Motoring: Galant navigational system reminiscent of “Knight Rider”
The flaws included no trunk-lid lining, no fold-down rear seats, a map pocket that was behind the wrong seat, no grab handles for the passengers in the roof lining and no option of a navigation system.
While most of those flaws still exist, I am happy to say that from 2007 you do get grab handles on the roof lining and in the Ralliart version you now get a navigation system as standard.
That is good, so now at least the car is well equipped, although it is obvious that some corners were still cut. Like the navigation system is a laugh. It looks like someone nicked one of those television monitors out from Knight Rider (remember KITT, the talking super-car) and stuck it in here. The mapping also looked like it escaped from the 1980's and when I tried to input an address, the navigation system was unable to locate the province of Ontario. I even had a friend have a go at it, a friend who has a car with a navigation system and he couldn't get it to work either. So the navigation system was no more than a TV screen sitting on top of the dash.
I am sure the system works, but on this occasion it didn't.
So, the features are only just marginally improved. The interior is otherwise the same as before. My Ralliart tester had big, heated, leather seats which is nice to have at this time of the year. It also had automatic climate control, which either worked too hard or too little, but still at least it worked unlike in some cars I have come across.
The one area the Galant GTS was good at was performance. The new Ralliart version takes it a step further. It still has a 3.8-litre, V6 engine, but now it comes with extra punch. The old model produced 220 hp, the new version gets the engine out of the Eclipse GT-V6 coupe, and hence produces 258 hp. So the car is even faster, which is good news for an enthusiast, but sadly the brakes are the same as they were before, so you won't stop any faster, which is bad news. The brakes are fine, but it would benefit from bigger discs.
The transmission however has been upgraded, it used to have a four-speed automatic but now it has a five-speed automatic.
The transmission also has a “Sportronic” feature which allows you to change gears when you want to and hold on to any gear you like. A lot of cars these days have this feature, but take my word for it, the one in this Galant is among the best I have ever come across. The shifts are clean and very fast, no lag as in some cars.
The handling is the same as before, so while it's decent, it won't encourage you to seek out a twisty road just for the joy of it.
So overall the car is more fun to drive because it is even faster, a quality that I look for in a car.
The price of admission is not bad either. This fully loaded Galant Ralliart is yours for $34,998, which makes it the cheapest car to come with all the standard equipment it has to offer. Combine that with Mitsubishi's wonderful warranties, this is now a sensible buy, well sort of anyway.
However, if you have ever been interested in a Galant, now there are plenty of good reasons to buy one. And if you do, might I suggest you choose it in either sunset pearl or ultra red pearl, it does look stunning in those colours.