- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The latest Galant from Mitsubishi is the ninth-generation vehicle to wear the name. It is the fifth-generation Galant to be sold in the North American market, but the first-ever to be designed and built for our continent.

The new Galant sedan bridges the gap between Mitsubishi’s entry-level Lancer, and the entry-luxury Diamante. It is positioned with the objective of attracting the family sedan consumer.

The Galant is bigger, better and faster than its predecessors, with the last major redesign coming in 1998. The 2004 models are based on a larger platform with a wider track. Galant will be offered in four trim levels with two engine and two transmission choices. Both the DE and ES trim models will be powered by a 2.4-liter, SOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder engine that mates to a four-speed automatic transmission, transferring power to the front wheels.

The more upscale LS and GTS models draw their motive power from a more potent 3.8-liter SOHC, 24-valve V-6 engine coupled to a manually shiftable (Sportronic) four-speed automatic gearbox, also driving the front wheels.

All four models ride on front and rear independent suspensions — MacPherson strut up front and multilink aft. Braking comes from a four-wheel disc system with vented rotors forward and solids in the back. ABS is an optional feature.

Sixteen-inch steel wheels with full covers are featured on the two lower trim levels and the LS, which also offers an optional 10-spoke alloy wheel.

The sporty GTS comes standard with 17-inch rubber mounted on five-spoke alloy wheels.

In terms of visual appeal, the Galant sports a Euro-style front fascia treatment with a dual or split grille (similar to that of Pontiac), bold fender arches, a stretched, arching C-pillar that tapers into the D pillar or sail panel. The beltline sweeps upward from front to rear, forming an overall aerodynamic wedge shape.

The interior execution is in a user-friendly format with intuitive control and switch placement. Nighttime illumination is enhanced by ice-blue LED lamps. Seating is both comfortable and supportive in cloth, with leather seating available as an option.

The base price of the test Galant, finished in LS trim, was set at $20,997, which was bumped up to $23,559 after adding the sunroof package, the Diamond package; and ABS brakes.

The Galant four-door sedan provides a very desirable midrange in Mitsubishi’s lineup, with the DE starting at $17,997 and the GTS showing up at the starting gate for $25,697. One may opt for greater economy with the four-cylinder models, or go for a higher performance level with the V-6-powered models.

The Galant comes across as a larger, more expensive car than it really is, in terms of ride and handling characteristics. The price for content level also seems quite reasonable.

All Galants are to be built at Mitsubishi’s manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill., where five other car and truck models roll off the assembly line — more than at any other U.S. plant.


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