Mitsubishi Galant ES four-door sedan
by John Heilig
SEE ALSO: Mitsubushi Buyer's Guide
SPECIFICATIONS ENGINE: 2.4-liter inline four HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 141hp @5500 rpm/148 lb-ft @3000 rpm TRANSMISSION: Four-speed automatic FUEL ECONOMY: 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, 20.8 mpg test WHEELBASE: 103.7 in. OVERALL LENGTH: 187.6 in. OVERALL HEIGHT: 53.1 in. OVERALL WIDTH: 68.1 in. CURB WEIGHT: 2943 lbs FUEL CAPACITY: 16.9 gal. LUGGAGE CAPACITY: 12.5 cu. ft. TIRES: 195/60R15 INSTRUMENTS: Speedometer, tachometer, fuel level, water temperature, digital clock. EQUIPMENT: Power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, air conditioner, AM-FM stereo radio with cassette, power sunroof, cruise control, anti-lock braking, dual air bags. STICKER PRICE: $21,287
One would think every automobile manufacturer would want a car like the Mitsubishi Galant. It's a nice compact car that's assembled in the United States with 45 percent U.S.-sourced parts, the price is reasonable, and it does everything you would want it to do. It looks like a car and drives like a car, not a rocket ship or racer, and offers good, solid transportation.
We have friends who own Galants with over 120,000 miles on them that just keep chugging and chugging along.
Our tester today is the Galant ES, which is in the middle of the Galant option range. As such, the ES has some simulated wood paneling on the dash and console to make it appear more luxurious. The engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine drives the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission.
Among the other goodies are power door locks, power windows, cruise control, a power sunroof, AM/FM stereo with cassette player and a nice heating/cooling system.
The 2.4-liter engine in the Galant is noisier than a six or eight. It's rated at 141 horsepower and does tend to let you know it's working under the hood, especially when you step down on the accelerator. In normal operation, on interstates or around town, there's a buzz from under the hood that isn't objectionable. The only time it reaches higher levels is when you ask the engine to work, and that's usually above 3,000 rpm. At 60-70 mph, which is what 3,000 rpm corresponds to on the highway, you'll get wind noise as well, so the engine buss isn't bad.
The four-speed automatic transmission had good ratios. When we tromped on the accelerator, there was a slight delay that was not excessive. It would have been nice to have had a better response. This was a four-speed automatic. Some equivalent economy cars use three-speed gearboxes.
Legroom front and rear in the Galant is very good. I push my seat pretty far back. The rear seat passengers who drove with us said they were comfortable and didn't have to wrap their legs around the back of the front seat to be comfortable, which is often the case in a small car. I wouldn't put basketball players back there, but I would in the front. Front seat legroom, of course, depends on how much you want. There are no limits if there's nobody in the back.
The trunk is a reasonable size for a compact car. We had more space than we needed to put the things we carried back there.
Our major ride in the Galant was to another manufacturer's introduction, which didn't earn us warm fuzzies from the other crowd. After several hours fighting rush-hour traffic, we were delayed and missed the start of the ride and drive. We had to follow the route they were using and catch up to them. The Galant proved to be quite good at keeping up with the other cars, both on and off the road. On one off-road situation, we did kick in the ABS when we were on sand and trying to make up lost time. Granted, this isn't the Galant's environment, but it was nice to try it, if only once.
The Mitsubishi Galant is a good solid car. It's not perfect and has a couple of flaws. My biggest gripe was the noisy engine. I'm not a big fan of sunroofs, although in the Galant there were about two inches of space over my head when I had the seat where I wanted it. If you're looking for a compact car, you can't go far wrong with a Galant. You could be more right, maybe, depending on your preferences, which is one of the advantages of having so many choices in the dealerships.