Mitsubishi, Road Test Reviews, Vehicles

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart – Road Test

The Mitsubishi Galant was re-designed for the 2007 model year and since I liked the 2006 model so much, I thought I’d take another look at this new car. In the summer of 2006 I drove the top-of-the-line GTS model. For 2007 and beyond, the top-end Ralliart name returns to the Galant fold. Much like the GTS – the Ralliart comes only one way – fully loaded with no options, including satellite navigation. That’s one thing that I really like about Mitsubishi – the model ranges are very simple and the prices reasonable for the many extras that are included within the various models.

First Impressions
When I described the 2006 Galant, I compared it to two famous actresses – one that’s pleasant to look at and one that’s gorgeous. The ’06 was kinda plain looking. So how does the new 2007 model fair? Uh – there’s no change. It looks exactly like the previous model. I went back and looked at my pictures from last year – just in case my eyes were deceiving me.

Here’s the 2006…..

2006 Mitsubishi Galant,, Iain Shankland

Here’s the 2007…..

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart,, Iain Shankland

Nope – I was right – it looks exactly the same!

Hmmm. Are Mitsu pulling a “Porsche-design” philosophy here? Build one version and sell it for the next 52 years while telling everyone that it’s “NEW” every couple of years?! Maybe the taillight are new?! Nope. The wheels are different though. How about the interior? That’s it – the screen for the SatNav is there instead of the mini-screen from the lesser models. Believe me that’s the only difference. That and the quite good fake wood from the GTS is missing – replaced with a band of silver plastic.

The most important – and the highlight of the Galant Ralliart – is the engine and transmission. It is an incredibly smooth and quiet combination that makes this car one of the best cars in its class. Just touch the gas pedal and the engine responds immediately. The transmission shifts are so smooth you can’t even feel them, whether driving leisurely or at full throttle.

The Ralliart gets the largest and most powerful engine in the Galant line up, a 258 horsepower, 3.8 litre MIVEC V-6 engine mated to a five-speed Sportronic transmission with adaptive shift control and clutchless manual shift mode. The 2006 GTS (and 2007) had a less-potent 230 hp 3.8-liter V-6 and a Sportronic 4-speed automatic transmission. I loved the V-6 in last years’ Galant, but this one is even better! It’s a blast to drive, it’s as responsive as a sports car and unbelievably it still returns terrific fuel economy – what more can you ask for?!

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart,, Iain ShanklandGetting behind the wheel, the interior is almost exactly the same as the out-going model, right down to the steering wheel and gauges. The leather-wrapped power adjustable seats are very comfortable with no complaints from yours-truly all week. The steering wheel is leather wrapped, but quite thin compared to the vast majority of vehicles I’ve driven lately. The variable assist rack and pinion steering is perfectly weighted – nice and heavy with plenty of feedback, responding instantly to the slightest bit of input from the driver. Combined with the instant throttle response, this is a very fast and enjoyable car to drive. The firm sporty suspension gives the driver plenty of confidence when darting around slower traffic – and you do that quite a bit in this car because everything moves slower than you do. One thing I did find hard to get used to was turning radius. On the road it’s not an issue, but while trying to park in regular parking spots I constantly over-shot the spot and had to back up and try again. The steering doesn’t turn as sharply as I’ve been accustomed to and therefore probably the reason it stood out is because it happened so often.

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart,, Iain ShanklandThe top of the dashboard is covered in a squishy rubber type material that helps against reflections being thrown up onto the front window. I like the material and fortunately more and more manufacturers are starting to use it. As with the 2006 model, the instrument cluster is white-faced with a very pleasant ice-blue illumination when the headlights are turned on – it’s still one of the nicest instrument clusters I’ve seen to date.

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart,, Iain Shankland 2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart,, Iain Shankland

The audio system is very good, but unfortunately previous occupants of the car have blown the rear speakers to such an extent it sounded like very cheap speakers from the 1970’s. Yuk! The Subwoofer was also less than perfect, so the bass had to be constantly tinkered with depending on the music featured. That’s too bad because the system is a 360-watt Rockford Acoustic Design premium audio sound system with AM/FM/6CD/MP3 playback capability, digital signal processor and 8 speakers. If it’s the same one that’s in the Eclipse it’s absolutely fabulous.

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart,, Iain ShanklandThe Automatic Climate control – usually a thorn in my side – was very easy to use, but had one particular quirk that was very annoying. The information for the climate control, SatNav and audio system are all located in the screen that sits prominently in the centre of the dash. When you change the fan speed: the screen turns to the climate control screen to show you a bar graph of the speed increasing. It doesn’t go away, so you can’t see the radio stations if you’re changing/programming the stations or the map if you’re using the SatNav. You have to go back to the menu to get out of the climate control screen – or wait a couple of minutes for it to do it on its own.

Another problem – and this is notorious on automatic systems – you can’t get some outside air into the car. If you want to cool down, the A/C comes on. So you either freeze or have to endure a stuffy hot interior. That’s why I always prefer a plain old regular, HVAC system.

The SatNav system is very good in the Galant. Unlike many other systems, you can actually use it and re-program it on-the-go – no need to pull over park the car if you want to change destinations. I wish all manufacturers would do this as it’s very frustrating if your passenger is unable to make changes once underway. The screen is nice and large with clearly labeled icons. The touch screen is also very good, too often the SatNav systems have touch screens that require you to press quite hard to get them to accept a command.

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart,, Iain ShanklandThe back seat is very large and easily accommodates 3 people and the doors open wide offering superb entry and exit. The angle of the seatback is clearly designed for comfort and long journeys and it’s very comfortable with plenty of leg, knee and foot space. Hip, shoulder and headroom are also very generous. The seats don’t fold, but there is a pass through for long items such as skis. Trunk space is plentiful with a very square, useful shape. At 13.3 cu-ft it’s comparable with other cars in its class range.

Impressive Standard Equipment
The Ralliart comes fully-loaded with Power windows with driver illumination and auto down; dual-stage front airbags; front and rear curtain airbags; Dual heated power side view mirrors; Traction control (TCL); Tire pressure monitoring system(TPMS); Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution); front shoulder belts with pretensioner and force limiter; seven-spoke 18″ aluminum alloy wheels (P235/45R18 all-season tires); Automatic climate control; speed-sensitive power steering; cruise control; 360-watt Rockford Acoustic Design 6-CD/MP3 premium audio system with eight speakers; seven-inch color LCD (with audio/trip/outside temperature screen, trip computer); eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; perforated leather seating surfaces with red stitching; aluminum pedals; heated front seats; integrated rear spoiler and a sport-tuned suspension.

Standard safety items include: ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), LATCH system for child safety seats, advanced dual-stage front SRS airbags and front and rear curtain airbags.

2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart,, Iain Shankland

The Conclusion
I thoroughly enjoyed my week with the Galant Ralliart – it’s a lot of fun to drive, in a car that just blends in with all the other mid-size cars out there. Assuming that’s what you want. There’s plenty of room for 5 people and it’s very comfortable for all. I can’t think of one thing that lets this car down or find a negative reason for not recommending it – except for the front end. I still think it looks too bland.

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Pricing for the 2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart
Base & As Tested Price: $34,998 Cdn / U.S. $29,624
Destination & Delivery: Canada – $1,495 / U.S. – $625

Warranty and Roadside Assistance
All Mitsubishi’s come with a 5-year/60,000 Bumper to Bumper and a 10 year/100,000 mile Powertrain Warranty.
Canadians get a 5-year/100,000-kilometre limited warranty and a 10-year/160,000-kilometre Powertrain Warranty. Also included is a 24-hour Roadside Assistance for 5 years/unlimited miles/kilometres (U.S./Canada).
Towing: Do not tow with this vehicle

Fuel Consumption:  [Premium Unleaded – 91 Octane]
The Ralliart is rated at 12.8 L/100 kms [18 mpg] City and 8.0 L/100 kms [27 mpg] Highway
I averaged 10.4 L/100km [22.8 mpg] in combined driving and a very heavy foot.

Excellent quality, fit and finish
Silky-smooth 5-speed transmission that perfectly complements the V-6 engine
Fantastic seats – you can drive all day with no fatigue
Great warranty

Virtually unchanged from the previous model
Runs of Premium fuel – the competition runs on regular

Immediate Competition:
Chrysler Sebring (all-new for 2008), Ford Fusion, Honda Accord (all-new for 2008), Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6 (all-new for 2008), Subaru Legacy (all-new for 2008), Toyota Camry (all-new for 2007), VW Passat (all-new for 2007)

 By The Numbers…
Powertrain:      3.8 L DOHC 16-valve, MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve-timing Electronic Control system); V-6 engine; 5-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic (with adaptive shift control and clutchless manual shift mode)
Horsepower:    258 @ 5,750 rpm
Torque:            258 @ 4,500 rpm
0-60 mph:        6.2 seconds

10 – Quality
10 – Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH)
10 – Cargo Area/Trunk Space
10 – Special Features (Sat Nav/Heated Seats/ Sunroof, etc)

10 – Ease of Entry/Exit
10 – Front Roominess
9 – Rear Roominess
10 – Driving Position/Controls

5 – Drool Factor
10 – Fit & Finish

10 – Engine
10 – Transmission
10 – Ride & Handling

Ownership Value
6 – Bang for the $$
10 – Fuel Economy
140 Total / 150

Copyright © 2007 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland

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