2008 Dodge Magnum Review
The 2008 Magnum ranks highly because reviewers love its powerful (but optional) V8 engines and its aggressively retro exterior styling. However, they dislike the base model's underpowered V6 and are disappointed that so many of the Magnum's safety features cost extra.
When the Dodge Magnum first appeared in model year 2005, it did more than give Chrysler's sales figures a boost: It made station wagons hip. It looked cool and, with the available V8 engines, performed like a hot rod out of decades past. Reviewers loved it -- and they still do. "[T]he Magnum is a bona fide triple threat," says Automobile Magazine. "[U]tilitarian, good looking, and fine driving." In fact, the 2007 Magnum made Edmunds' list of Editors' Most Wanted Vehicles for 2007. However, slow sales has led to 2008 being the final production year for the Dodge Magnum.
The low-end SE trim, with a 2.7-liter V6 engine that reviewers find seriously underpowered, invites sneers from automotive writers, but the SRT8, with its 6.1-liter Hemi V8, has reviewers comparing it to classic 1950s hot rods. The Magnum's handling also gets good notices, but it's the exterior styling that really makes reviewers swoon.
The Magnum's major drawback is the lack of safety features in the base model SE, which forces buyers to pay several thousand dollars to upgrade to the SXT model for traction and stability control and anti-lock brakes. Side air bags are not available in any model or even as an option. The Magnum also suffers from poor predicted reliability.
The Magnum comes in four trims -- the base model SE, the SXT, the R/T and the high-performance SRT8.
- "All told, the Magnum's styling, performance, and practicality make it a suitable hot rod for young showoffs or a hip familymobile for people looking to enliven their driveway." -- U.S. News
- "It is as subtle as a Sherman tank and if that is your cup of tea you'll have lots and lots of fun..." -- The Auto Channel
- "Ultimate American station wagon. Very fast. Solid handling. Roomy. Comfortable." -- Chicago Sun-Times
- "The Magnum is certainly not a car for everyone, not even in its base form, and most certainly not in this ready-for-the-drag-strip-after-the-groceries-are-unloaded version." -- Boston Globe
- "Among today's pricey performance cars and trucks, it also carries a fairly modest price tag." -- Arizona Republic