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Sports Wagons - The wave of the future?

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Comments

  • the fewer they sell, the less i pay, the fewer i see on the road--all good for me.
  • The irony is that Chyrsler is not "stepping up" to the reputation of the Benz.... the Benz is being dragged down to the level of Chrysler. And that's the opinion of a die-hard Chrysler fan who has owned only Chrylser products for the last 2 decades. I took a look at the Pacifica and Magnum, and ended up buying a new Chevy Malibu Maxx instead, and for enough money that I could have had either DC product. I've been a detractor of the General for years.... not design and no inovation - well, they still need work on design (the Maxx is a box, no doubt about it), but DC really needs help, but there's enough inovation in the Maxx to keep me very happy. And what's with the 300C and Magnum..... and for that matter, the Pacifica - oversized boxy, bulbous and ugly with a capital "U". and a Hemi that lets 4 cyl. rest at highway speed - anyone who's owned a DC product in the last 10 years must realize that this fiasco is akin to the GM disaster of a few years ago with the Caddy 4-6-8 engine - it SUCKED! I'm starting to understand why Toyota is the biggest up and coming star on the automotive horizon. I'm still buying American, but it's getting harder and harder.
  • people should buy what they like. i happen to like the dodge magnum, the new mitsubishi galant GTS, the new subaru legacy wagon, and the new ford mustang GT. whether people think they're ugly, or stupid, or dusty is not really important. i'll decide when i take each one for a test drive and figure out how i feel behind the wheel.

    i'd include the mazda 6 wagon on my list, but there's something about it that doesn't quite sit right with me. but to each his/her own.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    definitely not on the Magnum. My prediction: With excessively-heavy vehicles that look as bad as these do, DaimlerChrysler is in for some very tough times until they return to bodies that look more like the current Intrepid.

    And that's coming from one who has been buying Chrysler products for 40 years.
  • there were so many loyal LH fans out there. a used 300M is a great deal imo.
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    Ballistic... Because of my educational background, I tend to be data driven. I think you and I agree on far more about the current LH cars than we disagree. When I talk about E class inspiration--I mean technology and systems. A suspension and some other select systems inspired by Mercedes technology "ain't bad". If you are aware of automotive technology that's considerably better than that--please enlighten us all..
        The PASSENGER volume of the Magnum and 300C exceeds the 104.1 cu ft. of the Intrepid--not by much--but that still qualifies as a large car interior. The Magnum's "trunk" is about 28 cu. ft. as I recall--that's quite a bit larger than the 18.4 of the large Intrepid trunk. The deep opening APPEARS to offer much more utility than a conventional trunk.
         I was horrified by the sketches released a few years ago which previewed the 300. In the flesh they do look heavy--but not bad--just different. I'm not excited about the switch to rear wheel drive, but I AM excited about the option of AWD and a Hemi V-8. Frankly I find the comments about the Hemi and the Cadillac V8-6-4 to be without merit. Umm...25 years have past?...
         Maybe they ought to have used a modified Intrepid platform to create a new "mid size" Stratus replacement... Ah well...time marches on..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    When a manufacturer changes directions in design, you're bound to see the buyers change. I'm not surprised one bit. If you liked the sleek, raked look of the Intrepid, you'll hate the blunt and boxy Magnum.

    DCX felt not enough people were buying Intrepids, so they changed the design to appeal to different people. And I do think the Stratus will grow to fill that FWD mid-size gap.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I'm not a fan of RWD vehicles. The only saving feature about the new Magnum and 300C is that it will be available in AWD too. If it were not for that feature, I would say Dodge and Chrysler have clearly shot themselves in the foot.

    Here they have now spent two decades of selling the traction benefits of FWD, and are now going to tell customers who live in the snow belt that RWD is the way to go. If they didn't offer AWD, I'd say they're nuts.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think they're going to try to sell the Hemi V8 + RWD at an affordable price.

    Plus, they'll just grow the Stratus to fill the gap left by the Intrepid.

    -juice
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    It seems to me that the only competitor out there right now for the 300C is the Mercury Marauder. Considering its lackluster sales, one has to wonder how the 300C will do. It should do well if people like the styling, not if they don't.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Hemi has to deliver, and I mean with a bang.

    Marauder could have been a hit, were it quicker than your garden variety Accord V6 automatic. To this day the Caprice SS is a cult car with excellent resale value. Marauder didn't deliver the goods.

    If the Magnum Hemi offers that, there is a vacuum in the market right now waiting for such a car.

    Unless GM does a GTO 4-door (Holden has them) then it'll have that tire-spinning 4-door niche to itself.

    -juice
  • You're right that you have to buy what turns you on. The LH was a decent platform - I had my 96 Concorde for 75K miles and 6 years until I traded it in for my Liberty, and it was a comfortable and dependable car. I thought seriously about a leftover 300M as prices for them here start at about $25K and my Maxx cost me about 24K - not much difference. My choice was made when I drove the Maxx - comfortable, good mileage and lots of toys - XM, OnStar, DVD in the back. I feel bad because my Chrysler dealer is a great place to buy and service a vehicle. Hope Chevy can match them.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I'm not a fan of RWD vehicles.

    While I prefer AWD, if I'm forced to choose between FWD and RWD, I'll take the latter every time.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I saw a Concorde with a few options in the paper for $19k on a fire sale. They're not bringing in profits at that price point, they were over due for an update.

    -juice
  • I for one love the new designs from DCX. The Pacifica, the Crossfire, and the Magnum. The only problems I see is the Pac and Crossfire needs more power and a little lower pricing, while the Magnum should have used the concept headlights. Everything else I think is great. Different from the past, but far better than any GM or Ford product I've seen out recently. With the exception of the F-150, GT and new Mustang of course.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    ...will be how well (or badly) they sell. I predict that they'll flop.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder how DCX will meet CAFE standards with all these Hemis going in cars.

    -juice
  • They could act like Subaru and call them all trucks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not a bad idea, actually.

    They call the PT Cruiser a truck, even the convertible! Even Toyota calls the Scion xB a truck. Both are FWD only, too.

    They probalby should!

    -juice
  • From what I've read, DC is claiming that the new Hemis qualify under the new guidelines because of the selective cylinder usage - during highway cruising the engine shuts down 4 cylinders so fuel only gets burned in 4 bringing the mileage up to government standards....... only time will tell if this is really reliable or if it's just another fiasco like the old Caddy 4-6-8 engine.
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    The mileage ratings were posted in something I received recently....city mileage was 17, can't recall the highway rating but it was in the mid 20's I think.. Figures were reasonable for a large V8 in a larger vehicle...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I bet it gets a really tall overdrive to get that number.

    -juice
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    it has more to do with the 5 speed automatic and the cylinder deactivation than a "tall overdrive". Although a 5 speed automatic tied to a powerful V8 certainly allows for taller all around gearing..
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    Wow, did you see the pictures of the Magnum in the First Drive that Edmonds posted this morning? It's much better looking than I expected, especially the rear 3/4 view. I'm not crazy about the Ram truck grill, but overall it looks pretty good. The review was very positive as well. I'm not about to trade in my XT to get a Magnum though. I can't wait until a hemi Magnum slides up beside my XT at a light. Opps sorry, not supposed to talk about that subject.
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    maybe if you both have AT you can lift you foot of the brake and see who idles across the intersection first?

    the magnum does look great in those pics and did you see those mileage numbers?
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    I have a manual transmission, so that wouldn't work. Maybe I'll just wave a copy of the Car & Driver XT road test at him.

    The mileage numbers do look good but I am still not convinced that the variable cylinder scheme is the way to go. I wonder if it would still be seamless after 100,000 miles.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    I'm very intrigued by the Magnum. Beyond the fact that the average wagon does not look attractive to me, most all the choices are too small. The Magnum is getting close to decent width for seating 3 acrossed in comfort.

    I think if the average car buyer is going to be interested in a wagon, the Magnum style will work better than anything currently on the market. My wife does not want anything to do with the average wagon, however she does find the magnum/pacifica acceptable. She down right veto'd the Allroad, which surprised me since she loves the looks of our A6. People generally aren't going to buy things they find ugly, period.

    As for comparing the Marauder flop to the 300C? The 300C is a niced sized ground-up new car with good performance. The Marauder is a spoofed Marquis, which is a crappy car riding a 20 year old chassis. Looks like a highschooler found a deal at the State Police auction and threw on some chrome rims and exhaust tips. The last Marquis I was near was at the Hertz counter when I informed them that a Marquis would not work as my premium class vehicle. Took a Taurus instead. Figure if I'm going to bang around in a junker, it might as well be a cheap one.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    C&D's Marauder took 7s to 60, while their 300C took 5.3.

    Night and day.

    -juice
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I think if the average car buyer is going to be interested in a wagon, the Magnum style will work better than anything currently on the market...People generally aren't going to buy things they find ugly, period.

    About half of all the cars I've bought over the past 40+ years were Chrysler products, and I'm as close to a diehard loyalist as can be found. If the Magnum and 300C indicate their future direction, I'll never buy another. Style is not high on my list of priorities, but even I have my limits. These are among the ugliest cars ever built. The high beltline and shallow mail-slot windows are simply awful. The too-vertical windshield, mammoth upright nose, contrived styling gimmicks everywhere - these are very unpleasant designs. I fear for Chrysler's survival. I work for another DaimlerChrysler subsidiary, and the German senior management will not tolerate losses for long.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Selling points are the Hemi and the E-class suspension. Besides, it's polarizing but some folks like it. Lots I've seen.

    -juice
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Whatever you think. The current crop of wagons aren't selling in any substantial numbers. The 12th best selling SUV (Dodge Durango) outsold every model of wagon combined for the month of march. Volvo moved 3.5 times as many XC90's as they did V70's. VW sold 6 times as many Touregs as they did Allroads. More attractive/aggresive looks will sell wagons. Regardless of what the manufacturers call them:)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    93% of Subaru Outbacks are wagons. :o)

    -juice
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Selling points are the Hemi and the E-class suspension. Besides, it's polarizing but some folks like it. Lots I've seen.

    Polarizing is an understatement. I'm all for the return to a RWD IRS layout, and the Hemi is moderately interesting, but I'd far rather have an all-alloy quad-cam 32-valve V-8 than a throwback iron-block pushrod 16-valver.

    Those quibbles aside, there simply was no good reason to make these new Chrysler vehicles so horribly ugly. They may pick up a few brand-switchers, but they'll lose far more than they gain.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well you can. For $50 grand.

    The Magnum Hemi at under $30k is a good value, V8 and RWD, wagon space.

    The 300C sedan actually costs significatly more, but probably has more features.

    -juice
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Actually comparing SUV sales to wagon sales is misleading. SUV's have a wagon body style. They are just taller and heavier. Now with "crossover's" many are just wagons with big wheels, and a skoosh more clearance. Murano, es330, highlander etc.

    Wagons are extremely popular, it is just the name that is not popular. People prefer to drive in something called a sport utility, no matter what it actually is. Those Outbacks may count as sport utilities, but they started the crossover thing, and are identical to the Legacy Wagon, as far as chasis are concerned. So the number of SUV's compared to wagons is misleading.

    On top of that now that the sport moniker as been added to wagon, they are popping up all over the place.
  • joey2brixjoey2brix Posts: 463
    Will rival the Pacifica on size with a lower price. I saw the car at the NY autoshow today and was impressed. Now how a 3.0L is gonna push this thing around concerns me. But it really does look like an overgrown Volvo wagon or an Explorer that was chopped. The 3rd row seats were a joke but nice to have in a pinch.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I think the Freestyle is about 1,000 lbs lighter than the Pacifica, so that should help
  • the freestyle is definitely not 1,00lbs lighter than the Pacifica.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    "about" 1,000 lbs is what I said. Pacifica weighs about 4,700 lbs. Freestyle is near 4,000 lbs, so 700 lbs or so depending on equipment. Still a lot of weight.

    BTW I am assuming you ment 1,000, though you wrote 1,00. ; )
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Freestlye is well packaged for the size. I could actually crawl into that 3rd row, and I'm 6' tall. It was roomier than the Caddy SRX, which is bigger.

    I haven't tried a Pacifica.

    -juice
  • to be exact, the Pacifica and the Freestyle in AWD form weigh 4,675lbs and 4112lbs, respectively.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What about SRX AWD V6?

    I bet it's up there.

    -juice
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    At the DaimlerChrysler subsidiary's headquarters where I work, there are always a large % of Chrysler Division vehicles in the parking lot, due to the employee buying incentives. Friday, while walking to my car, I encountered a new 300C parked alongside a 2nd-generation Intrepid.

    The contrast was stark. Compared to the lithe, sleek, sophisticated, clean Intrepid shape, the 300C looked exactly like a passenger-sedan version of the Hummer H2. The 300C looks considerably worse in the flesh than in photographs. How the company that was responsible for the 2nd-gen Intrepid (one of the best-styled large 4-door sedans ever produced) managed to produce this heavy-looking albatross is beyond comprehension.

    They'll never sell one to this long-time Chrysler fan. Our '97 Concorde will be due for replacement this year or next, and a halfway-decently styled 300C or Magnum would have been prime candidates. We'll go elsewhere.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    is obviously a very personal thing. There is a very limited group of individuals on this particular forum, so I'll at least add my opinion.

    The 300C looks considerably worse in the flesh than in photographs. How the company that was responsible for the 2nd-gen Intrepid (one of the best-styled large 4-door sedans ever produced)snip

    Wow, that's a big statement. At least you said "one of". I might agree if you threw in "from the last ten years starting under $20,0000". Sorry, the Intrepid to me was/is just a better rental alternative than a Taurus. And I make that observation simply because they drove so much better than a Taurus. I spent Thursday/Friday in a practically brand new rental Taurus and it amazes me that a car can drive worse than a full-size SUV.

    The local dealer has a 300C and I stopped by Saturday for a look. I find them quite attractive and will be checking out the Magnum when they hit. I would say the bulk sales of these will NOT be to rental fleets. The Dodge version could be, but if they're smart they'll start avoiding that business. They have the Stratus which is a perfect car to dump on the rental companies.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Sales of these overweight, awkward-looking new Chrysler Division cars will tell the story. Certainly they will attract some buyers. There are people who will buy anything - witness those who (for reasons that completely escape me) pay good money for Pontiac Azteks.

    On balance, I predict precarious financial performance for the Chrysler Division, as a direct result of the misguided direction the styling department is taking.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    If you make anything cheap enough, it will sell. $4,000 rebates currently and I'll guarantee you can get one for under invoice, LOL!

    All the mags seem to be thrilled with the 300C and I've not heard anyone complaining about the looks (except this forum). I just hope DC can screw the things together decently. I'm still not sure these very car-looking wagons will ever be real popular but it's going to take some different styling to reel in new shoppers. My wife thinks the Pacifica/Magnum are "ok", pretty much hates anything else that resembles a wagon (A6, All-road, any Subaru, etc). She would stil rather replace the Tahoe (which she loves) with the Yukon Denali though.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW, the Hummer H2 is a major cash cow for GM.

    The blocky styling is at least different, everything was getting too cookie cutter.

    Personally I don't like the sedan much, but I do like the wagon.

    -juice
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    FWIW, the Hummer H2 is a major cash cow for GM.

    Proving beyond all doubt that P.T. Barnum was far more right than he ever realized.
  • daytona3daytona3 Posts: 24
    You are not alone in your thoughts of the LX cars' styling. They do not do anything for me as well.

    I see that you are a long time Chrysler owner. I am in the same boat as my family has been buying, selling, and repairing Chrysler Corporation products since the late 20s. I broke tradition when I bought my first new car, a Ford Mustang Mach 1 last year, though. I could not and will not buy from Daimler. I don't like the direction Daimler is taking Chrysler, nor do I like the new vehicles coming out. I've tried to figure out what vehicle I liked from them, and I come up with nothing. The 300C and Magnum just don't look right to me. They just look like a bunch of boxes on wheels. I, too, like the smooth, sporty styling of the LH cars, and think that if Daimler would not be in the picture, the LH cars would have progressed even farther.

    Some people like the 300C. The first pictures I saw of the 300C almost made me gag. Some people said wait until the real thing. Well, I have seen the real thing, and it is worse than I thought it would be. I figured it would be a long car, thus it could be acceptable. However, it is a lot shorter than I thought. It and the Magnum just don't strike my fancy. The 5.7 doesn't really entice me too much either - maybe that is because of the Mach 1 I currently own.

    Anyway, styling is subjective, and people like what they like. I just choose to go to somebody else.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    While I don't realy like the 300c and magnum, I don't find them horribly ugly, just not especially atractive. I don't put too much weight in looks though, so if the magnum performed like a 5-series wagon, and had the feul mileage and reliability of an Accord, then I would snap one up. I doubt it will come close to either mark though - especially with all that weight.

    It constantly amazes me how far car makers will go for an image. Trying to make cars look like SUV's, calling station wagons and minivans SUV's. Everything an SUV. Do they think we are that shallow?

    The PT Barnum reference was spot on.
This discussion has been closed.