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Dodge Magnum, page #10

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About Dodge Magnum

The Dodge Magnum welcomed us to the American station wagon, Version 2.0. Most of us are familiar with the first version, the one that populated American roadways in the 1950s, '60s and '70s before being displaced by minivans and SUVs. Station wagon 2.0 was supposed to be a rebirth of sorts. The Dodge Magnum was intended to prove that the wagon could be cool again.

In terms of style, power and utility, there was nothing else quite like the Magnum. It attracted plenty of well-deserved attention because of its styling. Its long, low stance and flat tail end called to mind those wagons of decades past, but a rising beltline, tapering roof line, short overhangs, trucklike grille and prominent wheels gave it a contemporary and sporty appearance.

Sadly, Wagon Version 2.0 lived a short life. Apparently Dodge couldn't shake the Country Squire memories of Version 1.0, because it pulled the plug on the Magnum following 2008 due to slow sales. The Magnum still makes for an intriguing used car, though, particularly in V8-powered guise.

Most Recent Dodge Magnum

The Dodge Magnum was sold from 2005-'08. When last sighted at Dodge dealerships, the Magnum was available in four trim levels -- SE, SXT, R/T and SRT8 -- which provided increasing levels of standard equipment and performance features. For power, the Magnum SE was equipped with a 200-horsepower V6. It provided adequate acceleration at best. Most will prefer either the 250-hp V6 in the SXT or the R/T's 340-hp V8. The SRT8 had an even larger V8 good for 425 hp. An automatic transmission was standard with all four engines.

Most Magnums were rear-wheel drive, but Dodge offered all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions of the SXT and RT. Because of their added traction capabilities, these AWD wagons could serve well as an SUV alternative for consumers living in poor-weather climates. No Magnum was really meant for towing, however.

In reviews of the Dodge Magnum, our editors praised the vehicle's roomy and comfortable interior, useful cargo area and inspiring performance. Though their fuel economy is naturally on the low side, the V8-equipped models are well suited for both long-distance cruising and stoplight encounters. The Magnum SRT8, for instance, can clear the quarter-mile mark in fewer than 14 seconds. Handling capabilities are also surprisingly composed on the higher level trims.

When the Magnum debuted for the 2005 model year, the RWD SXT model had a four-speed automatic transmission, but it was upgraded to a five-speed unit later in 2006 (AWD SXTs always had a five-speed). The optional R/T Performance Group model that arrived for 2007 added 10 horses, and an inside-out update for 2008 included higher-quality cabin materials and a more upscale appearance.

Auto blog

South Dakota dealer filled to brim with classic cars

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:27:00 EST

Other than the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Mount Rushmore, South Dakota isn't generally a hot topic, but that just means that cool stuff can hide in the open waiting to be discovered. Case in point: the classic car dealer Frankman Motor Company that operates three locations in Sioux Falls, SD.
Unearthed by the folks at Bring a Trailer, Frankman is a treasure trove of vintage, American iron. Their collection is full of the type of vehicles your irresponsible but cool uncle would show up with when you were a kid. Even better, these cars are priced at a level a working man can afford.
If you are lusting about a cruiser then Frankman has a 1956 Cadillac Deville Hard Top Sedan (pictured right) with 82,896 miles for $12,975. It's painted a color called Cascade Grey, but looks more like a pastel purple in pictures. While it needs some repairs to the accessories, the Caddy runs and drives, which is all you really need.

Dodge Journey gets new $24,895* SE V6 AWD model

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:31:00 EST

While the Dodge Journey crossover remains largely unchanged for the 2014 model year, there are two new flavors of the seven-passenger CUV on offer: the butch-looking Crossroad, and the SE V6 AWD, pictured right, which makes its debut today. As its name suggests, this new Journey model features the automaker's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, and offers all-wheel drive, which, with a starting price of $24,895 (*excluding $995 for destination), reduces the cost-of-entry for an AWD-equipped Journey by $1,800 versus the SXT AWD model. Scroll down for the official press blast.

25,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango SUVs recalled over brake feel

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 14:33:00 EST

Chrysler has announced that it is recalling over 25,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs from several markets over concerns about brake feel under hard braking. The affected models are from the 2012 and 2013 model years, although the actual dates of production aren't available. 18,700 are in the US, while 825 are in Canada, 530 are in Mexico and a further 5,200 outside of North America.
According to a statement, Chrysler was informed of the issue by a component supplier for the Ready Alert Braking system, which primes the brakes in anticipation of an emergency stop. A component in the system was restricting the flow of brake fluid too much.
As Chrysler is quick to point out, the way the brakes functioned was in compliance with regulations and there are no reported cases of drivers losing braking power. Instead, the issue rests with what Chrysler calls a pedal feel that "was not consistent with customer expectations." So it would seem Chrysler is being proactive and fixing a problem not because there's a legal issue at work, but simply because it doesn't feel the way the manufacturer wants it to. Well done.

What's the deal with Chrysler demanding colleges crush their Vipers? [w/video]

Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13:30:00 EST

Students and teachers at a Washington community college are up in arms following an order from Chrysler that it must destroy the pre-production Dodge Viper that was donated to the school's automotive technology program ten years ago.
The Viper in question is said to be the fourth off the production line, based on its VIN, and has had its emissions controls disabled, allowing its ten-cylinder engine to produce 600 horsepower, according to a report from Yahoo! Autos. As one of the first Vipers ever produced, the school's AT instructors claim it could be worth $250,000 in a museum, while a local news report purports that Jay Leno once tried to purchase the car, but the sale was prevented by Chrysler.
As pointed out by our friends at Autobytel, though, there are a lot of things in this story that don't quite add up. Immediately noticeable from the news report embedded below - which shows the car at South Puget Sound Community College - is that the car in question is not a 1992 model. When the Viper went on sale in 1992, it was only available as an RT/10 with a (flimsy) soft top, like the red car shown above. But the car featured in the report from KING5 News (inset image) is clearly a hardtop Viper GTS, which didn't enter production until 1996. And even if, as reported by a local newspaper, the hardtop featured is a prototype, it doesn't explain the lack of another iconic feature of the first Vipers - their distinctive side pipes. This kind of pokes holes in the school's argument that this is the fourth Viper to ever roll down the line. At best, this appears to be a pre-production Viper GTS.

Lackluster Dodge Dart sales trigger layoffs

Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:00:00 EST

Hidden amidst the overall very positive sales figures that Chrysler released earlier this week were a few disappointments, the biggest of which may be the Dodge Dart. While Dodge sales in general were down 11 percent from a year ago, the Dart's poor figures stood out from the rest - with 4,888 units sold, the Dart was down 37 percent in February.
It comes as little surprise, then, that the automaker has announced layoffs at its assembly plant in Belvidere, IL. According to The Daily Herald, Dodge will temporarily lay off 325 workers "to balance vehicle supply with current sales demand." Put more simply, there are more Darts than buyers at the moment...
We don't think the Dodge Dart is a bad car, but it's playing in a market that offers a few standout sellers, like the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. According to AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan, as quoted by The Daily Herald, "great incentives on the Dodge Avenger" are also partly to blame for the Dart's poor showing.

Consumer Reports says these are the worst new cars of 2014

Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:00:00 EST

Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.

Chrysler killing off the 200 Convertible, Dodge Avenger

Sun, 23 Feb 2014 16:00:00 EST

When Chrysler rolled out the first-generation 200 to replace the Sebring range in 2010, it included replacements for both the sedan and the convertible. The Sebring Coupe, however, was left out of the mix. And now that the second-generation Chrysler 200 is descending upon us, Auburn Hills is paring things down even further. But this time, it's the convertible that reportedly isn't making the cut. Shame, too, since the rendering above shows what could have been quite an attractive droptop.
As our compatriots at Edmunds point out, sales of the convertible model accounted for less than five percent of overall Chrysler 200 sales, and at those numbers, the considerable cost of engineering a new drop-top couldn't be justified. With the Toyota Camry Solara and Volkswagen Eos also gone from the market (well, the VW isn't gone quite yet), the discontinuation of the Chrysler 200 Convertible leaves the affordable convertible segment largely to the sportier likes of the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro and smaller European offerings like the Mini Cooper and VW Beetle.
The Chrysler 200 Convertible isn't the only derivative being left behind with the new model: so too is the Dodge Avenger. That will leave a glaring hole in the Dodge lineup, with nothing to bridge the gap between the compact Dart and the larger Charger. Whether the Dodge brand has any plans to replace the Avenger with another model, not to be based on the 200, remains to be seen.

Roadkill pits every project car against each other

Sat, 22 Feb 2014 19:49:00 EST

The guys behind Motor Trend's monthly Roadkill series have collected nine of their favorite project cars from their videos and pitted them against each other in a battle royale to determine a winner. It's 44 minutes long, but it's completely worth the investment of time.
The cars run the gamut from a 1973 Chevrolet Ramp Truck, a 1975 AMC Pacer and a legitimately impressive 1967 Chevy Camaro, and they are pitted against each other to see which is the fastest around an autocross course. The drivers include Roadkill's two hosts and Motor Trend's Johnny Lieberman and Carlos Lago. It's reminiscent of the best episodes of Top Gear and worth a watch.
So it's the weekend - the perfect time to relax. Grab your preferred beverage, get comfortable and enjoy 44 minutes of some seriously ratty but utterly cool project cars as they are throttled within an inch of their lives (or past it). Scroll down to check out the video.

Chrysler extends fuel tank warranties on LX cars, NHTSA ends probe

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 17:45:00 EST

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ended its investigation of 153,817, 5.7-liter and 6.1-liter Hemi V8-powered 2006 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum models after reports of stalling. Chrysler has responded by granting a lifetime warranty on the fuel tanks for these vehicles.
NHTSA received 299 reports of engines stalling while the models were stopped or driving at low speeds, and began an investigation. The government agency found that the control valve shutoff float in the V8s' 19-gallon fuel tank could malfunction if the fuel had too high of an ethanol content. In many cases, the valve would break in the open position, allowing the tank to be overfilled, which would then cause the cars to stall. However, there were no accidents reported, and the vehicles could be restarted immediately.
There will not be a recall on these vehicles because, "the condition represents a low risk to motor vehicle safety and is adequately addressed by Chrysler's extended warranty," NHTSA said to The Detroit News.

SRT reveals Satin Vapor Edition 300, Charger and Challenger SRT models

Fri, 07 Feb 2014 11:00:00 EST

With the exception of some notable truck and van introductions, Chrysler brands have tended to use the Chicago Auto Show to bring out new special editions, pimp their aftermarket parts support or indulge in the occasional flight of fancy. That plan is holding true for 2014, as well. Cases in point are these new Satin Vapor Editions of the 2014-model-year Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 - all from SRT.
The Satin Vapor name may sound like a failed 1970s glam-rock band, or a pseudo-gynecological diagnosis from the Old West, but is, in fact, pretty much a tape-and-trim package for this trio of hi-po Mopars. 300, Challenger and Charger alike come shod with 20-inch aluminum wheels finished in Black Satin Vapor Chrome, and are accented with Satin Black bits aplenty. The 300 gets blacked-out mirrors, spoiler and roof; the Challenger applies it to mirrors and its fuel door; while the Charger has the stuff covering its roof, hood and Super Bee tail graphic.
Interiors of the cars have been mildly updated as well, with all three getting some combination of Nappa leather, ultra-suede and carbon-fiberish finishes.