It means entry to Galant ownership now starts at ú16,400 on-the-road for the 2.0 GLX - ú1,600 less than the GLS - making what has always been something of an 'intersized' model more attractive to traditional upper medium customers. Bigger than a Mondeo yet smaller than an Omega, the Galant has never quite fitted the established vehicle sectors that are so important to the fleet market, and its sales have been modest as a result.
Last year, Mitsubishi sold 3,000 Galants, and the projection for 1999 is similar, but Mitsubishi hopes the lower entry point will bring a new dimension to the Galant's quest for greater penetration into the upper medium market. The London Motor Show last month ushered in a new Galant fitted with the 2.4-litre GDI engine first introduced in the Space Wagon late last year. Using Mitsubishi's pioneering direct injection petrol technology, the 2.4's 147bhp output slots between the 2.0-litre's 134bhp and the 2.5-litre V6's 161bhp, but its CO2 emissions, at 196g/km, are on a par with the 2.0-litre's despite its extra power, which bodes well for the forthcoming CO2-based company car tax rules.
These are only average outputs for a modern engine, however: whereas the 1.8 GDI engine in the Carisma offers a usefully low CO2 figure of just 155g/km comparing with a 1.8 class norm of about 180g/km, the Galant's 2.4 unit is on a par with some rivals' 2.0-litre engines. Alfa Romeo's 2.0-litre TS unit, for example, is good for 155bhp, while Honda's VTEC-powered Accord 2.0-litre develops 145bhp with CO2 outputs broadly in line with the Mitsubishi. With the GLX starting at ú16,400 on-the-road, Galant prices run to ú25,250 for the V6 24v automatic as tested.