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2006 Dodge Magnum SRT Review

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By Andrew Frankl

SEE ALSO: New Car Buyer's Guide for Dodge

I have to make a confession-the new Dodge Magnum SRT8 is not my cup of tea. Having said that it is wonderful news that in its various guises the truly dramatic looking car enabled Chrysler to make a profit after years of languishing in a sea of red ink. Clearly something new and exciting was called for and the company surprised all of us with a really aggressive looking automobile which has been getting awards from all and sundry. Why is it not for me? Well, put it down to old age if you like but I don’t need a 6.1 liter hemi engine. Yes, I can control it, there were no spins or spills but the power did come in rather suddenly and it did call for a great deal of concentration.

I see this as a great car for young Texans blasting to a rodeo but genteel Marin County is not like that. Percentage wise there are more Priuses here than anywhere else in the country and that probably says it all. Don’t get me wrong-the Dodge is amazing value at around 40 thousand dollars. It is a bit of an International cocktail-the engine is made in Mexico, the transmission in Germany and final assembly is in Ontario, Canada.

Still, what matters is that the Dodge is very well screwed together. The instrumentation is excellent as are the seats. What I missed was the brilliant TV monitor - aiding reversing- from the Infiniti. The Magnum is a long car and the TV would be a God-send.

The Dodge has all the standard equipment one could reasonably expect from a 60 thousand dollar automobile and as I’ve said huge fun and huge value for the right person. Having said that I am not that person. I am delighted they are doing well but as we all know the other half of the company is Mercedes Benz. For me an E series 320 with 4matic is the answer to my prayers. Until and if the new S class had a 4matic option as well.

For the record the Magnum does 14 to a gallon in town and 20 on the highway, although the chances are that the sort of speeds this Dodge is capable of will tempt people to put pedal to the metal and really go for it.

It is as subtle as a Sherman tank and if that is your cup of tea you’ll have lots and lots of fun, not to mention the speeding tickets. Not your Mother-in-Law’s car, that is for sure!