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2006 Dodge Magnum 2006 Dodge Magnum Road Test Review

How is it that wagons have once again become cool? Did it occur overnight while we were sleeping? Or was it instead a long, subtle process that no one noticed until it was too late? However this incredible transformation took place, it is no longer taboo to be seen driving a "station wagon" in public.

2006 Dodge Magnum Exterior

One of the main reasons why this change in attitude towards wagons happened is the stylish Dodge Magnum. Somehow, Dodge has found a way to put hip into an automotive segment that other than for a short time in the 50's and 60's, was never considered anything other than practical.

For 2006, the trend continues as the Dodge Magnum maintains its place as a desirable car for everyone, including those looking for something a little more sporty.

Styled to resemble a low slung hearse, the Magnum looks aggressive and fun even while sitting at a stoplight. A high beltline defines the midsection of this wagon, while squat windows and a long body shape add to the impact of its character. Up front, a four section grille and long hood make an aggressive statement to those looking in their rearview mirror.

The 2006 Dodge Magnum is available in four unique models; SE, SXT, R/T and SRT8. A rear-drive vehicle, the Magnum offers two models with AWD capability, the SXT and R/T.

Likewise, power is delivered in four distinctive ways.

The base Magnum SE offers a 2.7-liter V6 24-valve engine that produces a respectable 200 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. No slouch when it comes to acceleration, it easily handles most driving conditions and offers reasonable fuel economy.

Next up the list are the SXT and SXT AWD Magnum equipped with a 3.5-liter high-output single overhead cam V6 24-valve engine. A rock solid performer, it offers 250 horsepower and an equally impressive 250 lb-ft of torque at a low 3,900 rpm.

The R/T and R/T AWD introduce the first of two HEMI engines available in the Dodge Magnum. In its "base" form, the 5.7-liter HEMI generates 345 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. A barnstormer of an engine with a pedigree that takes root in the muscle car era of the 60's, the HEMI name is as marketable and relevant today as it was then.

Making this engine even more desirable in our era of fuel conservation and clean burning engines, the HEMI is equipped with a Multi-Displacement System, (MDS) which deactivates four out of eight cylinders during moderate driving around town or continuous cruising on the highway.

The granddaddy of all engines available in the Dodge Magnum is found only in the limited edition SRT8 model. At 6.1 liters, it develops 425 horsepower and 420 lb.ft of torque. Any thoughts you may have of this engine as something other than a brash statement of pure power should be treated as lunacy. This HEMI is designed to dominate the competition, but it still remains easy to drive and offers reasonable fuel economy for a large V8.

Inside, the Dodge Magnum is both comfortable and spacious. While it may prove to be a little frugal when it comes to style, it more than compensates for any shortcomings in this area by providing plenty of useful storage, a logical dash layout and a comfortable driving experience.

Seating for five adults is excellent. Cloth low-back front bucket seats with manual adjustment are standard on the Magnum, offer-ing good back, thigh and leg support. A power driver's seat is standard on the SXT and R/T models, while leather is optional on SXT, standard on R/T. The SRT8 includes dual front power seats and leather with perforated suede center inserts.

2006 Dodge Magnum Interior

Climate control air conditioning and heating is standard across the board. So to are power mirrors, power windows, keyless entry, tilt steering, cruise control and a reasonably good sounding AM/FM/CD stereo with 4 speakers. Stereo quality is improved in the SXT and R/T by adding a 6-disc CD changer with MP3 player to the mix, while the R/T and SRT8 benefit from 6 Boston Acoustics speakers.

Trunk space is enormous, with both rear seats folding down flat in a 60/40 split. With the rear seats up, trunk space is set at 27.2 cu ft. With the rear seats folded down, it improves to an impressive 71.6 cu ft. This provides more than enough space to be counted on as a home improvement hauler or cottage cruiser.

Safety comes in many forms on the Dodge Magnum. Dual front multi-stage air bags sense the severity of a collision and compensate accordingly. Electronic Stability Control is standard on all but the Magnum SE model. Benefiting from standard Traction Control, ESP provides greater traction in poor weather and winter driving by applying the ABS brakes to one or more wheels if slippage occurs. This adjustment is seamless for the driver. Other than a small indicator light flashing on the dash, you may never even know ESP is at work.

In standard trim or fully equipped, the 2006 Dodge Magnum has what it takes to successfully compete. Though many of us won't admit it, we actually prefer the look and usability provided by several of the wagons available in today's market to those of there sedan rivals. While in the past, the term wagon brought to mind images of Clark Griswold driving across America in National Lampoons "Vacation", their ability to haul almost anything and still drive like a car is undisputable. Though it will never be cool to be a Griswold, it is no longer uncool to drive a wagon.

For more information visit the Dodge website here.

2006 Dodge Magnum
Full-size wagon
Model options:

SE, SXT, R/T and SRT8

120.0 inches
Overall length:
197.7 inches
Engine size:

SE: 2.7-liter V6 24-valve
SXT & SXT AWD: 3.5-liter v6 24-valve
R/T & R/T AWD: 5.7-liter HEMI
SRT8: 6.1-liter HEMI

4-speed Auto- SE
5-speed Auto- SXT, R/T, SRT8
Power rack and pinion

Power Front disc, rear drum

Air bags:
2 (front)
Fuel mileage city/hwy:

SXT: 19/27
SXT AWD: 14/27
R/T: 14/25
R/T AWD: 17/24
SRT8: 14/20


$23,355- $38,220