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A Beefy Kind of Car
2005 Dodge Magnum RT
By Alain Gayot

In short: A sports wagon with attitude.

Chrysler and Dodge are having a good time with new models, and drivers are having a good time with them too. The new style that came to market with the 300C is echoed in the Magnum. One way to look at it is as a station wagon derivative. It has this muscular look and is a truly American automobile in feel, your meat-and-potatoes kind of a car.

For sure its greatest asset is its price. A base model can be had for less than $30,000, and with that you get a beefy engine with ample power. Acceleration is quick considering its weight with decent handling. It will not be your top performer at the track, but it can hold its own. There is plenty of space for passengers and, due to the wagon layout, for cargo as well. Once you get used to it, maneuvering it around tight parking lots is okay, but it does take a bit of practice.

The HEMI engine in our RT coupled with the manumatic 5-speed automatic transmission gave plenty of power when desired. You can opt for an all-wheel-drive for added traction and stability, and there is an STR8 sporty version should you desire more humph and speed.


Warranty/Service: Bumper-to-Bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty, 12 months/12,000 miles. Basic and Powertrain Warranty, 36 months/36,000 miles.

Price as tested: $31,435

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: HEMI V-8, 340 hp

Transmission: Five-speed automatic with manumatic shifting

Safety: Front advanced multistage air bags, supplemental side air bags

Top Speed: 130 mph

Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 6.1 sec.

Braking: 70-0 in 182 ft., Power 4-wheel disc with ABS and All-Speed Traction Control

Fuel Economy: 17 city,
23 highway

Handling: Four-wheel independent, Short/Long-Arm (SLA) front, five-link rear, Performance-calibrated ESP™

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Photography: Walter Mladina

(Updated: 07/28/08 HC)