Long-term update: 2008 Mitsubishi Galant GTS
Our 2008 Mitsubishi Galant GTS is now in full service, being used as a daily commuter for the Dubai-Abu Dhabi-Dubai slog every evening by my brother. So we racked up 3,000 km in less than a week.
Of course, just before we bought the car at 43,500 km, we had to swap out all the tyres for Dhs 2,600 to pass the RTA testing. We went with Toyo Proxes J33 tyres simply because that was the best one available in 215/55 size at our local tyre shop for our stock 17-inch alloys. They’re apparently the standard rubbers for the Lexus ES 350 and the Toyota Camry SE, and while the owner reviews aren’t good in terms of longevity, we’re better “smooth” drivers than most owners, so let’s see. The reduction in tyre noise has been absolutely amazing.
We drove the car at 120 kph on the highway runs to break in the tyres. Overall fuel consumption came to an astounding 8.58 litres/100 km, with a theoretical range of nearly 800 km from the 68-litre fuel tank. After a while, the car was driven at the 140 kph limit on the Abu Dhabi side of the highway, and 130 kph on part of the Dubai side. The 3.8-litre V6 is now burning a solid 9.3 litres/100 km, pretty damn good fuel economy from an engine that we had low expectations from.
After hitting 46,500 km, we went in for the scheduled “5,000 km” minor service. We made an appointment with the local dealer, and got one two days away. The first thing the phone lady asked was “What car, Pajero or Lancer?” so now you know what models Mitsubishi survives on in the UAE.
We went to the cramped service centre, parked the car and went in. You basically stand in front of a counter to talk to the service advisor, so there’s nothing “premium” about the experience. However, there was no line so there was no waiting, even though the yard was filled with bloody Pajeros. We were quoted Dhs 445 for the minor service, and the advisor tried to sell us an a/c service, which we refused. But our brake pads were crapping out, so we requested that they be changed.
Five hours later, they call us and say the service is done. We ask if they did the brakes. Of course they didn’t, and they claim the brakes are fine. We said no, and insisted that they change the pads and the brake fluid as well. The fluid part, they really didn’t want to do, but we insisted. We later noticed in the newspaper that the dealer has a summer offer of 40% off on parts and 20% off on labour. When we called to inquire, they gave us the runaround, claiming it is for cars over 60,000 km only, although that is not mentioned in the ad. Our car was out of warranty anyway, so we were planning to go argue in person.
The service centre works till midnight, but we went to pick up the car the next day. Again, there was no crowd. The bill had bloated to Dhs 1820, but they had apparently applied the summer discount anyway, so the bill dropped down to Dhs 1300. We got our washed car back, though a minor grumble were the muddy tyres, since they’d parked it in the sand after the wash.
The brakes bite better now thanks to the new pads, though the pedal feel is still light, so we can only hope that they really changed the brake fluid. The cost is actually decent, but without that discount it’d be truly overpriced for what is essentially an economy brand. We hear there is a 25% discount card for out-of-warranty cars that you have to apply for, but that we’ll look into later.
Elsewhere, we just got Dhs 700 worth of premium-branded window tint installed on our Galant too, for half the price using one of those discount voucher offers, but without bothering to buy the voucher. But how we did that will remain our secret.
Original Mileage When Bought: 43,500 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 46,500 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 9.3 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 3800
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 3800