Dodge Magnum Test Drive - What Did You Think?

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
edited March 2014 in Dodge
Have you taken a Magnum out for a test drive? Post your review and comments here!


  • jeffshadowjeffshadow Member Posts: 13
    I went to the beautiful state of Minnesota in late August and rented an Enterprise Magnum SE in the magnesium green color. I knew it would not perform like the SXT or R/T (needs the slash!) but I'll tell you-everywhere we went, that wagon stopped traffic! Of course Minnesotans already have the sense to primarily buy American-made vehicles so in that regard it blended in. It was an excellent chance to take a five-day, 600 mile test drive to appreciate the build, style and handling. This creature scores 120%.
    I plan to lease the SXT with AWD next Spring, as the 18" wheels look better. I thank all you folks for your wonderful comments on the Magnum and will of course use your recommendations for the final order decision.
    My company owns a Dodge store, so I cannot buy one yet-too hot- for retail buyers only at this time!
  • sadlosadlo Member Posts: 6
    How long until the AWD models show up? I had one dealer tell me they would not be available until next model year (summer at the earliest.) I'm sure he was wrong. I know dealers are taking orders...have any been delivered yet?
  • hardhawkhardhawk Member Posts: 702
    My dealer finally got its first Magnum RT in today. I went down to look at it this afternoon and they convinced me to take it home for an overnight test drive. It's the new Blaze Red color with the darker grey leather. I have driven the 300C as well and am torn between the two. The 300C has more bells & whistles and looks more richly appointed inside. The Magnum just looks like a bad [non-permissible content removed] hot rod that will run. The Magnum is much plainer inside but all the really necessary stuff is there. The interesting thing is that this one has the roof rack, which I can take or leave, but my wife, who has hated the Magnum before (too wagony), thinks the roof rack makes it look more like an SUV and she actually likes it with the roof rack! Go figure that??? The black 300C they ordered for me is about $3000 more than the red Magnum. It had a better stereo, HID lights, and the protection group, which the Magnum does not have. The 300C is due in sometime in the next month or so. Do I wait for the black 300C or go for the red Magnum that is in my garage now? Pricing on them both is the same- at invoice including the advertising invoice charges, which is MORE than fair.
  • tlktlk Member Posts: 21
    What decision!!?? Go for the "bad [non-permissible content removed] hotrod that will run!" You want to drive a SEDAN for cryin'out loud? Everywhere you go people will want to look at your Magnum and admire you for it. Get the Magnum now...don't wait for the SEDAN that may be delayed even longer...
  • foureyes3foureyes3 Member Posts: 165
    Well if you take it home that is pretty much like the fish taking the bait.
    The 300C and the magnum are both good choices. The vehicles depend on your personality. But personally I agree with tlk take the
    Dodge Magnum. It is a lot more versatile than the 300C. If you are more about sporty than luxury get the 300C. The magnum's versatility and sportiness is definitely a plus. The longer you keep the magnum the less you are going to want to bring it back. Therefore, position of the vehicle will probably make up your mind for you. That's how I bought my first car. I took it home and then bought it the next day.
  • tlktlk Member Posts: 21
    FYI - I just rented a Magnum from Dollar in Kansas City. No RT, just an SXT...but not a bad ride. Handled well, but not a lot of power.
  • foureyes3foureyes3 Member Posts: 165
    So does this mean you are leaning toward an RT? Have you driven the RT? I have test drove the sxt and rt? If power is an issue than the RT is probably the best one. I think the time for an sxt is 0 to 60 in 8.5 seconds.
  • tlktlk Member Posts: 21
    I have an RT on fact I should have it in a week or so.....
  • foureyes3foureyes3 Member Posts: 165
    Well, that's great. Is it awd or rwd? The awd cost about 2 grand extra. Is it mineral gray? How long have you been waiting for the wagon? Some people said they got their RT around $200 above invoice. I haven't quite figure out how. I hope you got a good deal.
  • tlktlk Member Posts: 21
    It is a red AWD HEMI...I just talked to the factory and it is still a "D" status - I hope it will be built soon. I got a great deal through my company's fleet leasing agent. The deal is somewhere below dealer cost, but then again, we get a lot of DC vehicles...I will let you know how it handles (if it ever gets here..)
  • elviswhiteelviswhite Member Posts: 2
    I ordered my Red RT on Aug 4th for exactly $40,500 CDN - $30,000 US with every option except the roof rack and cargo drawer. The dealer where he buys his cars from sells them to him at a discount around invoice plus a few hundred extra. All the options were dealer invoice cost. He only charges me what they charged him. He makes his money off the interest from the lease so he has no interest in marking up the car. I would like to know where my car is, though. I'm in Toronto not far from where they are made and I see the trailers filled with them almost every day on my way to work. It's killing me.
  • foureyes3foureyes3 Member Posts: 165
    I run out there and ask them if mine happens to be on one of those trailers. I need find somebody who does fleet sales. That's a great deal. What is the cargo drawer. Well keep an out for your car. You may have already seen it go past you.
  • functionfirstfunctionfirst Member Posts: 9
    I'm in the market for a wagon, minivan, or midsize SUV to replace my 15-yr old Chevy Caprice wagon. Unlike a lot of people on this board, I'm not into cars for performance or sexiness; only for comfort, driveability, (seldom-used) cargo capacity, and long term economy.

    The Magnum looked great at the dealership and was very nice on the short dealer test ride. So I arranged to rent one from Enterprise at Dulles airport (not easy to find one; even harder to reserve one).

    Drove it 250 miles over every kind of road from interstate to mountain gravel with hairpin curves. With my lady driving, I tried out the passenger and rear seats. Here is my take on it.

    Model: SE with 2.7L engine and few options.
    Mileage: 15,000
    Me: 6'-2"; 35" inseam; 180lbs.

    Seating comfort: sit high. Lumbar support is great. Leg room is fantastic on pass side, vg on driver side even w/o adj peds.

    Driving comfort: excellent w tilt / telescope wheel. (I consider this feature the best engineering idea ever developed for long legged drivers).

    Steering/Handling: Firm, very controlable around gravel curves. But car tended to drift to right on pavement (no matter how road crown sloped). Could indicate alignment was needed (or is it a Chrysler thing--I had same experience with Grand Caravan last week). Feedback appreciated!

    Engine/Trans: Amazing--plenty of power (for me) with this "tiny" engine. If I buy it will probably be the 3.5L, but not because I need it! Floor shift (Mercedes style) is good, but takes getting used to.

    Fuel economy (after 260 miles 70% open road max 70 mph; mostly economy driving behavior) approx 22 MPG

    Controls: Convenient (radio controls better than Caravan, but not as good as Taurus).

    Stereo: OK; not as good as Taurus (which has speakers at chest level at front of door windows). Check out 6-speaker option.

    Driver visibility: rear and rear/side visibility is poorest of any car I've ever driven. This was also voluntarily commented on by two Dodge dealership employees (a salesman and a parts guy). At a minimum, it will take getting used to. In dusty conditions, when the rear window gets dirty, the extremely small wiper/washer clears only a tine area in the already too-small window.

    Cargo space: since it is not comparable with either existing Caprice wagon or Grand Caravan, compared it to Ford Taurus, which is my lady's car and which I like): Length (w driver seat all the way back): 75" (Taurus 76.5). Width @ rear door handles: 54.5" (Taurus 53.75). Width @ narrowest section of cargo area: 40.75" (Taurus 37.75). Height of tailgate opening: 1" less than Taurus
    Overall, about as big or bigger than similar wagons, except for height. Golf clubs fit athwartships better than Taurus. But length is way smaller than my Caprice.

    Cruise control: Poor ergonomic engineering. Located where you can't see labeling (too small; partially hidden by wheel). Also can't use it when left arm is resting on armrest. No "Resume". Sensitivity is good in both "Accl" and "Coast".

    Reclining seats: Great. Front seats recline ALL the way; in passenger seat I can stretch out FULLY extended.

    Fit and finish: Leaves a lot to be desired.
    - removeable/reversible cargo area floor is a nice idea but execution is a joke (a really bad joke). Floor is made of cheap, flimsy, fibreboard and cheap material, which is starting to come off of fibreboard. Will look terrible at 35,000 miles.
    - no solid floor at back of folded down back seats; cargo will "disappear" into crevice.
    - car had light gray cloth upholstery. Showed lots of stains and dirt. Anyone with kids in back and/or mildly "dirty" cargo will suffer.

    Conclusion: OK, they don't make what I would really like. This car is definitely in the running; but it is a compromise. Would appreciate feedback from owners on any and all points; but especially on the "Steering" (drifting) observation.
  • functionfirstfunctionfirst Member Posts: 9
    In my prior post I forgot to mention:

    Rear seat capacity/comfort: Very comfortable for two adults. I could sit with plenty of leg and knee room in back of either driver or passenger when their seats were fully back. But the middle seat is essentially non-existant even for a 9-year old. This is because there is NO leg room. The driveshaft "tunnel" is HUGE--both in width and height. The child either had his knees up (with feet on the tunnel) or his (small)feet interfered with the adjacent passengers (with feet on the floor to sides of tunnel). Consider this a four passenger car!
  • hardhawkhardhawk Member Posts: 702
    I own a Magnum RT. I am 6'4" with a 36 inseam. The seating comfort in both rows of seats is excellent. The steering and handling is one of the best I have ever driven. The car is sensitive to road crown in either direction, but it drives and handles fabulously. (some early production models of the Magnum and 300C had a pull to the right issue that was later addressed by DCX. Mine was built in October)

    The Hemi engine goes without saying with respect to power and response, yet I still have averaged almost 24 MPG on the highway and it is not fully broken in yet.

    The cruise control does have resume (tap it up) and is very easy to use once you learn the movements. I don't need to see the writing on it as it is very intuitive to operate once you have learned it.

    The leather interior in the medium gray is excellent and does not show dirt, etc., but I feel the light graystone would. The headrests actually support your head!

    I agree that the rear visibility is not as good as it could be but have adjusted to that well.

    The upgraded stereo system and dual zone climate controls are wonderful, as are all of the car's electronic features, stabilty control, ABS, traction control, etc.
    I have the cargo area upgrade with the divided cargo organizer and it works well. I keep the carpeted side of the cargo floor up but would agree that if this was used roughly and excessively it could wear prematurely. The overall fit and finish is on par with other vehicles of this price range. I got the Magnum RT over the 300C for the cargo area and so I am pleased with it making that comparison, but it does not have near the cargo capacity of the Chrysler Town & Country that it replaced.

    I did get the slush rubber floormats, the molded splash guards and the rear bumper top scuff pad.

    I love the Magnum for all the reasons that you don't require, that is the intoxicating Hemi power, the sexy and "bad boy" custom look of the car, and the overall practicality compared to the 300C. It is the best combination of fun and practicality that I have ever owned. My wife and 10 & 7 year old sons love it. Would buy again in a heartbeat.

    My advice is to get the mid level SXT with the 3.5 V-6 and the upgraded stereo, leather interior, and better climate control if you plan to keep it for a long time, as those features really make for a nicer driving experience. The Hemi is certainly overkill, but I have to admit that I love it.
  • ppugppug Member Posts: 9
    First love the car, I have @ 6000 miles on my Mineral Grey RT... I think the dodge dealerships are terriable at best (norhtern chicagoland). They don't have courtesy cars available thats my biggest problem with them.


    I assume everyone got the 2 recall notices? If I rememer one is @ the coolent level and the other is about a radiator something-or-another.


    So now my complaints.


    * at 3000 miles my oil pump failed - not good engine didn't cease up but you cant tell me I just lost a few thousand miles. I had about 3 miles from the time the light went on to the time it sounded like I was driving a jet airplane.


    * 1.5 days after getting the car back from the dealer about the oil pump my steering hose burst...


    * My brakes started squeeling something fierce, dealer said this is normal.


    * now that it is cold I am getting a lot of "rattles" anyone else experiencing this?
  • rgdawsonrgdawson Member Posts: 11
    I'm not aware of any Magnum recall. I only have 1500 miles on my RT AWD. No rattles, no squealing brakes nor other problems. Except, I have had the airbag warning light come on twice. Once while my son was riding in the passenger seat and once while no one was in the passenger seat. The first time, I thought it might have something to do with the occupant detection system, but now I am not so sure. The light goes out if I shut off the car and restart it. Hmmm... Sorry to hear about your problems.
  • tlktlk Member Posts: 21
    Sorry to hear about problems. I have had my red RT AWD for two weeks and have racked up nearly 3,000 miles. There have been no problems whatsoever. It is the sweetest ride I have ever had. The power of the HEMI is awesome, but the mileage is not too bad, either. On the freeway at 70-75, I averaged 22.5 over a 300-mile run. When I dial it up to 80, the mileage drops to 18 or so, which is still not too bad, considering the motor is turning at 2,500 rpm at that speed. The NAV is great although it could use a little more computing power. The U-connect is also great for a hands-off system, but the mic could use a little more noise-reduction power. The seats are really great - no fatigue after 8 hours in the saddle. All things considered, a great ride so far. Suggestions for future models; lower final gear ratio - the motor has all the power it needs, so a lower RPM at speed would save gas. The cruise could be on the steering wheel - the lower spokes - the stick is kinda hard to get used to. The NAV screen should be "dimmable" while driving. Right now, you need to be in PARK.
  • ppugppug Member Posts: 9
    In response to the person about driving the car in snow, my car is NOT AWD and drives pretty well. My previouse car was an AWD A4 and I am happy with its performance.... My continued saga of problems had an unhappy xmas, my radiator burst... now I have had Brakes re-adjusted (for squeeling), Oil Pump failed, Power Steering failed, and now my Radiator. Getting my third towing in 2 months..... Yes I still love my car, but am getting sick of the problems. The wife is getting a new car shortly and it will be either a Honda or Toyota.
  • magick8ballmagick8ball Member Posts: 2
    I test drove the Magnum with the hubby yesterday, out here in the Los Angeles area, and loved it. Have a childhood friend who is a Service Manager for two different dealerships--Autos from all eras are his life coming 2nd to his family of course. He told me to find the message boards after I contacted him about the Magnum thinking he was going to rave about it. NOT. I am very concerned now about this car on all fronts though I too as many on the boards, love the Magnum. Is it me, or is everyone else reading more "Nay's" than "Yeah's"? :confuse:

    Of course no one can make my decision for me--just wanted to put my impression out there and get some feedback.

  • mikeyc1mikeyc1 Member Posts: 3
    All i can say is to keep in mind that DC is no longer offering it's 7/70 powertrain on the 2006 models. They did cover my secong rear end repair for the $100 deductible but then my Magnum is an 2005. I will say this, my 2002 Impala was a GREAT car and wish i had chose it again instead of the magnum.
  • hardhawkhardhawk Member Posts: 702
    Those who frequently post on these boards usually do so because they have complaints. Please be assured that there are a lot of us who read these boards for information and have had very few problems. We love our Magnum RT that we bought in October of last year. It is truly an incredible value for the money and it has exceeded our expectations in virtually every way. Out of the tens of thousands of Magnums sold, you will find that the percentage with problems is small, just as with many other vehicles. While I certainly don't want to minimize some of the problems people have had, those cases are the exception to the rule, not the rule itself. Any device as complicated as a car with all of its modern systems can have problems and you can get a bad one. We are certainly happy we didn't get a bad one. Please don't make a decision based on what you read here. It's a skewed perspective and you need to keep that in mind. Good luck with whatever you decide.
  • tjf2000tjf2000 Member Posts: 61
    I would to agree with hardhawk... you never hear the good things on these forums. I have had my Magnum for a couple of months and have over 6k miles on it. No problems at all. I do a lot of highway driving and this car is very comfortable. Mine is the RT w/Hemi and I getting 24-24.5 mpg on the highway. In fact my worst tank to date has been 16.8 mpg. My dealer is a DC 5 star and has been very good to me so far... many times it's the dealer... not the car. Good Luck and for what it's worth, there are no rebates on both the Magnum and 300 products.
  • mikeyc1mikeyc1 Member Posts: 3
    You are right to a certain degree....There are things I like about my Magnum. Plenty of rear seat room, handles GREAT even with base suspension. The traction control is AWESOME in the winter. I Love the way it looks too. I was spoiled by my previous car and am probably somewhat jaded about the Magnum because of this. I think with the 3.5 and the 5 speed auto the drivability and transmissions / rear end problems I have been having would be a lot a lot less or very possibly non exsistent. I have had '90, '92', '94, and "96 caravans and had no problems, and a matter of fact a rollover accident in my '94 that totaled the vehicle and i walked away with a scraped elbow. My problems began with my 2000 caravan with trans replacement at 52k miles. I feel the quality just isn't there like it was before. Truth be told i will probably order a new one in next fall if it comes with the 3.5 and 5 speed auto. But i will not get another with the 2.7 and 4 speed auto.
    Not everyone is getting the R/T and I feel the performance and the looks of that model may also help owners overlook other issues.
    Lets just say that DC hit a home run on the design of the Magnum / 300 / Charger, but the mechanicals of certain models, ie the SE (Base) leave a lot to be desired.
  • johndodgejohndodge Member Posts: 25
    Hello Magick8ball,

    I’m glad to hear about your interest in the Magnum. Which model did you test drive? If you have any questions about the Magnum please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer!


    John B.
  • jacklioneljacklionel Member Posts: 29
    I'm the guy who bought the NOS 2006 AWD R/T last November.

    I should have mentioned my shopping experience:

    I first drove a V-6 Magnum. I was not impressed. Not only didn't it have much power, but the handling felt loose and sloppy.

    I next drove a hemi SUV (I forget the name of the car, damn!). It felt better than the Magnum in all respects: the handling was much crisper, the steering precise. Then, I drove a 2008 Charger with the 20" wheels. The ride was lousy, in that you could feel the roughness of the tires. Finally, I drove the 2006. After the flat-spotted tires were changed, it was perfect: taught handling, precise steering, firm but not harsh ride and no tire roughness (this car has 18" wheels. As far as I'm concerned, you can keep your 20" wheels).

    I paid only $23,900 for a car with 27 miles on it. What a steal. I was just in the right place at the right time.
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