2008 Magnum New Car Test Drive
The Dodge Magnum is a full-size American station wagon with spacious cargo capacity. It's engineered for safety. All-wheel drive is available for all-weather capability. But what makes the Magnum special is its hot rod styling and rumbling engines. There's nothing else quite like it.
The headliner is the SRT8 with a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 that puts out 425 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque to propel the Magnum to 60 mph in about five seconds. That's quick, especially for a big American station wagon. The Magnum SRT8 can reportedly accelerate from 0 to 100 and back to 0 in less than 17 seconds.
It's not necessary to choose the SRT8 to enjoy the Magnum experience, however. The Magnum R/T comes with a Hemi engine, a 340-horsepower 5.7-liter V8, and it costs about $6000 less than the SRT8.
The Magnum SXT, with its 250-hp 3.5-liter V6, offers fine around-town power for about $26,000. The least-expensive Magnum is the SE with a 2.7-liter V6 EPA-rated at 18/26 miles per gallon that starts around $24,000.
While these cars are not miserly, there is some attention given to fuel economy. The R/T boasts technology that shuts down four of the Hemi's eight cylinders when the car is just cruising, delivering up to 30 miles per gallon during those moments. Put in everyday terms, if you used it to commute on the freeway at a steady 60 mph, you could average 25 miles per gallon.
The all-wheel-drive models are designed to offer excellent cornering balance under all driving conditions and improved traction in snow and wet-weather conditions.
The Dodge Magnum was launched as an all-new product line for the 2005 model year and expanded for 2006 with the SRT8.
For 2008, the Magnum's front end is restyled, the interior gets minor design changes, and new options include Sirius Backseat TV and Chrysler's MyGIG, a 20 gigabyte hard drive that holds songs, pictures, and navigation system map information. The interior changes include a new instrument panel and center console, as well as upgraded soft-touch surfaces on the arm rests, center console and door trim. Dodge's UConnect hands-free cell-phone link is also upgraded with an integrated iPod interface.
The 2008 Dodge Magnum is available in four models. All come standard with rear-wheel drive; Magnum R/T and SXT models are available with all-wheel drive.
The SE ($23,420) uses Chrysler's proven 2.7-liter aluminum V6 mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and rated to tow 1000 pounds. Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, a 60/40 split rear seat with center armrest, AM/FM/CD sound system, tilt-telescoping steering column, 17-inch wheels and disc brakes.
The SXT ($27,225) comes with a 3.5-liter single overhead cam V6 and a five-speed automatic with Dodge's AutoStick manual shiftgate. The SXT is available with all-wheel drive ($29,855). The SXT comes with aluminum wheels, power-adjustable pedals, interior air filter, eight-way power driver's seat, fog lamps and Sirius satellite radio with a one-year subscription. A Quick Order Package for the SXT ($2,375) includes dual zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, 276-watt amplifier, Boston Acoustics speakers, leather upholstery, power-adjustable seats, heated seats, leather-wrapped shift knob, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Touring suspension, and P225/60R18 tires on aluminum wheels.
The R/T ($31,780) gets the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi and a five-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick. The R/T is also available with all-wheel drive ($33,880). The R/T features heated leather seats, automatic headlights, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, power eight-way front passenger seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, bigger and beefier brakes, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, a slightly firmer Touring suspension, dual exhausts, and a Boston Acoustics premium six-speaker sound system with a 276-watt digital amplifier. A Popular Equipment Group ($1,025) for R/T includes an alarm system, remote starting, universal garage door opener, AM/FM/MP3 stereo with six-disc CD changer, redundant steering wheel controls and a trip computer. An available Road/Track Performance Group ($3,540) tweaks the exhaust and induction systems for an additional 10 horsepower, and adds 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires, performance suspension, recalibrated steering, and suede microfiber seat inserts.
The SRT8 ($37,905) features the 6.1-liter V8 Hemi and five-speed AutoStick automatic. It also has sport-bolstered front seats and 20-inch aluminum wheels with Goodyear F1 high-performance tires. The uniquely tuned load-leveling, tauter and firmer suspension lowers the SRT8's ride height by half an inch. Brakes are vented discs front and rear. For 2008, the SRT8 also gets a carbon fiber and leather-trimmed steering wheel, carbon fiber-patterned door handles, a functional hood scoop, and an available SRT-engineered sound system.
Options include a sunroof ($950), roof rails ($250), a Trailer Tow Package ($350) with self-leveling shocks, high-intensity discharge headlights ($650) and rear a seat DVD entertainment system ($1,595) that also comes with Sirius Backseat TV. Sirius Backseat TV is offered separately for SRT8 ($470) and it adds three TV channels to the rear DVD entertainment system. Dodge's MyGIG is available in two versions. The MyGIG Entertainment System ($650) has 6.5-inch touchscreen and a 20-gigabyte hard drive to hold music and pictures. The MyGIG Multi-Media Infotainment System ($1,655) adds a navigation system with voice control and real-time traffic, and part of the hard drive space is taken up by navigation map information. It is also packaged with Dodge's UConnect hands-free wireless cell phone link.
Safety features on all models include advanced multistage dual front airbags and the LATCH child seat anchor system. Head-protecting side-curtain airbags for front- and rear-seat occupants and torso-protecting side-impact airbags are optional. ABS with Brake Assist, traction control and electronic stability co.