2007 Mitsubishi Galant RalliArt
- February 19, 2007
- Mitsubishi, On The Road: Driving Impressions
- Posted by George Peterson
- Leave your thoughts
The current generation (PS41) Mitsubishi Galant has been on the market in the USA since Fall 2003. Designed to be fully competitive with the big dogs in its class – Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima – Galant is about the size of the Accord, bigger than Camry and Altima (and the Hyundai Sonata). The car feels big for a Mid-Size Car, but size alone does not make for a competitive Mid-Size entry.
Our impression of the Galant is that it is a good basic car beset by too many cost-reductions that could be obvious to the buyer. Where most product planners would lament that they were $50-$100 short of a great car, the Galant planners were probably lamenting of a $500 shortfall. Somehow, the financial community won the product content battle and it’s tough to sell an obviously cost reduced car agaist the likes of Camry and Accord. The last generation Nissan Altima learned that lesson.
Premium Mid-Size Cars – Most Competitive Car Segment
In this most competitive of car segments, a car has to be superb to achieve class-leading status and Galant falls a bit short but it does deserve a look. It is now the oldest of the major competitors in the class. OK, all its major competitors are on a five-year product cycle. Camry was all new for 2007 as was the Altima. The Honda Accord received a major rear end freshening for the 2006 model year. Sonata was all new for 2006. With a normal cycle life, the Galant would be due for a major change in late 2008 as a 2009 model. So a major change for the Galant is not late – yet. Most Asian brands have a moderate mid-cycle freshening to keep interest up, but Galant got a very minor change for the 2007 model year and added the range topping RalliArt version.
We had not driven a Galant at VehicleVoice and AutoPacific since its launch and the intro of the new RalliArt edition gave us the perfect opportunity to see how the Galant has evolved.
When we first got into the Galant, we were reminded how large it is. It is easy to get into and out of. Its doors are generous and even foot clearance getting into the rear seat is excellent.
In the RalliArt version, the interior is very functional. There is unique instrument cluster graphics which admittedly looked a bit blurry to my aging eyes. Maybe it was the font used, but the tachometer and speedometer numbers looked fuzzy.
The center stack is laid out very well with the appropriate sequence of instrumentation. The navigation system is on top – well within the eye line for easy visibility. Just below the nav screen is the audio system and then below that are the heater/air conditioning controls. Easy to read. Easy to figure out. The only downside is the navigation system graphics look old tech in these days of multi-color displays with oodles of information. This was a good, basic display with few bells and whistles.
Minor points, but the steering wheel and shift lever were not substantial enough for a sporting model. The steering wheel, wrapped in leather, seems skinny in days when beefier wheels are the norm. The shift lever, also leather wrapped and with contrasting stitching, is too narrow. It needs to be wider, or more sporting. The sport accelerator and brake pedals are an unexpected highlight.
One disappointment is that the trunk lid is not trimmed. Here we have the top of the Galant and Mitsubishi range in the USA and the inside of the trunk lid is bare metal – painted, of course – but not carpeted. Years ago, we learned in research that one of the first places a buyer looks at a car is in the trunk. Why? Because they believe that the way a manufacturer trims the trunk gives clues as to the overall quality of the car.
Driving the Galant
The Galant is a very pleasant car to drive. The RalliArt version is powered by a 3.8L V6 with 258HP and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Honda Accord (253HP) and Hyundai Sonata (234HP) have less horsepower and Toyota Camry (268HP) and Nissan Altima (270HP) have more. So, Galant is in the middle of the pack.
The Galant’s V6 is a bit buzzy. Not as silky smooth as the Nissan VQ V6, but on a par with the Camry and Honda V6s. It feels superior to the Hyundai unit. All in all, Galant has adequate power, moderate torque steer and OK, but not superior quietness.
Galant Worth Considering if Looking at Premium Mid-Size Cars
Galant is a Mid-Size Car worthy of consideration. Mitsubishi carries a warranty superior to that of Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Its cars are known to be reliable. Because of negative press in recent years, Mitsubishi sales are down in the USA. So there should be good deals available on the Galant. Give it a try.