Mitsubishi Galant History
Angular Front Exterior View - 2012 Mitsubishi Galant 4-door Sedan SEEnlarge Photo
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The Mitsubishi Galant is a mid-size sedan, with four-cylinder or V-6 engines. It competed with other sedans at the heart of the market—including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima.
The often-overlooked Galant is rather bland in present form, but it wasn't always that way. Once upon a time, in the late 1980s, the Galant was one of the sportiest sedans in its class, with a tech-focused, performance edge that put it in a unique segment of the market. For instance, the Galant once offered rear-wheel steering, as well as a high-output turbocharged VR4 model that essentially was the Evolution of its time. Successive versions of the Galant became more comfort-oriented, and the performance reputation faded. In 1994, the Galant was redesigned as a softer more mass-market sedan and production began in Normal, Illinois; then again, for 1999, the Galant became a true mid-size model and offered a V-6 engine for the first time. These versions of the Galant are reasonably stylish and roomy but have unremarkable performance overall.
The current Galant made its debut for 2004. Even larger than the previous Galant and growing with mainstream mid-sizers like Camry and Accord, the new Galant added more safety and luxury features but again didn't stand out for its performance. These models offer a base 160-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 230-hp, 3.8-liter V-6. Ralliart models loaded on the sporty cues and luxury features but were considerably more expensive, and V-6 Galants returned unimpressive fuel economy, with EPA city ratings of just 16 mpg. V-6 models typically have had a choppier ride quality than four-cylinder versions. On a positive note, these Galants are roomy and comfortable, but you'll have to deal with cheap-feeling materials, a coarse base four-cylinder engine, and an overall interior theme that feels years behind rival models in design. Reliability hasn't been nearly as good as that of its Japanese-brand competition, either.
The 2009 Galant received a very slightly spruced-up appearance, then for 2010 the Galant lineup was further simplified, with the V-6 engine dropped completely and only base ES and sportier SE trims remaining—both offering a lot of features for the money. SE models included automatic climate control, heated seats, Bluetooth, a navigation system, and a high-end Rockford Fosgate audio system all for less than $25k.
Mitsubishi has not confirmed whether it will replace the Galant after the 2012 model year, which is expected to be its final year of production.