1996 Mitsubishi Galant 1.8 GDI from Australia and New Zealand
Comfortable, efficient, spacious and under-rated sedan
SRS light needed resetting twice ($30 NZD x2).
Exhaust needed holes welded up 3 times, probably needs replacing. ($50 NZD x3)
Left front wheel bearing started to make a slight droning noise, needs replacing ($70 NZD 2nd hand).
Left rear shock and lower arm bushing needed replacing ($60 and $30 NZD respectively), although this was likely caused by me hitting a curb too hard.
This car has been a pleasure to own and drive.
The interior is spacious, comfortable, and it feels very nice, especially for a car of its year. It looks and feels more like an early 2000's car than a car made in the mid 90's.
The boot/trunk is surprisingly big.
The handling is very good, and the front turns in and grips well.
Although the standard suspension setup is a bit on the soft side for comfort, and is designed to produce mild and predictable under steer when pushed, the natural handling characteristic of the car is actually extremely neutral and very well balanced.
The standard wheels were 15" steel (195/60/R15). When I upgraded only the front wheels to 16" alloys, the under steer characteristic was eliminated and turn in became very sharp and grippy, even resulting in some mild over steer when thrown into a corner hard enough.
The engine is not "sports car fast" but it is strong. I rarely have a problem of not enough power; perhaps trying to pass quickly up a steep hill or something.
Being a GDI engine (the first production car in the world with direct injection) it is extremely good on fuel.
It was designed to run at its best on Japanese 110 octane fuel. Here in NZ we generally have 91, 95/96 and 98. I have heard that if it's run on less than 91 or so octane, carbon deposits on the injectors can possibly become an issue, so I run mine on 95 and it seems to run great.
Similar to a sports car, using the right kind of oil and changing it often is important to keep it running well, and I've heard to possibly prevent noisy lifters from developing.
The fuel economy is astonishing. Thanks to being direct injection, compared to a similar 1.8 litre, this car is 40% more efficient, it has 20% more power and torque while also using 20% less fuel (150hp and 18.2kg*m torque compared to a Primera's SR18DE 1.8 with 125hp and 16kg*m and 5.3L per 100k fuel consumption compared to the lighter Primera's 7.1L).
Driving on an open road with a lot of hills and bends, I achieved 5.5 litres per 100k without driving in a conservative manner. We regularly get more than 700kms to its 64 litre tank, and it is possible to get more than 1,100kms per tank on the open road.
Cars technical specs: http://specs.cars-directory.net/mitsubishi/galant/1.8_VX_8423.html
I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a 4 door sedan similar to a BMW 3 series, Audi A4, Nissan Primera, Subaru Legacy, etc.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th March, 2013