Year after year, midsize sedans represent the bestselling vehicle segment in America, making up one of every five vehicles on the road. Thanks to adaptability and practicality, the midsize four-door sedan has become so indispensable that it's often referred to as the "family" sedan. But in addition to the practicality provided by virtue of a roomier interior, the 2004 Mitsubishi Galant boasts enhanced style and performance, creating the family sedan for the spirited family.
In order to succeed in such a hotly contested market segment, Mitsubishi Motors 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.
"The 2004 Mitsubishi Galant is an exceptional value in the mid-sized sedan segment, offering consumers a stylish alternative at an unbeatable price without sacrificing quality, comfort and ride,'' said Finbarr O'Neill, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA). "Reliability is a core value for Galant, and this newest edition - our fifth in North America - gives us a clear edge with buyers looking for something more distinctive in the class - a car with equal parts performance and excitement."
Built on a Solid Foundation
A vehicle's fundamental quality comes from its chassis, and the 2004 Galant is carved from a solid 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 automobile. 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.
Mitsubishi dealerships will showcase the 2004 Galant beginning in late October, 2003. This five-passenger, four-door sedan is powered by a choice of two robust engines that are designed to produce the majority of their torque at lower revolutions. All Galants are equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission, and the V-6 equipped LS and GTS trim lines also benefit from a Sportronic(TM) mode that allows drivers to manually engage their desired gear.
A Family Sedan for the Mitsubishi Sedan Family
"The new Galant is the ninth generation vehicle to wear the name, the fifth to be sold in North America, but the first-ever Galant designed and built for the North American market," said O'Neill. "It bridges a sedan lineup that includes the entry-level Lancer and the entry-luxury Diamante. Galant offers drivers a refined chassis that exhibits stable, predictable road manners." Given its size, sophistication, appointments, configurations and pricing structure, the Galant is positioned to attract family sedan consumers who have family-sized needs.
Room to Move
Along with offering a comfortable ride, a successful midsize sedan needs to be able to offer seating and cargo capacity for every day needs. To facilitate passenger entry and exit, the Galant's height was increased by more than two inches, to 57.9 inches (58.1 inches for 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 57.1 inches of shoulder space for rear passengers. The driver and passenger view the road from an elevated position, on comfortable front seats that are among the widest in the class. Passenger comfort is enhanced by a thoughtfully designed and well-tuned chassis, which combined with efficient fuel economy, makes the Galant an ideal vehicle for long drives.
An intelligently 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. And to minimize hassle, the trunk features a wide opening and the 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, ultra-conservative styling of most four-door sedans. The Galant's athletic fender arches, European-inspired front fascia treatment, and long, arching C-pillar help the Galant break from the three-box school of sedan design.
The Galant's purposeful front and rear bumpers help communicate an image of strength and safety. The vehicle's strong visual silhouette is wedge-shaped, highlighted by a waistline that rises toward the decklid. 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 also help convey an image of aggressiveness and purpose. The Galant offers attractive exterior paint finishes with highlights that add depth and appeal to the sheetmetal. The Galant's sleek exterior styling results in a low .31 coefficient of drag.
The Galant's interior exemplifies the Mitsubishi brand's spirited product virtues by offering a stylish, upscale atmosphere. The Galant's dashboard is dominated by sculpted, modern, architectural form housing user-friendly, intuitive controls for both the driver and the front passenger. 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 that help create a sophisticated interior ambience.
Storage capacity was an interior design 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 panels feature a cubby space that is large enough to hold Game Boys, juice boxes, or other small items.
The Galant's plush seats offer generous shoulder and hip room for superior comfort. The seats, depending on the trim level, are covered in either cloth, premium fabric, or leather, and they feature deep accent lines to help emphasize the seat width. Leather seat coverings, standard equipment on Galant GTS, are available as part of an option package on the Galant ES and LS. In the interest of reducing fatigue and increasing comfort during drives, the Galant is equipped with ideally positioned door panel armrests, a center console armrest pad, and a rear folding armrest complete with cup holders. The Galant's driver's seat includes a seatback pocket, handy for storing magazines or coloring books.
Drivetrain and Chassis
The Galant is powered by one of two engines. A responsive 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine, standard on the DE and ES trim lines, develops 160 horsepower and 157 pound-feet of torque, thanks to Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and lift Electronic Control (MIVEC). Through this system, which makes use of different sized cam lobes to increase lift for continuous power, even the entry-level Galant achieves a high level of performance. But for anyone who equates high power with luxury, the LS and GTS trim lines offer true luxury. Both offer a standard 3.8-liter, 60-degree, SOHC V6 engine that is ideally suited to provide brisk acceleration for spirited driving while maintaining efficient fuel economy. Rated at 230 horsepower at 5250 rpm, with peak torque of 250 pound-feet at 4000 rpm, the Galant's V6 provides plenty of power and tremendous torque from a wide part of its rev range. The engine's intake and exhaust events are tuned to achieve maximum torque early in the rev-range where the engine will spend the most time.
Revised ignition timing, and an improved EGR (Exhaust Gas Recovery) rate provide improved fuel economy over the previous V6 engine. Additional rigidity incorporated into the 3.8-liter block and the engine mounting areas has also brought a reduction in NVH (Noise Vibration and Harshness).
The Galant's 3.8-liter V6 engine is mated to a sophisticated four-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic(TM) shifting. The transmission features fully adaptive shift control that "learns" driver inputs and tailors transmission operation to their habits. Both engines are mated to transmissions equipped with final drive ratios that are optimized to improve the vehicles off-the-line acceleration, and the gear ratios are also well suited for highway performance.
The Galant's 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 cross member, 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 Galant's wide, 61.8-inch (1570 mm) front and rear track endow this broad vehicle with superior stability and control. And in the interest of handling, ride quality, and style, the Galant is equipped with either attractive 16-inch wheels with 215/60R16 tires or five-spoke, cast aluminum 17-inch wheels wrapped in wide 215/55R17 rubber.
The Galant utilizes a proven power rack-and-pinion steering system that is designed to provide the direct feeling and response of a sports car, while the system's effort multiplication provides the low-speed steering control that makes parking and low-speed maneuvering so easy.
Brakes and Safety
The Galant's unibody structure features extensive reinforcement for additional passenger protection in the event of a collision. Robust front subframe members are connected with a dash panel crossmember and strong, front steel crossmember to help create a rigid boxed section front subframe 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. In the interest of front passenger safety, the Galant is equipped with front airbags, and front side-impact airbags are available on some trim levels (optional on ES and LS, standard on GTS).
Pretensioning seat belts with force limiters are standard equipment on all Galants. Extensive use of energy absorbing materials appear on the interior and headliner and are used to cover the inside of the front center and C-pillars and help reduce the possibility of injury during a collision.
All Galants utilize four-wheel disc brakes. The front ventilated discs measure 10.9 inches (upgraded to 11.6 inches on the LS and GTS). Rear brakes are 10.3-inch solid discs. Coupled with available ABS (standard on both LS and GTS) and EBD systems, the Galant's powerful brakes provide excellent control during panic stops and on rain-soaked roads.
As part of Mitsubishi's Project America initiative, all Galants will be built by the manufacturer ranked first in assembly productivity among North American manufacturers (The Harbour Report North America, 2003). The Mitsubishi manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, is one of the most complex car-building facilities on the planet. With the new Galant, the facility will be producing a total of six different cars and trucks; more than any other U.S. plant.
With this all-new platform, the highly rated Normal facility has implemented several additional quality-control strategies to help deliver the best quality product. The Galant is an American project from its manufacture to exterior design and detail-oriented interior specification. But the overriding goal has been to produce a vehicle that meets the needs of the U.S. market head on, without the repackaging of a Japanese domestic market product for U.S. tastes.
Based on an all-new platform and designed by Americans to meet the needs of the North American market, the Galant's mechanical design employs cutting-edge engineering and manufacturing technologies that result in a superior vehicle. Above all, the Galant makes a resounding statement about its driver by combining bold, modern, distinctive and uniquely Mitsubishi interpretations of what a midsize sedan should be.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations of the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Mitsubishi Motors sells coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of nearly 700 dealers throughout North America.