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Sports Wagons - The wave of the future?



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Are you sure? I'd swear it said premium was recommended.

    Didn't they basically add S-VT to a Ford Duratec block? Higher compression too?

    I'm surprised if 87 octane is what's called for.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329 modelsSpecsSpecs&vehicleCode=MZ6

    Compression is only slightly higher than that of the I4 (10.0:1 v. 9.7:1). They could've squeezed more power and torque out of either engine if they'd upped the compression and fuel requirement, but kept their needs economical. Higher compressions can shorten life spans of engine components anyway.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's good news. Honda's 240hp 3.0l V6 also runs on regular.

  • The Mazda runs on regular unlead.

    Good to know as price differential here in NorCal is obscene (about 30-cents/gal difference - that's what, $4 per tank?!). Regular unlead was a factor when my wife and I were choosing SUVs - I think it's going to be same for this car too. Point Mazda!

    I did not know, however, that the mirrors aren't designed to break away (what do they do then, just BREAK?!)...

    Even the lowly 1978 Hondas had foldable mirrors...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Our '95 626 had them, so it's odd. Cost cutting? The model seems mostly well contented, so that stood out to me.

    Also, no toe space under the front seats made the back seat feel tighter than it is.

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    The Magnum and Pacifica have nothing in common. The Pacifica is an AWD vehicle based on a front-drive platform with an underpowered V-6. The Magnum is an all-new rear-drive with hemi V-8 based on the same platform as the next Chrysler 300.
  • setzer - The Magnum will be offered with 3 different engines. Two V-6's and the top of the line will carry the Hemi V-8. The same with the Chrysler 300. You can already build your own Magnum on the Dodge website. Got my Magnesium Pearl Dodge Magnum RT Hemi V-8 all loaded down with 6-disc CD & Nav., Sunroof... (4345.00 in options) and it still comes in at MSRP of just over 34K. Not to bad... well it's a thought anyway. I hear they will hit the showrooms in April/May. Also - All wheel drive will be added later on, sometime in the summer.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I've been a loyal Chrysler fan for many decades. Roughly half of all the cars I've owned were Chrysler products, including two out of three of what's in my garage right now. I am not at all impressed with the results of the Daimler takeover. Previously, Chrysler build and sold some of the most stunningly beautiful 4-door sedans in the world. The new post-takeover vehicles leave me ice-cold. The Pacifica looks awkward and heavy - not surprising, because it is. The Crossfire is cluttered with excessive design details that are there merely for effect, rather than for function. And the new Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum are total reversals of the outstanding styling philosophy provided by the earlier 300 and Intrepid. High beltlines, vertically narrow sideglass, upright windshields and rear windows, bulky noses, - it's as if the entire Chrysler design team was fired and their replacements (who just finished designing the incredibly ugly Hummer H2) haven't a clue about flowing, clean, aerodynamic lines.

    Despite my long loyalty to Chrysler, I would not buy a Pacifica, Crossfire, Magnum, or 300 if their prices were cut in half.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't like the 300C, but I do like the Magnum. I think the small windows make it look beefy, and they wanted to return to RWD for performance reasons. And headroom is actually OK. Visibility is not good, though.

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I don't mind the return to RWD at all, but as for the "beefy" look, I hate it as much on these new MoPars as I do on the Hummer H2. I certainly hope it doesn't spread to other MoPars, or I predict catastrophically poor sales. Their immediate predecessors were graceful, sophisticated, airy, and sleek. Not one of those words applies to the new 300 or Magnum. They have all the sleekness of a steam locomotive.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    H2 sells well, and has been a huge money maker for GM.

    Pacifica has not sold well. We'll see about the Magnum. I think volume will be lower, but profit margins will be higher.

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    H2 sells well,

    Proving only that P.T. Barnum had no idea how right he was.

    If what Daimler wants is low-volume, high-margin vehicles, they already have Mercedes. They bought Chrysler specifically to acquire the high-volume, low-margin business they lacked. Now they're abandoning that completely. This is one of the murkiest business strategies I've ever seen.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Reporter Brett Clanton is looking to interview a few people who have bought or are planning to buy a Chrysler or Dodge vehicle because of the Hemi. Please call him at 313-222-2612 or e-mail him at [email protected] by Wednesday, January 28. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] with any questions.
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • gearhead4gearhead4 Posts: 122
    I have to agree with ballistic on the Magnum and Pacifica. I think DC had the right idea in puting some sport into their wagon line. But the Pacifica doesn't offer the utility that the minivans do, and it is far too bulky to be considered sporty.
    I do see some resemblence between the Magnum and the Hummer, both are overweight and consume too much of every resource. The Hummer has the advantages of a high seating position and ability to ford creeks. The Magnum has very little appeal unless you want to haul (or pull) heavy cargo in something other that a pick up truck.
    Right now, the only US marketed manufacturers offering what I consider to be Sport Wagons are. Audi, Subaru, VW, and maybe Volvo.

    Jim W.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Dodge, along with Ford and GM, have been going out of their ways lately to upstage each other with each new generation of pickup truck. For awhile, the design goal (even with trucks) was to soften the front ends to reduce wind drag and reduce fuel consumption. That went completely out the window about 10 years ago as each company tried to out-do the other in making their pickups look macho-brawny-bigrig, as much as possible like a Mack or Kenworth or Peterbilt. How stupid is that? It's exactly the opposite direction they ought to be taking, because minimizing fuel consumption ought to be a top priority no matter what type or size vehicle is being designed. Instead, they're almost deliberately taking the exact opposite approach. And because SUVs are based on these same trucks, the resulting SUVs wind up having the same misdirected, counterproductive styling excesses.

    Which brings me to the new Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300. It is obvious to me that the stylists who produced these bodies are hell-bent on taking the same obnoxious direction that their truck designers have been taking - big, upright front ends instead of sloping, aerodynamic ones. Windshields that are closer to vertical (Hummer style) than sleekly laid back for reduced wind drag. High, brawny slab-sided bodysides with tiny window areas (again, like the Hummers), instead of big glass areas for better visibility.

    IMO, these styling directions are misguided, mistaken, and will lead straight to disaster in the marketplace for Daimler-Chrysler if they show up on more and more of the company's newest products. I do not buy cars that make me look like a beer-swilling logger or longshoreman.
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
  • rysterryster Posts: 570
    I find the styling of the Dodge Magnum to be very aggressive. The stance of the vehicle is great. While I think the grille is slightly overdone (as it is on the '04 Durango and Ram pick-up) the vehicle's profile and quarter views are very nice. When I am ready to replace my '03 Durango in 5 or 6 years I would have no reservations about considering a Magnum if they are still available at that time.

    The Chryler 300, on the other hand, takes numerous styling cues from current Rolls Royce and Bentley models. From the flat faced front, large grille, and slab-sided panels, it is obvious they were going for the high-end luxury look at an affordable price. The 300 will take some getting used to. The biggest objection I have with the photos of the 300 I have seen is the atrocious wheel and tire package on the base V6 model. Too small and too cheap looking.
  • I have seen both the Magnum and 300C on the road. I think they are great looking, very substantial and semi aggressive styling. The Magnum looked fairly aggressive in the flat black paint. They were being tested out here in SoCal. I was driving beside them on Vine going past the Captital records building. At a stop light I talked to the guy driving the 300C, he said they were testing brakes. He said his 300C had the V6 but the Magnum caravaning with him had the hemi. You have seen the attitude of the guy with the hemi. He thought he was the .... I think the Magnum is a cross between a Chevy Nomad and a Dodge 1500 pickup or a chopped Durango, But i like the Durango so it's fine to me.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    If the 'beefy' or 'aggressive' look is the coming thing in passenger cars, I'll pass. I prefer lithe, understated, clean, functional, and refined.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see how it sells. I don't think Intrepid was doing so hot against the Taurus/Camry/Accord.

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    The upright, boxy thing doesn't work for me either, especially on Chrysler product! Great for a truck, and I rather like it there, but on a car? No thanks.

    Compared to the elegance of the 300M it replaces, only the drivetrain seems a truly significant improvement to me.

    BTW, I find it hard to think of the Magnum as a sport wagon. To big and too bulky. I think 540it or S6 Avant is about as big as I'd be willing to go and still call it "sport".

    However, any addition to the ranks of RWD wagons is welcome I guess... :)
  • I think that the Volvo's of the late 80's and early 90's where some of the best looking and most functional vehicles ever. That being said the Magnum looks like a "customizer" got ahold of it and chopped 3" out of the roof height. Currently the S6 Avant is the best sportwagon on the road.

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It *does* look chopped.

    Head room is OK, surprisingly. Visibility is limited though.

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I'm sure they were highly functional, but their ultra-square, hard-cornered lines didn't move me. The current range (S-60,S-70, and especially S-80) are strikingly great looking, IMO.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I don't think Intrepid was doing so hot against the Taurus/Camry/Accord.

    True, but how much of that was due entirely to the Intrepid's styling compared to those others? None, IMO. The current Intrepid gets my vote as the most stunningly beautiful, ahead-of-its-time 4-door sedan body of all time. I think it is Chrysler's often-deserved reputation for mediocre build quality and reliability issues that has prevented it from selling more cars - not any styling superiority by the competitors. The Daimler-Chrysler 'merger' (read:takeover) was expected to resolve Chrysler's quality issues. Time will tell. However, to retire a group of world-class great-looking body designs and replace them with blocky, squarish, gimmicky Magnum and new-300 shapes is to court disaster.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, Intrepid had an awful launch. Remember they said you should sell the sizzle, not the steak, meanwhile Dodge was selling steak knives (processes used to make the Intrepid).

    Rear head room was bad for a car that size, too. Packaging wasn't as good as they led you to believe. Magnum actually has better rear head room, perhaps only because it's a wagon.

  • Well if they can make the Magnum and 300C handle as well as the 300M then you have something pretty nice. These won't be canyon carvers but they could be highway blasters. I think the Magnum is a unique take on the "Sport Wagon" theme. It might do well as it seems a bit larger than most sport wagons. Sport wagons are nice but there practicality is somewhat suspect for families. They really only fit 2 + 2 (kids in back) comfortably on a long trip with a bunch of stuff. The Pacifica, SRX, Benz GST Vision, are a take on Sport Wagons/SUV. They are more like the future.
  • Let's not forget that Dodge is marketing the Magnum as a "sport tourer" and calling it a new segment.

    They can call it what they want... wagon, tourer, or even a crossover wagon... I like the looks of it. Finally judgment will be made during a detailed test drive.

    Also - you can't say that DC has completely given up on fuel economy just because they design the front ends so they won't end up breaking records in the wind tunnel. Let's all go read about the new Hemi that will be in these cars. --> "The Hemi will feature cylinder deactivation in the 300C version, when it goes on sale in the spring of 2004. The Multi Displacement System (MDS) seamlessly turns off the fuel consumption in four cylinders when V-8 power is not needed. This provides a world class combination of performance and fuel economy." from

    If I can get a vehicle with all the options I could want ($4,400 worth), utility of a wagon, the power of a V8 that can do 17city 23highway, and it carries the price of under 34K, well I may just be sold.
    Oh... IMO
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Tell you what, I wouldn't want to be the beta tester for any new cylinder deactivation feature, no way no how.

  • Does any know how much cubic feet the false floor in the cargo bay holds? I am really and considering buying a Magnum but I need cargo space.
This discussion has been closed.