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Sunday, August 23, 2009

2009 Mitsubishi Galant

Week before last I rented a 2010 Kia (I forget the model name, other than it was Kia's -sized sedan) and was pretty happy with it. I was especially thrilled with the audio system, which in addition to having fairly logical controls, had satellite radio, an aux in jack and a USB port.

Fast forward to this past Thursday and I had as my rental a 2009 Mitsubishi Galant. Now in theory the Galant would be a more up-scale car than the Kia, and relative to price I am sure it was. However if I had to buy one of the two, it would be the Kia, by far and away. Why?

Well in the Galant's favor, it has a typically smooth engine with terrific acceleration. I suspect the engine was a V6 (I didn't take the time to look), and it has power to spare. That's nice, but when I am rambling over three hours of I84, 65-70mph feels the same in just about any car. The Galant also looked (on the outside) great. So far so good, right? Well the Galant had one major, fatal flaw: I hated the audio system, for a few reasons:
  • Overly stylistic controls - See the picture, above; yes, the audio system control may look nice, but there is nothing you can tell via feel which button does what.
  • No aux in jack - I could not plug in my satellite radio system (this car, surprisingly, didn't have one built-in), nor could I plug in an mp3 player.
  • No USB jack - This was a great addition to the Kia. I have about 4mb of audio files, and being able to plug them directly into the car audio system (on the Kia) was just a great benefit.
  • Display - Not shown above, but the audio display actually was on top of the dash, and consisted of the station frequency, time and (when used) CD track number. No text with station name or information, just the most rudimentary of displays in LCD.
  • Hum-Drum sounds - Last but not least, the actual audio of the system was was good, but not spectacular. In point of fact it was probably a little better than the Kia's, but all of the other flaws made me discount this slight advantage.
Maybe I'm a little overly sensitive about the audio stuff but I frequently drive to Hartford CT and the drive, all three + hours of it, takes you past a half dozen radio markets. Since I make this drive by myself most of the time having something to listen to is pretty important. The Galant failed on this one.

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