2005 Dodge Magnum SXT 3.5 V6 from North America
Looks good, but that's about it
Typical suspension clunk/rattle over bumps.
Automatic transmission clunks out of gears, shifts hard, or not right at all.
Shifter mechanism stuck in park. Very common (pink thing).
All the lights flash under electrical load (dash, headlights, center console lights). Another common problem.
TCM (Transmission Control Module).
When I first got the car, I had it inspected, due to the high mileage. Mechanically the car was intact when I purchased it.
First impression of the car - THE BAD.
It look absolutely stunning, and gorgeous, specially in Cool Vanilla color. The body lines on the bumper are not perfect, but that is being really nit picky.
I did notice that there was some rust on the rear hatch area, specifically where the vertical part of the roof comes down, to where the hinges mount on the roof of the car. The actual hatch itself is fine.
The rust, however, was noticeable, and has perforated all the way thru in various locations. Had a shop cut out the affected area and weld in new sheet metal. Looks as good as new ($150).
Soon after I purchased it, the CEL light came on, and after scanning the car, I got an error code for a faulty TCM.
The car would jerk and jump in and out of gear, and feel as though the transmission dropped an inch or two.
Now after checking out the transmission, it appears I have water in the transmission fluid. Apparently there is a TSB at the dealers, that claims water gets in the transmission from car washes and more so from the condenser lines, and that it drips on the filler tube, and gets past a faulty seal, allowing contaminants to get in.
The fix is to put RTV or silicone at the base to ensure a seal.
Since these are Mercedes transmissions, they get real finicky if something is amiss.
The shifter mechanism is also something you must watch out for. All LX platform vehicles suffer from this issue, where a PINK plastic piece in the shifter breaks, and you cannot move the shifter out of park no matter how hard you try, even with the shifter override.
The best and ONLY permanent fix to this is to buy a billet or metal piece. All other solutions are temporary, even the one Chrysler sells. It will break down on you.
I replaced the pink thing on mine with a billet one, and the shifter has not failed me or given me an issue, ever again.
The flashing lights are a nuisance at this point, and have not affected the car yet, and can be corrected with a updated software flashed into the ECU from Dodge. Gotta pay for that though.
The car gets decent mileage, considering it's only a V6 and is hauling a heavy frame. About 15 MPG in the city, mid 20's on the highway. This is where the SXT really shines.
This is not an SRT or a race car by any means, but it does move around pretty quick.
A/C works like a charm, even in the high 80 degree summer days, and cools the interior pretty quick.
The suspension is smooth, and soft, but can bottom out very easily if you are carrying 4-5 people in the car.
I came from a long line of Chrysler vehicles, and have been though my fair share of repairs/nuisances and quirks, but this one was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Too many issues on these Dodge products, that are costing me too much to fix. The car is going up for sale at the weekend.
This car had a lot of potential, but Dodge has not been real good on quality control. Then again, they never have been, compared to Ford or Honda for example.
My recommendation? Do not buy one, unless you have a lot of money to fix/correct these issues, and can work on your own car. Once you do, it may be a potentially great car, and can last you a long time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 9th July, 2014
Why on earth did you buy it if your first impression was 'BAD'?
Inteligent review - articulate and well thought out.
Original poster, responding to the first commenter.
When I first purchased the car, the only major fault it had was the "clunking" suspension, which is typical in these cars, including the Chargers and 300s. Besides, I learned of the worst issues, mainly the water in transmission defect, after I had bought the car. Too many issues popped up at the same time, and I couldn't afford to fix a Mercedes transmission.
Had I known about it, I wouldn't have bought this car.