2006 Dodge Magnum R/T AWD (600)

This week we’re looking at the 2006 Dodge Magnum R/T AWD. My test model was black and although I love black it has two drawbacks – it shows the dirt quickly and it gets hotter than Hades in the summer months. The Hemi is cool and ooo’s and ahh’s are heard when people learn it’s a Hemi. Just goes to show you we all have a need for speed.

I felt the steering was a little lose for my taste and the suspension needs tuning to get the swing and sway out of the ride. It reminded me of either a small boat in high seas or more appropriately the floating sensation of the old 1950s vintage Buick Roadmaster us kids used to refer to as “Road Hogs”.

Public Service:  The Diamond Lane Experience –I don’t know about you but I’m reluctant to drive in the diamond lane. I have 300 good reasons not to use it. How about you? The sign should read “Use at your own Risk”. The minimum fine is now well over $300 and that is cruel and unusual punishment. OK, on caveat is that if you get caught with no passengers you deserve the ticket. What bothers me is that the Robocop’s and Judges are a tag team with a license to steal. Assume you’re approaching your off ramp and need to get out and Cal Trans in all their wisdom has not provided a break as a way out. Should you be forced to travel several miles to turn around? I … don’t …  think …   so Charlie Brown. But just go ahead and try it and be prepared to fork over $300 plus bucks because that proud man in blue or brown isn’t paid to think. The judge in my case wasn’t buying any excuse and tossed the paperwork to the clerk and routinely said, “Guilty, bail to apply”. I wrote a letter to that judge and one of the nice things I said was “does your mother know what you do for a living?”.

Handling & Performance:

GM employs a turbine at the back of the engine to transmit power from engine to transmission. Then it locks it via a clutch that when engaged eliminates slip between the torque converter’s input and output, thereby improving fuel efficiency and performance. There is no free lunch, however, so the torque increase is achieved at the expense of rpm and efficiency.

The Auto-stick shift can be viewed as a gimmick but it is convenient to select the gear that fits the situation, as in mountain driving. Remember the old days when GM (for one) provided an “S” (super) gear setting for mountain driving. Auto-stick allows you to take control to select all gears available and that is nice.


I love the instrument cluster because I think the white background on the instruments is not only classy but easy to read as well.

I’m not real crazy about the “Low Rider” gang banger look however. I much prefer the Chrysler 300 M for nice styling in a very similar vehicle.

Fit and Finish:

Very good as are all the Dodge and Chrysler automobiles these past several years.


Very competitive.  


Pretty usual.  

Consumer Recommendation:

You’ll need to test drive them all. It is in the top few of the listed competition not withstanding the low rider design. My preference however, in order of interest, is the SRX, Volvo and then the Magnum. I’ve owned 8 Cadillac’s and loved ‘em all. I love Chrysler cars like never before but couldn’t own the Magnum.  

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Magnum R/T $23-37,000, Volvo V70 $30-40,000, Volvo XC 70 $36,135, Cadillac SRX $36-44,000, Buick Rendezvous $24-28,000, Subaru Outback $19-36,000, Subaru Legacy Wagon $23-31,000, Nissan Murano $28-32,000.
Good News:

Powerful Hemi, AWD (all wheel drive) handling, fair fuel economy for a large sedan like special purpose vehicle.

Bad News:

Low rider styling.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter 340 hp V8 Hemi engine, 5-speed auto transmission with lock up torque converter, dual air bags, ESP Electronic Stability Program, traction control, power assist anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, auto-stick shift, power rack and pinion steering, touring suspension, front and rear solar control glass, rear window defroster, variable intermittent wipers, rear window wiper washer, rear door child safety locks, air conditioning, tilt and telescopic steering column, leather wrapped wheel, power windows and speed sensitive door locks, cruise control, 8-way power seat, keyless entry, front and rear courtesy lights, fog lights, power heated fold away mirrors, lift gate lights, sunscreen glass, 18 inch aluminum wheels.

Gas Stats:

17 City and 24 Highway MPG


MSRP $32,345.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2005 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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