MITSUBISHI GALANT GLSi
Mitsubishi's have always seemed to me to be one of the most underrated products of the Japanese car industry, although public consciousness of the marque is steadily increasing, they always seem to have been overshadowed by the might of Nissan and Toyota. A great pity because I can commend the fine Galant to anyone looking at a mid size saloon in the £14,000 price range. The car is well built, superbly equipped and has rather more than adequate performance and is really deserving of being a more serious contender in its chosen market sector.
The Galant also comes with a fine competition record, proven in the gruelling world of international rallying, where it has consistently been among the top three or four finishers at most international rounds over the last few seasons, albeit in the rather more powerful and technologically advanced 4x4, 4 wheel steer version which is the top of the range.
An elegant and smooth design, available either in saloon or coupe form, the fastback being particularly pleasing to the eye, although in both cases I was less keen on the heavy lower body strakes, which mar slightly the side profile. That criticism aside, the car simply oozes quality of build both externally and in the trim and equipment levels internally. For make no mistake, even by the excellent standards set by Japanese cars over the last few years the Galant is exceptionally well appointed.
Inside, the car is very spacious and airy with large, comfortable and well trimmed seating, all fully adjustable in all planes and with both a through load and a 60/40 split facility to the rear In the coupe version a large hatch leads to a very big load area which features the simple idea of an elasticated restraining net for awkwardly shaped luggage that makes you wonder why everyone doesn't fit one, just one of many well designed features and details of the Galant.
The dash features very large, clear, instrumentation and all switchgear is well laid out and easily to hand, the operation of the cruise control being particularly easy.
Loaded is probably the easiest way to describe the standard equipment level with power steering, windows, mirrors, sunroof, a good stereo with electric aerial, headlamp wash, central locking, cruise control and an excellent heating and ventilation system that managed to provide a cool environment during our recent hot spell.
In the cabin much use is made of wood inserts and feature panels to good effect although I was personally less keen on the wood rimmed steering wheel which was rather slippery and also got very hot if the car was left parked in the sun, still that isn't likely to be a very large problem if summers continue like the current dismal one.
On the road the 2 litre multi point injected engine provides this executive saloon with plenty of punch [some 112 b.h.p.] and a very smooth delivery of power for excellent and quiet long distance cruising. The smoothness of the overhead cam engine can largely be attributed to the balancer shafts fitted alongside the crankshaft which reduce the engines vibration considerably.
The 4 speed auto box has both 2 ranges [economy and sport] and overdrive, allowing the driver loads of flexibility in use yet, offering either a sporting and involved drive for those who wish it or, with loads of torque, the car can easily be left to its own devices in drive.
Handling is equally as impressive as the rest of the car giving a smooth and supple ride with good bump control, very little body roll, and precise, well weighted, steering giving an enjoyable and sporting drive yet with no sacrifice in comfort. A well engineered compromise, with the confidence of ABS to support the very powerful, all disc, braking.
All considered a very well put together and extremely comfortable executive express, perfect for those who want a car that is just a little different and which offers an excellent specification and spirited performance at a reasonable price.
First Published 1992 - Article © Graham Benge 2007