One of America's last great wagons.
With very few exceptions, wagons are no longer profitable for automakers. The Subaru Outback is the only mainstream, non-luxury survivor and the Audi RS6 Avant is for those with over $100k lying around. The era of the family station wagon is long gone although some automotive design trends have reemerged. Wagons are unlikely to be one of them. They'd lose a popularity contest against crossovers every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
But Dodge took a bold chance back in 2005 when it launched the Magnum. Based on the old LX platform Dodge Charger, the Magnum was an instant hit with the media but failed to catch on with the greater public. Even the high-performance SRT-8 with its then-new 6.1-liter Hemi V8 with 425 horsepower on tap didn't do the trick. America's crossover obsession was already well underway.
Those who didn't take the jacked-up hatchback with SUV-like body bait were left with few options. Instead of marketing the Magnum as a family vehicle, Dodge made a noble effort of showing just how cool it was to have extra interior cargo volume. Long objects such as lumbar, surfboards, and skis could easily fit inside with the rear seats folded flat. And, not to mention, the Magnum's design was definitely an eye-catcher. Those who didn't want a V8 (two were offered) were left with the base 3.5-liter V8 with a respectable 250 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque paired to a four-speed automatic.
Only AWD V6 and V8 versions had the five-speed slushbox (anyone remember the AutoStick?), which brings us to this 2005 Magnum SXT AWD currently up for auction on Cars and Bids.
It's getting increasingly hard to find a low-mileage unmodified Magnum as the years go by, making this 2005 example kind of unique. It has just 51,200 miles on the clock and had a single owner until last year. The Light Graystone body is generally in good shape, though there are a few scratches and chips. There's also some wheel curb rash. The SXT package makes it an ideal winter vehicle thanks to that additional all-wheel traction. Other features include 18-inch wheels, power driver's seat, and an AM/FM radio with a CD player.
This future American classic (perhaps it's one already) could be a seriously good bargain. As of this writing, the highest bid was less than $3,500 with the auction to set conclude on March 3.