2003 Galant New Car Test Drive
Mitsubishi's Galant is smooth, responsive, and extremely stable. It's comfortable the minute you climb in, and immediately pleasant and easy to drive, requiring no ramp-up time to adjust to its operation. It instantly feels familiar. It handles well and it's fun to hustle around corners. Galant offers a good value when measured against other mid-size sedans, particularly the V6 models.
Last year, Mitsubishi revised Galant's styling with a new grille, front fascia, and taillamps. Redesigned instruments gave it a cleaner look inside. Changes for 2003 are minor, and include new color combinations, new option packages, and more power for the standard stereo.
The Galant model lineup is extensive. Six models are available: DE ($17,767); ES ($18,627); LS ($21,227); ES V6 ($20,047); LS V6 ($23,257); and GTZ ($24,547).
DE, ES, and LS are powered by a 140-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. ES V6, LS V6, and GTZ models come with a 3.0-liter V6 engine rated 195 horsepower. All Galants come equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission.
Four-cylinder models have drum brakes in the rear, while V6 Galants get four-wheel discs. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard on LS and GTZ. V6 models also come with 16-inch speed-rated P205/55HR tires, while four-cylinder Galants get 15-inch P195/65 tires.
DE comes standard with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a 140-watt, four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, and 15-inch tires.
ES is trimmed better and is more popular. ES adds premium cloth upholstery, titanium- or bronze-look interior accents, integrated fog lamps, remote keyless entry, cruise control, partial folding rear seat trunk pass-through, a cargo net, rear-window antenna, and power side mirrors.
LS trim adds dual front side-impact airbags, antilock brakes (ABS), a nice leather-wrapped steering wheel, alloy wheels (instead of steel), a one-touch power glass sunroof, and a 210-watt Mitsubishi/Infinity CD stereo with seven speakers. The LS V6 also comes with heated mirrors and traction control.
Both LS models offer leather seating surfaces as part of an option package ($1120) which also includes a nice leather-covered shifter, and an eight-way power driver's seat with manually adjustable headrest and lumbar support.
GTZ comes standard with the leather interior and is tuned more like a sports sedan. Distinguished by its color-keyed grille and rear deck-lid spoiler, the GTZ rides about a half-inch lower on a sport-tuned suspension. GTZ also comes standard with traction control.
New for 2003 is the Sun & Sound Package ($1700) for ES, which combines a power sunroof with alloy wheels and the seven-speaker Mitsubishi/Infinity stereo. An All-Weather Package ($920) for the ES V6 adds traction control, heated mirrors, and ABS. Alone, ABS adds $610 to the price of an ES; it is not available on the DS.