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By Anita And Paul Lienert
The Detroit News
July 19, 1995
It's easy to get lost in the shuffle when your competition includes such notable cars as the Saturn SL2, the Ford Contour, the Dodge Stratus and the Nissan Altima. Easy, too, to dismiss the 1995 Mitsubishi Galant S and its $18,000 sticker
when the same 18 grand will buy a brand-new Ford Taurus or a Chrysler Cirrus. She: In light of what you can get for the money on a Taurus or a Cirrus, the Galant makes about as much sense as quilted toilet paper or vegetarian hot dogs. You
may think you're getting a lot of features and performance, but you're really not. As my grandma would say, it's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He: Enough of the cutting remarks already. You don't appreciate a well-engineered car like
the Galant because it doesn't have all the frills that you're used to on your American cars. So what if it doesn't have a passenger-side vanity mirror? What it does have is all-independent, multilink suspension with all-season radial tires and
power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering. Mitsubishi has dialed in a nice balance between comfort and agility, which you don't always encounter on some of its lower-priced competitors like the Cavalier. And that overhead-cam four-cylinder engine is
terrific. It's quiet and powerful, which gives it two legs up on Saturn. She: Look, I just thought the Galant was kind of boring next to the Cirrus or the new Taurus. It's not even as good-looking as the Toyota Camry. He: That's kind
of like saying your girlfriend is not as sexy as Sinead O'Connor. She: Can we ever get through an entire test drive without your making a single sexist crack? Let me put it this way: I like Mitsubishi products. We've had a Mitsubishi
television for 10 years, and it's OK. But it's down in the basement. The products are decent, but they're not remarkable. Compared to a best seller like the Honda Accord, the Galant feels almost like a taxi. There's just not much to distinguish it
from the competition. It reminds me of getting the teen-ager next door to do the baby-sitting when you could have had Mrs. Doubtfire. He: That sounds like a sexist crack to me I'm just not sure which sex. If you want all the bells and
whistles, plus more power than you really need, you should check out the Galant LS V-6, which lists for just over $20,000. But the base model that we drove is not all that bad. I just wish it came with antilock brakes. You have to move up to the ES
or LS level to get ABS, and even then it's an extra-cost option. She: You call that a good value? Remind me to do my own grocery shopping next time. He: The basic package is pretty decent, and it retails for just more than 15 grand.
Remember, our test car had nearly $3,000 worth of options, including air conditioning, a fancy stereo, plus power windows and power door locks.
She: You mean the base Galant has manual windows and locks? I'd expect to find that on a low-end Japanese or Korean price leader like a Toyota Tercel or a Hyundai Accent, not on a $15,000 Accord/Camry pretender. By the way, you can buy a
base Chevy Cavalier for just over $10,000, and antilock brakes are standard! He: Aren't you being a little tough on Mitsubishi? I give them high marks for really thinking things out on the Galant. All the controls and buttons seem to be
intuitively placed. You don't have to fumble and grope for switches or dials. She: I thought the radio buttons were too tiny. In fact the whole cabin felt kind of cheap to me. He: Whew! I think you're getting spoiled by all these new
American models. She: Which brings up another concern. You can find a Ford or a Chevy or even a Dodge dealer almost everywhere. But I counted only a handful of Mitsubishi dealers in this area. How many are ther
n your town? He: It's not a problem if the car doesn't break. And Mitsubishis tend to be pretty reliable. Besides, I think your biggest problem with this car is you can't pronounce the name. It's not "Gallant. Say guh-LONT, with the accent
on the second syllable. She: Oh, yeah. This is the guy who used to say "ostenSAYtious. He: OK, Miss Smartypants, say "Mitsubishi really fast, three times.... Anita's rating: (subpar) Paul's rating: (above average)
What we liked: Well-engineered; solid performance; reasonably comfortable. What we didn't like: Too expensive, considering what you don't get (Anita); indistinguishable styling; too few dealers for comfort. 1995 Mitsubishi Galant
S Type: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger sedan. Price: Base, $15,249; as tested, $17,992, including $420 destination charge. What's new for '95: Galant LS V-6 with 205/60R15 tires, alloy wheels, rear disc brakes and
rear spoiler. Standard equipment: Rear defroster, tilt steering column, center console with storage, cup holders, driver's visor vanity mirror, intermittent wipers, dual outside mirrors, tinted glass and all-season radial tires. Safety
features: Dual air bags, side-impact door beams, child-proof rear door locks and antilock brakes (not available on Galant S). Options on test vehicle: Preferred equipment package, including air conditioning, AM-FM stereo with cassette and six
speakers, power door locks, power windows, cruise control, courtesy lights ($2,852); floor mats ($73), less $602 package discount. EPA fuel economy: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway. Engine: 2.4-liter I-4; 141-hp at 5500 rpm; 148 lb-ft torque at
3000 rpm. Transmission: Four-speed automatic Competitors: Saturn SL1/2, Chevrolet Cavalier, Chevrolet Corsica, Geo Prizm, Pontiac Sunfire, Pontiac Grand Am, Oldsmobile Achieva, Buick Skylark, Ford Contour, Mercury Mystique,
Dodge/Plymouth Neon, Dodge Stratus, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, Mazda Protege, Mazda 626, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Legacy, Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Jetta. Specifications: Wheelbase, 103.7 inches; overall length, 187 inches;
curb weight, 2,822 pounds; legroom, 43.3 inches front/35.0 inches rear; headroom, 39.4 inches front/37.5 inches rear; shoulder room, 55.7 inches front/55.7 inches rear. 12-month insurance cost, according to AAA Michigan*: $903 Where built:
Normal, Ill. * Rates based on an average family of four from the Livonia area whose primary driver is aged 40 with no tickets who drives 3-10 miles each way to work. Rates reflect multicar discount and, where appropriate, discounts for air
bags and seat belts.