Produced from 2004 to 2012, the most recent Mitsubishi Galant generation was a respectble choice for those who didn't follow the crowd. While being one of the more economical family sedans, its early V6 versions were reasonably engaging to drive.
And today they can be an attractive "older" vehicle filling a role as a cheaper alternative in a very high-priced market. Even so, the fact is there's just not a lot of them on the road today to chose from.
If you are able to find a low mileage, V6 engine model today, you'll likely find it has plenty of power and a smooth ride with fairly crisp and responsive steering ... it might even raise your eyebrows in a positive way. But again, they can just be hard to find in good condition and with reasonable miles these days.
It's too bad because with the redesign in 2004, the interior became one of the most distinctive in its class and we just loved the nighttime blue backlighting. The Rockford Fosgate sound system is also a very good one as well. Seating is also comfortable and the roominess was increased as compared to the previous generation.
The Mitsubishi Galant has been around since 1969, starting off as just a compact car, but growing into a larger mid-size. This last ninth-generation Galant came standard with 4-wheel disc brakes, keyless entry and full power accessories.
There are many Galant trims from this generation, including the DE, ES, LS, GTS, SE, Sport V6 and Ralliart (although by 2010, the model choices had been reduced to two: ES and SE). The DE and ES trims were both initially powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine which produced 160 horsepower.
The LS and GTS models were equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that pumped out 230 horsepower. And all Galant V6 models also come with a manual shift mode and ABS.
The GTS was initially the sportier trim of this generation. It came with a sport-tuned suspension, a special grille, a rear spoiler, leather interior and a sunroof. It also sported 17-inch alloy wheels while the rest of the Galants featured standard 16-inch steel wheels.
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Over the years, there's been a number of changes that used shoppers should be aware of:
In 2005, all Galants added standard front-side airbags.
In 2007, Mitsubishi redesigned the Galant's exterior, both front and rear. 2007 also marked the launch of the sport-oriented Ralliart trim. The Ralliart featured a more robust 258-horsepower V6 engine coupled with a 5-speed "Sportronic" automatic. This Ralliart also came standard with traction control.
In 2008, the Galant lineup was slimmed down a bit when the SE and GTS models were discontinued, leaving just the DE, ES and Ralliart.
For 2009, a new front grille and taillights were introduced, while there were further revisions to the trim levels which saw the base DE trim dropped and the introduction of the Sport Edition (SE) and Sport V6 models.
The Galant lineup was reduced once again down to just two models in 2010: ES and SE. Also discontinued was the V6 engine, leaving only what by then was a fairly uninspiring four-cylinder as compared to improved engines offered by its rivals over the years. In addition, stability control became standard, noise insulation was improved and the SE came with standard navigation, a back-up camera, satellite radio and a premium audio system.
For 2011, the SE gained additional standard features including a power sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a programmable garage door opener, while some can now be found with the new leather upholstery option.
There were no changes in 2012 and it was announced that this would be its last year of production.
This production run was a strong safety performer, however. In government crash tests, the Galant earned five out of five stars for both frontal and side-impact protection for both the driver and passengers.
The Galant's previous eighth-generation was available for the 1999 to 2003 model years. This was the first Galant offered with a V6 version and its exterior design was favorably compared to BMW sedans. In 2002, it got a significant design refresh both outside and in. New and more upscale features added included a sunroof, Infinity sound systems and 16-inch wheels.
This Galant version, despite a small backseat and average powertrains, provided adequate transportation for those looking for a second car at a low price.
Price: Prices today for Galants are generally in the $3,000 to $8,000 range depending on year and mileage. They can be difficult to find, however. I recently did a national search and only found 81 for sale. That's just 1 or 2 per state.
Mitsubishi Galant Pros
Affordability: The Mitsubishi Galant has historically been competitively priced, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers.
Reliability: It's generally a durable car with a good track record for longevity if properly maintained.
Spacious Interior: The Galant often offers a roomy and comfortable interior, making it a good choice for families or those who need a comfortable commuter vehicle.
Decent Fuel Efficiency: Depending on the engine and trim level, the Galant can offer good fuel economy, which can help save money on gas.
Good Safety Features: Many Galant models come equipped with a variety of safety features such as airbags, antilock brakes, and stability control, which can help keep passengers safe.
Mitsubishi Galant Cons
Outdated Design: The Galant's design has not seen significant updates in recent years, which can make it seem outdated compared to more modern competitors.
Limited Advanced Technology: Many older Galant models lack the latest technology and infotainment features that have become standard in newer cars.
Mediocre Performance: The Galant has typically been criticized for its underwhelming performance, with average acceleration and handling characteristics.
Resale Value: Due to its affordability and depreciation, the Galant may not hold its value as well as some other mid-size sedans, which can impact its resale value.
Limited Trim Options: The available trim levels and options for the Galant may be limited, reducing the ability to customize the vehicle to your preferences.
Limited Availability: Depending on your location, you may find it challenging to locate a Mitsubishi Galant since it's not as commonly available as some other mid-size sedans.
Possible Mitsubish Galant Mechanical Problems
The reliability and potential mechanical problems of a Mitsubishi Galant can vary depending on the age, mileage, how well the car has been maintained, and other factors. However, here is some general information on the typical reliability and common mechanical problems associated with the Galant.
Mitsubishi has a reputation for building reliable vehicles, and the Galant is no exception. Some factors that contribute to the Galant's reliability include its solid build quality and dependable drivetrain components.
That said, all used car have issues during their lifetimes. Here's some that owners have reported that should checked during an independent pre-purchase inspection. Prospective buyers should also get the car's vehicle history report as well as its maintenance records before purchase.
Transmission Issues: Some Mitsubishi Galant models, particularly those from the early to mid-2000s, have been known to experience transmission problems. These issues can range from rough shifting to complete transmission failure. Regular transmission maintenance can help prevent some of these problems.
Engine Problems: Certain Galant models may have issues with the engine, such as oil leaks, overheating, or problems with the timing belt. Routine maintenance, including oil changes and timing belt replacements at the recommended intervals, can help prevent engine-related problems.
Electrical Problems: Electrical issues, such as problems with the power windows, door locks, or dashboard lights, have been reported by some Galant owners. These problems can often be traced to faulty wiring or electrical components.
Suspension and Brake Issues: Some owners have experienced problems with the suspension system, such as worn-out shocks or struts. Additionally, brake-related issues, such as premature brake pad wear or brake rotor warping, have been reported.
Air Conditioning and HVAC Problems: The air conditioning system in some Galant models may experience issues, including refrigerant leaks or compressor failure. HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) problems can also occur.
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