TOY BOX: Magnum highlights the power of Dodge

I'm not a hard-core auto nut. I leave that to my 19-year-old son and, increasingly, my 15-year-old daughter.

I'm not a hard-core auto nut. I leave that to my 19-year-old son and, increasingly, my 15-year-old daughter.

Growing up in New York, my family didn't own a car. So I view cars as transportation first, status symbols and toys second. All that background is meant to emphasize how much fun I had driving the 2005 Dodge Magnum RT. The reason was simple - this bad boy has a 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine. Dodge has done a great job promoting the Hemi brand. Enthusiasts love it. Having driven this one, I now see why. The Hemi made this car move unlike anything I've been accustomed to. I reached 80 mph on the highway without any vibration or hesitation. Granted, the Magnum is a station wagon. The tinted windows on the model I tested made it look a bit sinister, so I wouldn't recommend them. That said, the engine is a throwback to the days when American cars meant raw power. I can see why gearheads are impressed by it. I certainly was. Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to toybox@prweek.com John N. Frank writes Toy Box. He is the Chicago-based Midwest bureau chief for PRWeek. Price model tested, $35,895; base model price: $29,370 Available at Dodge dealers Specs V8 Hemi engine, five-speed automatic transmission, electronic-stability program

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