2007 Dodge Magnum R/T Review


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2007 Dodge Magnum R/T AWD (Shown)
THE AUTO PAGE
By
JOHN HEILIG

SEE ALSO: New Car Buyer's Guide for Dodge

SPECIFICATIONS

MODEL: Dodge Magnum R/T
ENGINE: 5.7-liter multi-displacement V8
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE:
TRANSMISSION: 5-speed automatic with lockup torque converter
WHEELBASE: 120.0 in.
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT: 197.7 x 74.1 x 58.3 in.
TIRES: P225/60R18 AST self-sealing
CARGO VOLUME: 71.6 cu. ft.(max)
FUEL ECONOMY: 17 mpg city/ 25 mpg highway/16.2 mpg test
STICKER: $39,105 (includes $675 destination charge)

Essentially the same as the Dodge Charger R/T, the Dodge Magnum R/T has one added dimension; it’s a true-blue station wagon. All too often recently, manufacturers are wont to call station wagons “crossover vehicles,” even if all they offer is front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. To me, if it looks like a duck….

While I liked the Charger for its overall design and performance, I’ll go out on a limb and say I like the Magnum even more. Like the large bottle of champagne it’s named after, the Magnum offers the unique combination of performance capability and practicality.

I’ve been a wagon fan ever since our growing family was too big for a mid-size sedan and needed the added space of a Ford LTD Country Squire in the 1960s. Of course, at that time all we were concerned with was finding places to put all the girls’ clothes, Barbie dolls and assorted goodies. Little did we realize that in a few years we’d have to move up once again to a full-size van. It took years before we started downsizing. ButI digress.

Now my concerns are more with the number of golf bags that can comfortable be stored in the cargo area. Since the Magnum is a wagon and has a cargo area of 27.2 cubic feet behind the second row of seats, it’s more than ideal for carrying four full-size bags. And since it has the legroom of the full-size Charger in front of that bench, there’s room for all three of my golfing buddies without their continual carping about being cramped. With the second-row seat backs folded, cargo capacity increases to 71.6 cubic feet.

There are a couple of caveats, though. Thanks to the Magnum’s slope-back styling that looks great from the outside, some taller objects may have to be carried in a lie-down position. Also, with the sloping roofline and tall rear seats, rearward vision is somewhat compromised. It’s a compromise you can live with, and after a few rides it becomes a minor problem. But it is there.

Our main cargo was grocery bags and there was lots of room for them. The cargo new that one would find in the trunk of a sedan, is attached horizontally, more like a tablecloth. Items that might tend to slide around can be placed under this tarp-like structure and they won’t. There are also pockets on both sides of the trunk that permit carrying of smaller objects. We put gallon milk cartons in there and plastic grocery bags full of round fruit, for example.

At its heart, the Magnum is a Charger- a full-size sedan with gobs of power emanating from its 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Power is listed at 340 horses and 390 lb.-ft. of torque, more than enough for any normal wagon jobs. The engine drives the rear wheels through a 5-speed automatic transmission with a manual capacity. We used it as a manual on a couple of trips up and down my favorite hillclimb roads and it worked fine. On these roads, I ‘m not sure the performance was that much better than the automatic, but it was fun shifting.

Passenger comfort was very good, both front and rear. And even senior citizens had no problems with entry or egress.

For a wagon aficionado, the Dodge Magnum is close to ideal. It has size and practicality tied together with Dodge Charger HEMI performance. And what’s not to like about that?

2006 The Auto Page Syndicate

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