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- Lester Dizon () - July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Manila, Philippines - For more than twenty years from the mid-70s to the late 90s, the Mitsubishi Galant was the preferred model in the mid-sized executive car segment of the Philippine automotive market. The Galant gave Mitsubishi Motors Philippines (MMPC) an enviable market share in that segment until its competitors upped the ante with larger bodies, V6 engines and bigger displacements. The shift of the buyer’s preference from executive cars to sport utility vehicles (SUV) further dissolved the Galant’s market share.

But MMPC is on a roll this year. Flush with success from the demand for its best-selling SUV – the Mitsubishi Montero Sport – as well as the successes of its Adventure and L300 models, MMPC is solidly in the Number 2 spot among Philippine automotive manufacturers. And they want to add new excitement, class and sophistication to their vehicle line-up with the new 2010 Mitsubishi Galant SE.

Stylish and High Tech

MMPC took several members of the local motoring press for a drive to Tagaytay and back in the new 2010 Galant SE and we found the new car oozing with stylish and high tech features that best suit an executive car. The design is decidedly European-inspired with exterior dimensions that are comparable to cars in its class but with a cabin that offers more legroom for its passengers.

The front grille features a new design chrome radiator with the striking three-diamond mark. High Intensity Discharge (HID) main lamps with user selectable level adjustments provide a brilliant view of the road during night driving. The side turn signals were integrated with the electronically controlled side mirrors with power folding functions. Protective door moldings with chrome inserts add elegance and character while a fin-type antenna mounted on the rear edge of the roof inherent to European cars add a distinct touch.

The interior of the new Galant radiates comfort and luxury with ergonomically designed seats that are wrapped in glove-soft black leather. An 8-way power-adjust with lumbar support is standard for the driver seat while the passenger seat has a 4-way power-adjust. A fully automatic climate control system, automatic retractable rear glass sunshade, separate rear aircon vents, map lamps, rear seat reading lamps and a host of compartments on the center console, instrument panel and rear seat armrest further pamper the occupants.

High Efficiency and Technological Advances

Powering the 2010 Galant SE is a 2.4-liter 4G69 MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing and Electronic Control System) inline 4-cylinder engine that adjusts the valve timing for optimal performance for all driving conditions to optimize torque at low rpm ranges for quick, clean starts and produce higher power output at high rpm ranges for better passing ability. The power of this highly efficient, durable and eco-friendly motor is harnessed by Mitsubishi’s fully advanced and intelligent INVECS-II 4-speed automatic transmission with Sportronic feature, which studies the driver’s driving habits and uses two shift control programs to determine the best balance of power, control and efficiency. For spirited driving, a Tiptronic shifter is available and can be controlled on the shift lever or thru the steering wheel.

An all-wheel independent suspension system provides a silky smooth ride and stable handling while McPherson struts with stabilizer bars up front and multi-link with stabilizer bars at the rear assures quick response to the driver’s commands. With the new suspension, Mitsubishi engineers equipped the Galant SE with reduced under steer and improved cornering stability when powering through turns while providing a refined luxury. New design 10-spoke 17-inch wheels shod with 215/55 R17 tires provide the contact patch and excellent grip on the road.

The new Galant SE is equipped with a fully functional Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) Navigation system which is a first in its class. The GPS Navigation system can direct you to your selected destination visually through a 7-inch in-dash monitor located at the center of the dashboard and it is capable of providing other helpful information such as streets, major buildings, establishment names, and speed limits at certain streets. To prove its capabilities, MMPC sent us from Metro Manila to Tagaytay without telling us our final destination and simply instructed us to follow the GPS Navigation system.

More High Tech Features

The new Mitsubishi Galant SE comes with a DVD/CD/MP3/FM/AM entertainment system with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound complemented by 12-way speakers with a 10-inch subwoofer and a center speaker. As a safety feature, the audio and video system has a Bluetooth connectivity function with mobile phones. Once the mobile phone is paired via Bluetooth, taking calls while driving and access through the phone’s directory as well as making phone calls can be made through the steering wheel mounted controls.

A keyless entry security system with engine immobilizer has a built-in transponder that sends a unique verification code to the ignition to protect itself from unauthorized duplicated keys. The remote transmitter can also be used for opening the trunk, which is now effortless with the assistance of gas struts. The central door locks also has an auto lock feature once the vehicle moves to 5 km/hr. Additional safety aspects include dual stage SRS airbags and a rearview camera plus front and reverse parking sensors that makes parking maneuvers effortless and safer.

During the luncheon presentation at Massimo’s, Masahiko Ueki, MMPC President and CEO, stated, “The intro of the all-new Galant reinforces our company’s passenger car line up and gives us the opportunity to increase our total passenger car market share”. With three executive colors – Merlin Black, Excalibur Silver and Nicolei Grey – to choose from and a suggested introductory price of P1,588,000, we can only agree with Mr. Ueki’s statement. The Galant is back to form and it’s back to rule once again.

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