2008 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart

Ann Arbor - In the mid-size sedan market, where the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord are the 800-pound gorillas in the room, many smaller nameplates try to position themselves as sportier, more flavorful alternatives. With its new Ralliart model, the Mitsubishi Galant tries to do the same, but it's just another example of how minor that degree of sportiness often is.

Granted, the Ralliart's V-6 sends 258 hp to the front wheels, but the engine, working through a five-speed automatic, has little verve or personality. Yes, the brakes are bigger, which is always nice, and the suspension is firmer, not that you'd notice.

The cabin is more notable for its killer audio system (which is standard) and the (optional) navigation system's ease of use than for any racer-esque elements. The Ralliart's eighteen-inch wheels give the Galant more dignity than a typical mid-size rental, but don't expect the neighborhood kids to follow you home on their bicycles. Overall, we can't say the Galant Ralliart is leagues more fun and lively than the Honda or the Toyota, and therein lies its fault--but it's tough to stake a claim when so much territory is already covered.

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