Sometimes I just don't get to put to keyboard every experience in a test car. Especially this one. I drove the Magnum to Detroit and back and logged hundreds of miles. It was probably the most complete road test I've done in really bad weather too. That said I still come away with mixed emotions.

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The things I ended up really liking about the Magnum were the good looks and color choices. Superficial yes, but vital to car-buying decisions. The big leather seats were very comfortable and the ride itself was very sedate considering the aggressive stance of the wagon. Even with the V6 the Magnum cruised at highway speeds without any strain. Passing on the highway however was a different matter. The 250 horses could not gallop this 4000+ pound behemoth past a merging semi-truck so I kept in the left lane to avoid those situations.

Inside the cargo area was just too big for me to get use out of. I can?t imagine a normal family of four really complaining about lack of space. There are compartments everywhere and the cupholders were decent. They could fit a water bottle but had a weird piece to squeeze smaller drinks in that didn?t seem to work right. Not a big deal.

For a standard stereo the Magnum?s pumped out rock music with great ability. One of the best I?ve heard and this was stock. I guess if you?re going to sell yourself as a macho car you better be able to rock with the best of them.

The odd thing about the Magnum in the end is it?s a pretty practical car in AWD V6 trim. It gets 17/24 mpg (city/hwy), has lots of room for the kids and cargo and handles well. I?d still like to see an improvement to the $5 gauges and cheap plastic on the steering wheel. But there?s always 2006.
Check out Day 1 and Day 2.


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