Frank S. Washington, Fri, 20 Nov 2009 07:35:08 PST
DETROIT Make no mistake, the 2009 Mitsubishi Gallant Ralliart is not your sister`s family sedan. Even though it has four-doors, the Gallant Ralliart has a rakish silhouette that says speed.
New hood lines, a new grille and lower intake highlight the re-designed front end. From the rear, the `09 Galant Ralliart featured wider rear glass, new tail lamps and bumper treatment, and a new deck lid with a center, high-mounted stop-lamp (CHSL). New 18-inch alloy wheels identified the Galant Ralliart models versus a regular Galant.
But it was the interior that made the car stand out. In effect, the interior conveyed a bold in your face no-nonsense styling. It was dominated by a touch screen navigation system atop the dash board that reminded me of a rectangular eye that seemed permanently open. In other words, the screen did not fold away out of sight.
Dual horizontal vents for the air conditioning and heat where underneath the navigational eye and beneath that the audio and climate control template was fashioned out of the stuff that I love to hate: silver satin plastic.
The application in my test car was particularly shiny and really looked out of place in a car that had a couple of really refined touches. There was a black leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob with white French stitching.
But the silver satin template dominated the interior to the point that it was really hard to notice anything else. The inside of the Mitsubishi Gallant Ralliart struck me as being designed for men, although some women might find it appealing.
The white faced gauges had black lettering. They were backlit in red at night. The treatment helped to give the Gallant Ralliart a sporty feel. There was plenty of back seat room. I had lots of head room and the back seat seemed more than capable of carrying two full-size adults. The car also had a decent sized trunk with some 13.3 cubic feet of space.
The Gallant Ralliart was powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that made 258 horsepower and a matching 258 pounds-feet of torque. The engine was mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability and Mitsubishi said it had a zero to 60 mph time of about six seconds which is respectable.
It had a sport-tuned suspension which wasn`t all that harsh. The Mitsubishi Gallant Ralliart traversed the ruts and bumps here without any trouble or bounce. Quite frankly, the suspension didn`t really feel all that sport tuned to me which was not necessarily a bad thing.
Acceleration between 60 mph and 80 mph was not all that swift; I felt the car could have been a bit quicker. Nonetheless, I never was pressured getting on or off the expressways here, nor while passing.
During these times of $4.00 per gallon gasoline, the Gallant Ralliart`s EPA rating of 16 mpg in the city did not seem that efficient. The number for the highway was 25 mpg. Mitsubishi said the expected range was 13 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the HWY which is that good. Still, the Mitsubishi Gallant Ralliart was a very capable and sport sedan.