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Discussion Starter #1
Obviously in a different class, but has anyone had the chance to compare the MO against the Dodge Magnum yet?

It has me interested just enough to check it out because it fits into the category of what I'm looking for (>3000lbs towing capacity, handling and size like a car rather than an SUV). I'm going to test drive one this weekend. Any info or impression that you have had would be helpful.

~ Corin
 

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The Magnum is longer than the Murano, weighs about the same and has less cargo capacity. The towing capacity is under 3000 lbs unless you get the hemi engine which has a towing capacity of 3700 lbs.
 

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The magnum is an awesome looking vehicle. I would definately get one with the hemi, 0-60 in 5.3 seconds with a lot more room than a sedan. Simply awesome :eek:
 

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Magnum styling (retro station wagon) is neat.....hemi performance is impressive...interior somewhat confining and not as much interior room as you would expect..gas mileage?...rear wheel drive hemi not practical in our part of the country where we have winter 6 mths of the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
senza said:
Magnum styling (retro station wagon) is neat.....hemi performance is impressive...interior somewhat confining and not as much interior room as you would expect..gas mileage?...rear wheel drive hemi not practical in our part of the country where we have winter 6 mths of the year.
They're coming out with a full-time AWD version, supposedly available by the end of 2004. Just an FYI.

I stopped by the dealership on the way home from work yesterday. No RTs on the lot (the HEMI version that has 3800lbs towing capacity). They said that all of the RTs that come in are either pre-sold or sell pretty much the same day. If I want to drive one before buying, I'll have to wait a while.

In fact, ALL of the Magnums on their lot were currently sold, so I couldn't drive any of them. They wouldn't even let me SIT in them (which pissed me off).

The dealer finally convinced me to drive a Ram to "get the feel for the HEMI" but that was pointless. Completely different transmission, plus a Ram is twice the weight of the Magnum, so what's the point? Obviously it has power, but I want to see how the CAR performs. <sigh>

Anyway, more details to come later. I'm going to try to track down an available one to drive and I'll report back.

~ Corin
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK, I managed to find one available for a ride, although it was NOT the RT model (the one with the HEMI that has the towing capacity that I require).

Overall impression: Unimpressed.

Pros:
* Looks are good, both inside and out. The interior seems pretty well laid out as far as instrumentation. Both front and rear seats are comfortable (the one I was driving had cloth interior)., but note the con below about rear headroom.
* Rear hatchback is very nice. Strange shape for the door, which allows it to open UP more than swing back, which is nice. Also gives a larger opening.
* Suspension is pretty good. This is a Mercedes suspension, and is quick to respond, but it doesn't feel like a "sport" suspension. It's a pretty smooth ride, but you sacrifice a little body lean. I expected it to be stiffer, since Dodge is trying to market this as a sport wagon.
* Engine and road noise was pretty quiet. Granted this was the 250hp engine, not the 340hp HEMI, so that could change things.

Cons:
* Headroom in the rear seems to be lacking (I'm 5'10" and there was just barely enough room, any taller and you would be rubbing your head).
* Window sills are very high, making it feel more like a tank when you're on the insides. If you have kids riding in the back, then they'll probably complain that they can't see out. The windows feel more like "portals".
* Rear and blind-spot visibility was severely lacking. The blind spots on this vehicle are HUGE due to the small windows and very wide columns. Made me very nervous when changing lanes or backing up.
* AWD version that is coming out soon is apparently a Full-Time AWD rather than as-needed. Some may classify this as a pro, but I see it as a con since 99% of the time it is not needed and just eats gas.
* Transmission was slow to respond. Hit the pedal, wait a second, THEN it takes off. Certainly had a lot of power once it kicked in (even in the model I was driving) but that delay was very noticable. Dealer of course said that the HEMI version would be more responsive (it has a different transmission as well, so this COULD be true but I doubt it).

Bottom line:
It was fun to try, and I took a pretty long test-drive, but I just can't imagine actually owning this vehicle. I think the novelty would wear off quite quickly and the annoyances would plague me until the end of time. I seemed to feel very tired after the 45 minute test drive, which I attribute to the combination of feeling claustrophobic with the high window sills combined with constantly stressing out thinking "what could be hiding in that blind spot?" I can't imagine taking a long (5+ hour) drive across the state, which we do quite often.

Scratch that one off the list! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #8
95se said:
The Mo's blind spots aren't exactly small, were the magnums that much worse?
Yes. The MO has blind spots that you can turn your head to check (like most cars). In the Magnum I had a very hard time seeing no matter what I did. I'm talking a TRUE blind spot, not just a spot missed by the mirrors.
 

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I actually don't think the MO's blind spots are as large as most people imagine. I fine those little windows give me more visibility than I expected on the back passenger corner. Doesn't matter on the driver's side obviously, unless you're the passenger, so really there's only one small area.
 

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What I find interesting is when I turn my head to look out that little quarter window, the part this considered the "blind" spot is actually blocked by the headrest of the rear passenger-side seat. My feeling is that, even if the window we "complete" it would still be paritally blocked by the headrest.

After several years of driving vans, i learned enough about how to position and use the side mirrors to eliminate the blind spot blues. Plus, there is no such thing as a blind spot to an observant driver who is constantly aware of his/her surroundings.
 

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msfiveiron said:
Plus, there is no such thing as a blind spot to an observant driver who is constantly aware of his/her surroundings.
Amen!
 

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Except for visibility while backing up, I have had no problems seeing out of the Murano. In fact, the mirrors are so large that I rarely need to look over my shoulder before changing lanes. I agree with the above post that if you are alert and observant you can keep a mental picture of the vehicles around you (such as distance between you and the vehicle you have just passed), making blind spots irrelevant.
 

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A week or so ago my wife had mentioned seeing this Dodge something that looked like a lowered/chopped Pacifica.

"The Magnum?" I ask..

"Maybe." as she goes on to describe it.

Anyway - today we stopped and looked at one. If I were to buy a car (for her) today - it'd be the Magnum. It has beautiful lines. The one we looked at was the RT. The dealership had added aftermarket wheels (20's) I believe. The only reason why I wouldn't buy it would be the lack of AWD. Which is coming in the near future.

I'm 5'11" and found the rear to have enough leg and head room. Not as much as the Murano - but I can think of 5 times we've had someone sit in the back in the last year and a half - once the person was taller than me.

It seemed to have the perfect ride height/stance. It wasn't tall and SUV-like. It wasn't low and car like.

Oh yeah - the other problem is its a Dodge. ;)
 

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MY company is testing the MAgnum out for it's fleet... got to drive one last week...

Overall, I was unimpressed. Kudos to Dodge for the retro styling, but it was really lacking in a lot of areas.

Then engine was the small 2.7 litre, which is just too small to really push the vehicle... the HEMI is really what you would want in this vehicle.

Interior build quality was subpar, the door pockets looked as if they would pop off when you touched them.

The Brake Assist System was already on the fritz... the car had just passed 250 miles. Also, the passenger rear window would barely go up at times... yikes!

Blind spots were much worse than the Murano, which I have started to get accustomed to... and if you are short, or have a short spouse, forget it... the dashboard is very high and all of the windows are teeny, with the sills coming way up... again, the styling is cool, but it's not for everyone.

We were looking at the very base model, so take all that with a grain of salt. But considering everything, I'd rather have a base SL Murano.;)
 

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my wife drives a magnum. she got the hemi with every single darn option. love the power of the car and the styling. i'm 6'3 but still fit in the car, headroom isnt a problem if i adjust the seat my way. i do feel like driving in a coffin since it's all dark. they could have done a better job with the interior, it's really boring. i still like my murano better. :)
 

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I loved the simplicity of the Magnum interior. As it stands right now - that'll probably be our next vehicle. There is still some time before the Murano goes away though :)
 
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