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Key Specs

of the 2006 Dodge Magnum. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance with Hemi V-8
  • RWD handling
  • High-quality base model
  • Automatic-transmission operation, especially five-speed
  • Interior space

The Bad

  • Over-the-shoulder visibility
  • Liftgate position
  • Winter traction of base model without stability system
  • Intrusive, but valuable, stability system

Notable Features of the 2006 Dodge Magnum

  • RWD or AWD
  • V-6 or V-8
  • Available stability system
  • 17- or 18-inch wheels
  • New 425-hp SRT8 edition

2006 Dodge Magnum Road Test

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Joe Wiesenfelder
The 2006 Dodge Magnum is mostly unchanged from its 2005 debut year. These days everyone seems to want a vehicle with better fuel economy, but not everyone can get by with a compact car. Fortunately, within each vehicle class are models that are more efficient than others. Even within a model line, some drivetrain offerings can be more efficient than others. This is what drew me to the base Magnum, sometimes called the SE for ordering purposes.

Base trim levels often suffer anemic acceleration. Equipped with the smallest, 2.7-liter V-6 engine and a four- rather than a five-speed-automatic transmission, the 2006 Magnum has every reason to be a dog. To my surprise, it isn't, which proves once again that you shouldn't focus on the formula; results are what count.

The table below shows the Magnum trim levels and their associated engines and fuel-economy specs.

Dodge Magnum Fuel Data Compared
Trim LevelEngineEPA-Estimated
Fuel Economy
(city/highway, mpg)
Recommended
Gasoline Grade
Base (SE)190-hp,
2.7-liter V-6
21/28regular
unleaded
(87 octane)
SXT RWD250-hp,
3.5-liter V-6
19/27midgrade
unleaded
(89 octane)
SXT AWD250-hp,
3.5-liter V-6
18/24midgrade
unleaded
(89 octane)
RT RWD340-hp,
5.7-liter V-8 (Hemi)
17/25midgrade
unleaded
(89 octane)
RT AWD340-hp,
5.7-liter V-8 (Hemi)
17/23midgrade
unleaded
(89 octane)
SRT8425-hp,
6.1-liter V-8 (Hemi)
14/20premium
unleaded
(91 octane)
EPA and manufacturer data

The largest engine mates to a five-speed automatic, which is ironic because, in my experience, it's the lesse...
The 2006 Dodge Magnum is mostly unchanged from its 2005 debut year. These days everyone seems to want a vehicle with better fuel economy, but not everyone can get by with a compact car. Fortunately, within each vehicle class are models that are more efficient than others. Even within a model line, some drivetrain offerings can be more efficient than others. This is what drew me to the base Magnum, sometimes called the SE for ordering purposes.

Base trim levels often suffer anemic acceleration. Equipped with the smallest, 2.7-liter V-6 engine and a four- rather than a five-speed-automatic transmission, the 2006 Magnum has every reason to be a dog. To my surprise, it isn't, which proves once again that you shouldn't focus on the formula; results are what count.

The table below shows the Magnum trim levels and their associated engines and fuel-economy specs.

Dodge Magnum Fuel Data Compared
Trim LevelEngineEPA-Estimated
Fuel Economy
(city/highway, mpg)
Recommended
Gasoline Grade
Base (SE)190-hp,
2.7-liter V-6
21/28regular
unleaded
(87 octane)
SXT RWD250-hp,
3.5-liter V-6
19/27midgrade
unleaded
(89 octane)
SXT AWD250-hp,
3.5-liter V-6
18/24midgrade
unleaded
(89 octane)
RT RWD340-hp,
5.7-liter V-8 (Hemi)
17/25midgrade
unleaded
(89 octane)
RT AWD340-hp,
5.7-liter V-8 (Hemi)
17/23midgrade
unleaded
(89 octane)
SRT8425-hp,
6.1-liter V-8 (Hemi)
14/20premium
unleaded
(91 octane)
EPA and manufacturer data

The largest engine mates to a five-speed automatic, which is ironic because, in my experience, it's the lesser-powered engine that benefits from additional gears. This is why, having driven the 3.5-liter and V-8-powered models, I couldn't imagine the 2.7-liter having enough guts to propel this car. It's weighty in what I consider a good way: solid, substantial. In terms of curb weight, it's a relatively heavy 3,847 pounds. Still, the car is, at worst, modestly powered — at least when driven in and between Chicago and Detroit, where hills are virtually nonexistent.

The transmission is reasonably reactive, though I think it would be better if it kicked down more readily because the higher engine speeds are really needed for decent acceleration. It's hard to argue with the math, but in my estimation the rear-wheel-drive base Magnum isn't too far from the Magnum SXT AWD in real-world driving. The all-wheel drive adds 300 pounds to the car's weight, which eats away at the 3.5-liter's 60-horsepower advantage.

My test vehicle came with optional (at this trim level) ABS, which I recommend for any vehicle. Dodge teams it with traction control and an electronic stability system in a $1,025 option package. Some buyers might prefer to option the ABS alone at a lower price, but the stability feature is good to have with rear-wheel drive.

One of the challenges car reviewers face is gaining access to a model's lowest trim levels to see just how stripped-down they are. The automakers don't always make them available directly, not necessarily because they have something to hide, but because it's the reviewer's job to evaluate features, and we can't evaluate what isn't there.

This base version is easily as impressive as the higher trim levels I've tested, and maybe more so. With the exception of the faux aluminum trim — which plagues the higher trims and a regrettable majority of recent models from all automakers — the interior materials and seat fabric are good quality. The styling is there, the solidity is there and, all told, it feels like a helluva lot of car for $22,320.

Send Joe an email 



2006 Magnum Video

Watch MotorWeek on PBS. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Latest 2006 Magnum Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Best Station Wagon With A KICK

by Cardeezy94 from Azusa, CA on July 26, 2018

Best car I?ve owned and considering it?s no longer manufactured, it?s super rare to have! Plus I currently own a SRT8 magnum of the same year and absolutely adore her! Read full review

(4.0)

Fun ride!

by Biggie from Indiana on July 18, 2018

Currently own an srt8, it is a fast and fun run mpge ain't there at 13.4 but who cares with 425 points pushing you to its stock limits! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2006 Dodge Magnum currently has 5 recalls

NHTSA Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2006 Dodge Magnum Base

NHTSA rates vehicles using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Overall Rollover Rating
4 Star
Driver's
5 Star
Passenger's
5 Star
Front Seat
4 Star
Rear Seat
5 Star
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Change Year or Vehicle

All Model Years for the Dodge Magnum

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Magnum received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker