NEW FOR 2008:

– As of November, 2007, this model was discontinued. Examples will be available until dealer stocks are exhausted.
– Front exterior redesign, including hood, headlamps, fascia, front fenders and wheels
– Interior refresh, including full-length centre console, instrument panel and cluster, and door trim panels
– Available illuminated cupholders and map pockets, MyGIG entertainment stereo, UConnect hands-free system, seat-mounted side airbags, remote starter, fuel economy mode display on 5.7-litre, high intensity discharge headlamps
– iPod interface added to UConnect modules
– Standard single-disc CD/DVD player with auxiliary jack, tire pressure monitoring warning lamp

For 2008, the Dodge Magnum – a cousin to the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 – receives new styling cues, including a lower and wider grille, and chrome fascia elements. The SRT8 version receives a redesigned hood with new functional scoop, and redesigned grille, front fascia and headlamps.

The Magnum comes with a choice of four engines: a 2.7-litre V6 in the SE, 3.5-litre V6 in the SXT, 5.7-litre Hemi V8 in the R/T, and 6.1-litre Hemi V8 in the SRT8. The 5.7 includes a multi-displacement system, which seamlessly shuts off half the cylinders at light load for improved fuel economy; the 6.1 is all cylinders, all the time. The SXT and R/T can be optioned with all-wheel drive. A four-speed automatic transmission is mated to the 2.7-litre and to rear-wheel drive applications of the 3.5-litre; a five-speed automatic with Auto/Stick manual mode is used in the AWD SXT, plus the R/T, R/T AWD and SRT8.

Features on the SE include 17-inch steel wheels, manual air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, floor console, power locks with keyless entry, floor mats, fog lamps, power mirrors, CD stereo with auxiliary jack, cloth seats, 60/40 split folding rear seat, cruise control, tilt and telescopic column, power windows, variable intermittent wipers and rear wiper/washer.

The SXT adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, power-adjustable pedals, fog lamps, heated mirrors, and eight-way power driver seat. The SXT AWD also includes 18-inch aluminum wheels, performance brakes and touring suspension.

The R/T adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, performance brakes, automatic headlamps, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated leather seats, eight-way power passenger seat, SIRIUS satellite radio, leather-wrapped wheel, and touring suspension. The R/T AWD also adds electronic vehicle information centre, garage door opener, six-CD/MP3 stereo, remote starter and illuminated cupholders and map pockets. Ordering the R/T with the optional Road/Track Performance Group increases the horsepower from 340 to 350 hp.

The SRT8 adds 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, manual air conditioning, Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers, electronic vehicle information centre, garage door opener, illuminated cupholders and map pockets, heated folding mirrors, six-CD/MP3 stereo, sport-bolstered leather seats with suede microfibre inserts, performance suspension, and tire pressure monitoring display.

The Magnum’s long, low styling is attractive, but its height and high beltline can make rear-seat passengers feel lost in its depths, and compromises rear visibility. The rear hatch is cut deeply into the roof and swings up and out of the way, making it easy to load the cargo area, which uses a folding panel that can be used to hide valuables, or locked into different positions to create various-sized cargo areas.

Interior enhancements improve a cabin that tended to look downscale; the seats are comfortable, and all passengers enjoy a roomy seating area. Like the Charger version, the SRT8 offers muscular performance at a relatively restrained price.

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