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Published on Sat, Apr 24, 2004

By: The LACar Editorial Staff



Midsize sedans continue to be the best-selling segment of the automotive marketplace, with one of every five vehicles on the road. Thanks to adaptability and practicality, the midsize four-door sedan has become so indispensable that it is often referred to as the 'family' sedan. In addition to the practicality provided by virtue of a roomier interior, the all-new 2004 Mitsubishi Galant GTS boasts enhanced style and performance, creating the family sedan for the spirited family.

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

In order to succeed in such a hotly contested market segment against the likes of the new Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Maxima, Ford Taurus, and Chevy Malibu (all priced under $30,000.00), Mitsubishi knew that its latest iteration of the midsize sedan would have to swing for the fences and make substantial gains in interior room, overall refinement and engine output. The all-new 2004 Galant would have to be bigger, better, and more powerful than ever.

A vehicle's fundamental quality comes from its chassis, and the 2004 Galant is carved from a sold new foundation. From the floorpan to the roof, the Galant has a stronger and more rigid platform. Every opening in the body, including doors, trunk and engine compartment, has been reinforced to help resist the bending and twisting forces that are exerted on a moving vehicle. The body employs more high tensile strength steel panels to reduce body weight and increase body rigidity. The Galant's robust structure is key to its ride quality, handling feel and overall refinement. The five-passenger, four-door sedan is powered by a choice of two potent engines that are designed to produce the majority of their torque at lower rpm. All Galants are equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission, and the V6 powered LS and GTS cars also benefit from a Sportronic mode that allows drivers to manually engage their desired gear.

Along with offering a comfortable ride, a successful midsize sedan needs to be able to offer seating and cargo capacity for everyday needs. To facilitate passenger entry and exit, the Galant's height was increased by more than two inches, to 58 inches in the GTS. Thanks to its stretched wheelbase, rear legroom was also increased by a full inch-to a generous 37 inches - which provides comfort during the drive as well as more room to maneuver when entering or exiting. The Galant leads its class in rear shoulder room, providing 57 inches of shoulder space for rear passengers. The driver and passenger view the road from an elevated position, on comfortable front bucket seats that among the widest in the class. Passenger comfort is further enhanced by a thoughtfully designed and well-tuned chassis, which combined with efficient fuel economy, make the Galant an ideal vehicle for long drives. The newly designed rear suspension utilizes a low-mounted multi-link configuration which not only creates an excellent ride and stable handling, but also helps reduce road noise and improves quietness by adopting a resilient cross member. The easy-to-operate trunk lid-complete with an interior handle-swings up to offer a large cargo area, and the trunk hinges are designed not to intrude on the available cargo space. To minimize hassle, the trunk features a wide opening and a low lift-over.

The Galant's exterior design makes a bold visual statement about the product and the person who owns it, distinguishing itself from the traditional, conservative styling of most four-door sedans today. The Galant's athletic fender arches, European-inspired front fascia treatment, with Mitsubishi's new signature grille, and long, arching C-pillar help the Galant break form the three-box school of sedan design. The Galant's purposeful front and rear bumpers help communicate an image of strength and safety. Large, complex reflector halogen lamps behind clear lenses easily light up the nighttime road, and bright round fog lamps on the lower bumper pierce the morning fog. The vehicle's strong visual silhouette is wedge-shaped, highlighted by a waistline that rises toward the deck lid. The clean rear fascia features large tail, brake and backup lamps, a lip spoiler on top of the rear deck lid cover, and a 3-inch wide, polished stainless steel exhaust tip. Viewed from the front, the larger fenders help accommodate the wide 61.8-inch track and reinforce the Galant's bold hunkered-down stance. Large, lower air intakes in the front fascia help to convey an image of aggressiveness and purpose. Rounding out the look are large, 215/55R17in. performance tires wrapped by sporty, five-spoke, 17x7 inch alloy wheels. Galant's sleek exterior styling results in a low 0.31 coefficient of drag. The Galant's new interior exemplifies the Mitsubishi brand's spirited product virtues by offering a stylish, upscale atmosphere. A sculpted, modern architectural form housing user-friendly, intuitive controls for both the driver and the front passenger dominates the Galant's dashboard. The center dash features a prominent climate and audio control stack that was designed to resemble a modern, high-tech home-audio interface with large control knobs and fin-shut vents. Atop this center panel is an available 4.9 inch color LCD display that provides climate and directional information, and even functions as a computer interface that can allow owners to customize many of the vehicle's interior functions. At night, the gauges, interior control knobs, and switches are illuminated with striking ice-blue LED lamps.

Storage capacity was a priority on the Galant, as evidenced by the large-capacity glove box, and the numerous secondary cubbies and storage compartments. The intelligently designed center console, which includes a pair of large-volume cup holders, features a folding storage compartment with space enough to accommodate a purse beneath its armrest lid. Other cubby spaces are capable of holding cell phones and sunglasses. The Galant's door panels are covered in modern, padded and textured materials that match the seat covering and instrument panel. The front door panels include large door pockets that are ideally sized for large map books or magazines, and the rear door panel features a cubby space that is large enough to hold Game Boys, juice boxes, etc. Galant's plush bucket seats offer generous shoulder and hip room for superior comfort and deep accent lines to emphasize the seat width.

The all-new Galant is powered by one of two engines. A responsive 2.4liter inline four-cylinder engine that develops 160 hp at 5,000 rpm/157 lb.ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm, thanks to Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control. A 3.8 liter, 60-degree, SOHC V6 engine that rates 230 hp at 5,250 rpm and 250 lb.ft powers the Galant GTS. of torque at 4,000 rpm giving the new GTS brisk acceleration for spirited driving while maintaining efficient fuel economy. The engine's intake and exhaust has been tuned to achieve maximum torque early in the rev-range where the engine will spend the most time. The 3.8 liter V6 engine is mated to a sophisticated four-speed automatic front-wheel-drive transmission with Sportronic shifting. The transmission features fully adaptive shift control that 'learns' driver inputs and tailors transmission operation to their habits. The final drive ratio is a robust 3.72.

The Galant's new four-wheel independent suspension was designed to provide superior stability, excellent ride quality and nimble handling. The Galant utilizes a proven MacPherson strut design front suspension. A large, rigid front tower brace minimizes the torsional flexing forces of the front sub-frame, improving suspension performance while also reducing NVH. The Galant's rear suspension utilizes a low-mounted, multi-link configuration with trailing arms. Stiff hydro-formed cross-members also help reduce road noise and improve suspension performance by reinforcing the rear suspension mounting points to reduce flex. The speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack & pinion steering system precisely guides the Galant GTS where you want it to go with very good feel for the road, while all-speed traction control keeps you on your chosen path with a minimum of unwanted wheelspin. On the track, the new Galant GTS sprinted to 60mph from a standstill in just 6.8 seconds, covered the 1/4 mile in 15.1 seconds at 91 mph, and goes through a 600 ft. slalom at 63.5 mph. Quickly slowing the Galant GTS down from speed are 11.6 inch vented discs up front and 10.3 inch solid discs in the rear. ABS and Electronic Brake Force Distribution helps you maintain control during sudden or severe braking. The Galant's unibody structure features extensive reinforcements for additional passenger protection in the event of a collision. Robust front sub-frame members are connected with a dash panel cross member and a strong, front steel cross member to help create a rigid boxed section front sub-frame area. Reinforced side sill members also help disperse energy in the event of a collision. High-strength steel cross members across the floor also help absorb side impact energy and help protect occupants. The Galant GTS also features front and side airbags for both driver and passenger. Pretensioning seat belts with force limiters are standard as well as the extensive use of energy absorbing materials on the interior and headliner used to cover the inside of the front center and C-pillars. The price for a nicely loaded Mitsubishi Galant GTS is just over $26,000.00. That puts a fully loaded GTS inline with the competition. The all-new 2004 Mitsubishi Galant GTS holds it's own in the growing pack of sporty, midsize sedans priced below $30,000.00 with sharp good looks, a powerful engine, very good handling and class-leading interior room for up to 5-pasengers. © Harvey Schwartz

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SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2004 Mitsubishi Galant GTS Price: $26,292.00 includes shipping/handling Engine type: 3.8 liter, DOHC, 24-valve cast iron block, aluminum head Horsepower: 230 at 5,250 rpm Torque: 250 lb.ft. at 4,000 rpm Drive configuration: front engine/front-wheel-drive Transmission type: four-speed automatic with Sportronic semi-manual shift Front suspension: independent MacPherson strut with coil springs, 23 mm stabilizer bar Rear suspension: independent low-mount multi-link with coil springs, 21 mm stabilizer bar Wheels/tires: five-spoke, 17x7 in. alloy wheels, 215/55R17 all-season performance tires Brakes: 11.6 front vented disc, 10.3 in. solid rear disc Overall length: 190.6 in. Overall width: 72.4 in. Overall height: 58.1 in. Curb weight: 3,649 lbs. with electric sunroof

EPA fuel mileage: 18 mpg/city, 26 mpg/highway 0-60 mph: 6.8 sec. 60 mph-0 mph: 130 ft.

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