Power is communicated to the pavement through an updated version of the company's proven four-speed automatic transmission. A five-speed automatic gearbox is bolted to the powerful Hemi, equipped with the AutoStick driver-selectable range control.
On the road, the Magnum equipped with the Hemi V-8 prime mover delivers a strong performance - smooth, powerful, quiet and most importantly, connected in a way no Dodge before it has ever been. Handling and control at speed are first rate.
The Magnum received the benefits of advancements in rear-wheel-drive technology along with its inherent advantages. The result is a wagon with a seven-inch longer wheelbase than last year's front-drive offerings, wider track and engine mounted longitudinally (as opposed to sideways in front-wheel drive) for a smoother, balanced ride as well as better stability, handling and traction control.
The new Dodge is equipped with a four-wheel independent suspension system. The front suspension hardware includes short/long arm with high upper "A" arm, lateral and diagonal lower links with dual ball joint front knuckle, coil springs over gas-charged shock absorbers. In the rear, a five-link configuration works with coil springs, gas-charged shock absorbers and an isolated suspension cradle. AWD models add a lower "A" arm to the front suspension.
Inside, the cabin is cavernous and comfortable. The tilt/telescopic steering wheel is user-friendly for tall and short drivers alike. The interior presentation is clean and modern - with powerpoints for portable electronic devices - one on the dashboard, the second in the center console storage bin. The seating position was raised two-and-a-half inches from current Chrysler Group passenger cars for better command of the road.
Rear-seat passengers are treated to leg room and the comfort of the large wagon. Creature comforts found in the rear seat include a center armrest with dual cupholders and 60/40 split fold-down seating to maximize both passenger and cargo carrying ability.
The rear cargo area design is flexible and spacious - featuring an upper flat-load floor that expands the usable cargo area when the rear seats are folded forward. Additional storage is provided below this load floor for smaller items and in deep pockets on either side of the floor back of the wheels.
A unusually large cargo opening is created by hinging the top of the rear gate midway between the C- and D-pillar. This "extreme access" liftgate opens wide enough to accommodate a box containing a 27-inch TV.
QUICK VEHICLE STATS
Wheelbase: 120; overall length: 197.7; width: 74.1; height: 58.4 - measurements in inches.
Engines: 2.7-liter V-6 - 190 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 190 lbs-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm; 3.5-liter V-6 - 250 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 250 lbs-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm; 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 - 340 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 390 lbs-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Transmissions: Four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic with AutoStick (with Hemi).
EPA fuel economy: 2.7-liter V-6 - 21 city/28 hwy., 3.5-liter V-6 - 18 city/24 hwy., 5.7-liter V-8 (2WD) - 17 city/23 hwy., (4WD) - 17 city/23 hwy.
Cargo capacity: 71.6 cubic feet.
Towing capacity: 3,800 lbs.
Dual front air bags, automatic power door locks, engine immobilizer and remote keyless entry. SXT adds electronic stability program, emergency brake assist, all-speed traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock. RT adds performance four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock and fog lamps.
Optional safety features include front/rear side-curtain air bags, self-sealing tires, power adjustable pedals, alarm system and garage door opener.
Basic: 3-year/36,000 mile, bumper-to-bumper.
Powertrain: 7-year/70,000 mile.
Corrosion: 5-year/100,000 mile.
Roadside assistance: 3-year/36,000 mile, 24-hour.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2005 Dodge Magnum wagon starts from $22,020 for the SE up to $32,070 for the RT AWD model. Destination charges add $625.