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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 drive.   

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 other."

            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.

            The 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 sports coupe.

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.

The 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 you're carrying.

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 headphones.

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. 

 

PRICING INVOICE RETAIL
Base Pricing 28,071 30,345
Destination 675 675
Convenience Group II  Includes Dual-Zone Automatic Air Conditioning, Automatic Headlamp Control, Power Adjustable Pedals, Dual Power Seat Adjusters & Heated Front Seats 1,040 1,130
Electronics Convenience Group  Includes Alarm System, Garage Door Opener, Instrument Cluster w/Display Screen, Steering Wheel Touch Controls, Mini Trip Computer & Vehicle Information Center. 580 630
Protection Group SXT RWD w/Wheels-WPR, SXT AWD & R/T  All Models Include Air Filtration System & F&R Head Curtain & Front Side Impact Air Bag Restraint System.
SXT RWD Includes All Models Equipment Plus P215/65R17 (w/o Wheels-WPR) or P225/60R18 (w/Wheels-WPR) Self-Sealing BSW Tires.
SXT AWD & R/T Includes All Models Equipment Plus P225/60R18 Self-Sealing BSW Tires.
543 590
Trailer Tow Prep Group 322 350
Moon Roof, Power Glass 874 950
Communication System, UConnect 331 360
Entertainment System SXT, R/T 1,058 1,150
Radio, AM/FM Stereo w/6-Disc CD Changer in-Dash & MP3 R/T 1,743 1,895
Radio Equipment, Sirius Feature 179 195

 

   2006 Dodge Magnum
RT 4dr Wagon (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
2006 Audi A4
3.2 Avant quattro 4dr Wagon AWD (3.1L 6cyl 6A)
2006 Mazda MAZDA6
s Grand Touring 4dr Wagon (3.0L 6cyl 6A)
2006 Subaru Forester
2.5 XT Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)
2007 Volkswagen Passat
3.6 4Motion 4dr Wagon AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
MSRP $30,445 $37,590 $27,160 $28,695 $33,100
Invoice $28,071 $34,821 $25,067 $26,733 $30,509
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Drivetrain 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Roadside 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Rust 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi.
d 7.9 - 11.8 12.3 - 12.9      
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V6 V6 flat 4 V6
Base Engine Displacement 5.7 liters 3.1 liters 3.0 liters 2.5 liters 3.6 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 340 hp @ 5000 rpm 255 hp @ 6500 rpm 215 hp @ 6000 rpm 230 hp @ 5600 rpm 280 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque 390 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 243 ft-lbs. @ 3250 rpm 199 ft-lbs. @ 5000 rpm 235 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm 265 ft-lbs. @ 2750 rpm
Tires   P235/45HR17
all season
P215/45VR18
all season
P215/60HR16
all season
P235/45HR17
all season
Wheels polished alloy rims
18 x 7.5 in.
alloy rims
17 x 7.5 in.
alloy rims
18 x 7.0 in.
alloy rims
16 x 6.5 in.
alloy rims
17 x 7.5 in.
Xenon Headlights   Optional     Optional
Parking Assist   rear parking sensors - Optional     front and rear parking sensors - Optional
Navigation System CD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system w/voice activation - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional   DVD navigation system - Optional
Phone hands free phone - Optional        
Turning Circle 38.9 ft. 36.4 ft. 38.7 ft. 35.4 ft. 35.8 ft.
Max. Cargo Capacity 72 cu. ft. 59 cu. ft. Not Published 56 cu. ft. Not Published
Max. Towing Capacity 2000 lbs.     2400 lbs.  
City 17 mpg. 19 mpg. 19 mpg. 21 mpg.  
Highway 25 mpg. 26 mpg. 27 mpg. 26 mpg.  
Length 197.7 in. 180.6 in. 187.8 in. 176.6 in. 188.2 in.
Width 74.1 in. 69.8 in. 70.1 in. 68.3 in. 71.7 in.
Height 58.3 in. 56.2 in. 57.3 in. 62.6 in. 58 in.
Weight 4125 lbs. 3770 lbs. 3461 lbs.   3953 lbs.
Wheel Base 120 in. 104.3 in. 105.3 in. 99.4 in. 106.7 in.
Ground Clearance 5.6 in. 4.2 in. 5.1 in. 7.9 in. 5.2 in.
Interior Magnum A4 MAZDA6 Forester Passat
Front Headroom 38.7 in. 38.4 in. 38.7 in. 39 in. 37.6 in.
Rear Headroom 38.1 in. 37.6 in. 38.6 in. 36.9 in. 38.6 in.
Front Shoulder Room 58.7 in. 55.1 in. 56.1 in. 53.5 in. 55.7 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 57.6 in. 53.4 in. 54.9 in. 53.6 in. 54.6 in.
Front Hip Room 56.2 in. Not Published 54.7 in. 51.6 in.  
Rear Hip Room 55.5 in. Not Published 54.1 in. 51.6 in.  
Front Leg Room 41.8 in. 41.3 in. 42.3 in. 43.6 in. 41.4 in.
Rear Leg Room 40.2 in. 34.3 in. 36.5 in. 33.7 in. 37.7 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 27.2 cu.ft. 27.8 cu.ft. 33.7 cu.ft. 29.6 cu.ft. 35.8 cu.ft.

 

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