How to Spend $1,500 Cash Back


We get a lot of rebate information here at We report on sales and incentives, we juggle numbers, we stare at window stickers. It gets almost tedious after a while, but we know how important the information is to car shoppers. So some days it’s nice to take a sunny afternoon drive in the physical equivalent of $1,500 cash back — especially when that $1,500 comes on a 425-hp, Hemi-powered station wagon like the 2007 Dodge Magnum.

Interestingly enough, we got this particular 400-mile-old 2007 Magnum just six months ahead of the 2008 coming out. There are few changes to the new model, most noticeably a snarling hood scoop. That means the remaining SRT8s might be had for a deal until the new ones show up, and buyers won’t be missing out on much. Chrysler has officially put $1,500 on the hood to help sell the remaining SRT8s, and it’s one of the few times I’ve ever been excited to sit down and bust out a blog on incentives.


Truth be told, though, I’ve driven all three SRT8 models (Magnum, Charger and 300C) many times and knew what I was getting into. What struck me about this refresher course was how smooth the ride was. Usually in high-performance variants the body rattles because the suspension is so tightly wound. The Magnum was nice and comfortable on rough highways. Now, the steering and handling could definitely use some work — there are little jitters from the front and rear — but this is still more of a straight-ahead, black-rubber-stripes-from-the-stoplight kind of ride, not some track carver. Even the somewhat uninspired interior has been growing on me since I’ve started noticing a lot of uninspired interiors lately.

I wonder how much of that $1,500 will go to gas, though. The 14/20 mpg city/highway sure isn’t eco-friendly, and our test vehicle’s computer told me there were fewer than 200 miles to go on an almost-full 19-gallon fuel tank. To be fair, we were “testing” it with a healthy right foot, but wouldn’t someone who bought one drive it like that all the time, too?


The Urban DINK in me would actually consider the less-powerful, all-wheel-drive Magnum R/T because, like the SRT8, the rear cargo area is just huge, and I dig wagons. My wife even likes the looks. I just couldn’t justify the SRT8 price — even with a deal — and RWD. Plus there’s even more cash back on the R/T — $2,500. That kind of looks good right now — $31,890 before destination and after discounts. But then I have to remember the thing is 16 inches longer than our Jeep Grand Cherokee and we live in the middle of Chicago…

For suburbanites and muscle-car fans, I can see the Magnum SRT8 as a vehicle that becomes more attractive as the discounts go up.

By David Thomas | March 16, 2007 | Comments (8)
Tags: Dodge


Mike E.

Throw in the fact that the Magnum is classified as a "light truck" by the EPA, and you also avoid the $2100 gas guzzler tax that is levied on all new Charger and 300C SRT's.


This is a heck of a deal on a heck of a car. Saw one today and am impressed! I'm picky and hard to impress too!


Almost $32k for a Dodge station wagon? Keep it. No wonder Chrysler is in the red. I would rather buy a slightly used Acura, BMW or Lexus. You can already find slightly used Hemi-powered cars at deep discounts which would be a much smarter buy. You could use the savings alone to pay for several years of gas.

It's actually quite a lot of car for $32K. That's about as much as the top of the line Subaru Outback too.

Mike E.

Hello? It's a Dodge station wagon, with 425HP and the suspension components and transmission of the Mercedes E class. Try driving a car before you make stupid comments like that about it.


"I wonder how much of that $1,500 will go to gas, though."

Well, at $2.50 a gallon, $1500 is 600 gallons. At 20mpg (highway), that's 12,000 miles, or about the average someone puts on a car in a year. So, how much of that $1500 will go to gas? In the first year, all of it.
Ofcourse, it's not like you wouldn't spend any money on gas if had another car. Say you had a 40mpg econobox instead, I guess that extra money would take 2 years to burn through by comparison.

The 2008 has a totally restyled interior. It's just that the new design looks so similar to the old one that the extent of the changes is only obvious when you look at the two together.

I saw the 08 in Detroit and didn't notice a "totally" restyled interior at all. They just added some different trim materials.

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