlike any
The 2006 Dodge Magnum lineup includes the
rear-wheel-drive Dodge Magnum SE model, Dodge Magnum with the SXT package
and the HEMI-powered Dodge Magnum R/T model. The 2006 Dodge Magnum SXT and
the Magnum R/T are available as all-wheel-drive models, which is a big step
up in control of power and drivability in snowy conditions.
2006 Dodge Magnum R/T tested here features a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with
Multi-Displacement System (MDS), mated to a five-speed automatic
transmission with AutoStick. MDS seamlessly turns off the fuel consumption
in four cylinders in the engine when V-8 power is not needed, improving fuel
economy by as much as 20 percent.
With 340 horsepower (254 kW)
and 390 lb.-ft. (525 Nm) of torque, the Dodge Magnum R/T can go from zero
to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds. Fuel economy is rated at 17 miles per gallon
in the city and 25 on the highway highway although we experienced only 16.5
miles per gallon in our tests overall. The MDS system probably is more
noticeable in its fuel savings for those doing heavy highway driving that is
steady and at a constant speed.
The V8 Hemi engine delivers great pull and
offers a nice sound when pushed hard. It is smooth revving and quick with a
great amount of torque as well. We were able to easily pass vehicles on the
highway and the Magnum felt nimbler than its size might suggest. The V-8
Hemi was strong enough to make even this large car feel like a two-door
Around town the Hemi power is
controllable yet instantly available. At downtown speeds the engine is very
quiet and there is little exhaust sound. However pushing the pedal quickly
delivers a nice roar with a seat pinning kick that easily puts a smile on
your face. Why are there speed limits in the first place?
The five-speed automatic
transmission equipped with AutoStick, a driver-selectable gear control,
offers fully-automatic or manual shifting selection. The five-speed
transmission replaces the four-speed automatic transmission previously
featured on the rear-wheel-drive Magnum SXT package. We found ourselves
content with the automatic mode since the engine was responsive enough in
any gear. Most owners will seldom use the AutoStick function, as it does
not deliver quick and precise shifts. The fun of shifting is simply not
there in this transmission.
Magnum R/T, when equipped with the Trailer Tow Group, can tow trailers up to
3,800 pounds. Without the Trailer Tow Group, Magnum delivers up to 2,000
pounds of towing capacity when powered by the 3.5- or 5.7-liter engine.
Magnum SE's 2.7-liter engine can tow up to 1,000 lbs. R/T models with the
Trailer Tow Group feature a self-leveling rear suspension that adjusts
automatically to ensure a constant ride height, no matter what kind of load
Standard features on the 2006
Dodge Magnum R/T include 18-inch polished aluminum wheels and touring
tires; 19-gallon fuel tank; chrome, bright "R/T" style exterior badge;
multi-function, power, heated foldaway mirrors; dual exhausts with chrome
tips; performance four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes; premium leather
interior trim and sunscreen privacy glass. The Dodge Magnum R/T powered by
the HEMI V-8 engine also is available as an all-wheel drive model, which
includes a front differential, transfer case and all-wheel-drive front
suspension this gives the vehicle a more planted feel with a stronger and
safer pulling ability with the powerful Hemi engine.
The uniquely styled Magnum certainly has
strong exterior looks. The "shooting brake" profile with a high front end
and a slowly downward raking rear roofline is quite stylish. The overall
body stance is low and looks very hot. The high sheet metal along the sides
and narrow windows also give the Magnum its go fast appearance.
The interior of the magnum is
similar to that of the Chrysler 300 we recently tested. The main difference
being a striking instrument cluster which is shaped like a periscope with
deep set gauges. The power
sunroof is simple and easy to use and quiet as well. In this price
range we would have liked a power passenger seat and a power steering column
as well as adjustable driver"s pedals but these were not standard items.
Also optional are items like the dual zone climate control and U-Connect
Bluetooth hands free cell phone feature. The U-Connect should have been a
standard feature by now with the ever presence of cell phones, but
unfortunately it was not in the Magnum. It seems that you are paying a
whole lot of money just for the HEMI engine under the hood.
In the Magnum, some noteworthy
details remind you that German engineering and parts make up the
nuts-and-bolts of the car. We noticed that the climate control switches
felt precise and were not as loose as those in other cars from Ford or GM.
The steering wheel controls were also similar to those we have seen in
German cars. The suspension and handling of the car was very solid and even
at high speeds, the car stayed in control. In the past, dodge vehicles
would become unsteady over 80 mph. Overall the feel and quality parts are a
big improvement over past dodge models before the Dialmer-Chrysler merge.
The interior lighting at night
was nice with some minor drawbacks. The white instrument cluster looks much
better at night than the green glow of the Chrysler 300C and is much sharper
and crisper looking at night. However it is all a bit too bright for easy
driving and things stick out just a bit too much like the Instrument cluster
and the navigation system. There is little ambient lighting with all doors
closed. Interior trim is bland with little variation on door panels and
dash. At least there is no plastic wood trim, something we extremely
dislike. Use of real aluminum trim would have been a nice touch as well as
more leather covered parts.
The benefit of having a
station wagon is that you get loads of room for cargo. There is 22 cubic
feet of cargo space in the rear trunk with up to 71 cubic feet with the rear
seats folded down. A lower level to the cargo floor offers even more
storage area. Deep side storage areas in the trunk are great for gallon
sized jugs. The unique hinge on the rear hatch allows for large items to
fit more easily although tall items will have trouble finding space.
New for 2006 is the availability of a
rear-seat DVD entertainment system on the Dodge Magnum with the SXT package
and Magnum R/T model. The Video Entertainment System (VESTM) is cleverly
packaged in the center console unit and includes a DVD player and 7-inch
screen, a remote control and two wireless headsets. This location provides
rear-seat passengers with easy access to the unit. The hinged LCD screen
can be fully stored into the armrest or flipped up for viewing. In addition
to DVDs, the system plays audio only DVDs, Windows Media Audio (WMA), audio
CDs, MP3 audio discs and video CDs. Auxiliary plug-in jacks are included on
the faceplate so that rear-seat passengers can view video directly from a
video camera, play games from a video game console or play music directly
from a portable MP3 player. Another unique feature of the entertainment
system is that the vehicle speakers can play audio from a disc in the DVD
player, while the rear-seat passengers can listen to audio from the SIRIUS
Satellite Radio, AM or FM radio or a disc in the radio CD player on the
In snowy conditions the rear
wheel drive Magnum worked well in roads covered with light snow and ice. If
it were a four wheel drive model it would likely make it through 6-inches of
snow or more fairly easily. In this two wheel drive version, anything above
3-inches of snow spells trouble. The rear end tends to slide in moderate
snow and pulls to the side when it begins its slide, this is where the ESP
comes into play braking one wheel at a time keeping you going in the
direction you want to.
Dodge succeeded in bringing
back rear-wheel-drive technology to transfer HEMI V-8 power to the pavement
with the in the 2005 model. Proven technologies such as Electronic
Stability Program (ESP), All-speed Traction Control System (TCS) and
Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) help control the Magnum under slippery
conditions. ESP enhances driver control and helps maintain directional
stability in turns, including uneven surface conditions and patchy snow, ice
or gravel. If there"s a discernible difference between what the driver
indicates through the steering and the vehicle"s path, ESP applies selective
braking and throttle control to put the car back onto the driver"s intended
path. The system is calibrated for improved control of the vehicle under a
variety of conditions and operates in a manner that is not intrusive under
normal driving. The ESP also offers Brake Assist, which detects when
maximum braking is required by sensing the rate of brake application. By
applying full brake pressure to all four brakes, this system improves
stopping distance. All-speed TCS enhances mobility and prevents wheel slip
when accelerating on slippery surfaces. It also provides a measure of
directional stability control, an advancement beyond prior traction control
systems. ABS keeps the vehicle straight, while retaining steering
capability when braking on slippery surfaces by preventing wheel lock-up.
Tested extensively in snowy conditions by us, the Magnum is good at keeping
you going in the direction you want to go.
Safety systems also include a tire pressure
monitor for 2006. The system monitors the pressure inside each tire and
alerts the driver to improper tire pressure conditions. A Belt-Alert, which
chimes to remind front seat occupants to buckle up, and a speed control
instrument panel indicator light have been added to all 2006 Dodge Magnum
models. Supplemental side airbags are available while front airbags are
standard, something that should be standard all around. A basic three year
or 36,000 mile warranty is offered. Towing assistance is also offered
during the warranty period.
Our 2006 Magnum R/T started off at a base
price of $30,345. Optional equipment included the electronics convenience
group for $630 which offers all standard items which you cannot live without
like the vehicle information center in the instrument cluster and trip
computer as well as steering wheel mounted audio controls and a three garage
door opener. The power sunroof costs $950. The GPS system adds $1,895.
Sirius satellite radio with 1-year of service is $195. Rear seat
entertainment video system with headphones is $1,150. Add a $675
destination charge and the total comes to $35,840.
Overall if you like the style then you will
certainly like the handling and interior feel of the Magnum. We think that
a more opulent interior should be standard for this price however the Magnum
offers more room than its German counterparts. Take a look at our
comparison table below.