- Spacious rear seating
- Impressive V-6 power
- Sporty Ralliart model
- Cheap-feeling interior materials
- Looks behind the times
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant does most things well, but the newest family sedans do them even better.
Despite a number of small refreshes over the years, the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant is essentially identical to the 2004 model, and that's one of its downfalls. It's a fine-looking car, but in the past four years the Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu, and Honda Accord have raised the bar with hot new styles that make the new Galant look like, well, a used car.
Halfway through 2009 Mitsubishi will launch a refreshed Galant. Call it a 2009.5 model with "expressive new styling.” The mid-year introduction includes new lower grille mesh on all ES trim levels, while the Sport and Sport V6 will roll on 18-inch machined aluminum wheels and beefier suspension.
Base model 2009 Galants are powered by a 162-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The Ralliart model uses a punchy 258-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 engine coupled to a five-speed Sportronic automatic with manual shift capability (the automatic is pretty invisible in its shift action). The big V-6 has plenty of smooth power for a sedan of this size, but it's less growly than in other Mitsubishis. Fuel economy ranges from 20 mpg city, 27 highway with the four-cylinder versions to 17/25 mpg with the V-6.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant sedans are pleasant to drive. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine hustles the LS around, and its suspension absorbs most road impacts well. Tighten up the line into a curve and you notice more imprecision in the rear end, a little squirm, and some movement before it settles into predictable tire squeal. The Ralliart is tighter and more composed. On all versions, the steering is nicely weighted, brake modulation good, and pedal travel short.
The front seats have plenty of room, and so do the deeply set backseats. The interior is covered in industrial-looking trim, and in general, the dark, plastic-addicted cabin needs a richer look and feel.
All 2009 Galants come standard with anti-lock brakes, dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side front and rear curtain airbags, and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The V-6 models feature standard traction control. The federal government rates the Galant with four stars for rollover protection, but other ratings have not been revealed.
For the so-called 2009.5 edition, hands-free Bluetooth has finally been added, though only as part of a major option package. Ralliarts with Navigation also receive rear backup cameras.