2010 Mitsubishi Galant Review

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The Car Connection
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The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
January 9, 2010

The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is adequate in most respects—and surprisingly comfortable. But it's not exciting or class-leading in any way.

Here in this Bottom Line covering the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant, the editors of TheCarConnection.com bring you driving impressions and an expert take on how the Galant matches up against other mid-size sedans. To give you an even more comprehensive take, TheCarConnection.com has also read a range of reviews on the Galant and bring you excerpts in a full review.

The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant limps on for another year, with its lineup quite dramatically cut. V-6 models, along with the performance Ralliart model, have been dropped from the lineup, leaving only four-cylinder ES and SE models of this mid-size sedan.

Although the Galant has seen a number of minor refreshes over the years, it's been carried over for the most part since its last major redesign, for 2004. With most mid-size sedans seeing one (some two) redesigns since then, it feels a little outdated from a style standpoint, to put it nicely. Last year Mitsubishi gave it a new lower grille mesh on all ES trim levels, which has now been expanded to both models. Inside, the Galant has weathered the storms of time much better, and aside from feeling a little drab, the design still appears attractive, if not a little basic.

If you don't expect a lot out of the driving experience, the Galant will reward you with well-rounded competence. The sole engine in the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is the 160-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder, with a four-speed automatic transmission. The available V-6 and five-speed automatic of previous years is gone. With the four, the Galant is generally pleasant to drive, provided you don't push it too hard. On all versions, the steering is nicely weighted, brake modulation good, and pedal travel short. Fuel economy is respectable, too, at 20 mpg city, 27 highway.

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The interior, if you can get past the somewhat drab, low-rent appearance up close, is roomy and comfortable. The front seats have plenty of room, and so do the deeply set backseats. One definite miss is that the rear seatback doesn't fold forward—there's only a pass-through. The soft suspension tuning absorbs most road impacts well, and there's plenty of insulation from road and wind noise, though the engine can get noisy up steep grades or during passing. Most notably, the interior is covered in industrial-looking trim, and in general, the dark, plastic-addicted cabin needs a richer look and feel.

Anti-lock brakes, dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and side front and rear curtain airbags are all now standard on the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant, along with electronic stability control. The federal government rates the Galant with four stars for rollover protection, but other ratings have not been revealed.

The Galant has been reconfigured in recent years to offer a lot of features for the money. Base 2010 Mitsubishi Galant ES models come with most popular features like cruise control, air conditioning, keyless entry, and a 140-watt, six-speaker sound system, while SE models add automatic climate control, heated seats, hands-free Bluetooth, and a Rockford Fosgate audio system, plus lots of equipment that make the Galant SE look, if not feel, sportier, such as larger alloy wheels, a spoiler, and fog lamps. The former Navigation and Rearview Camera Package has now been rolled into the SE's list of features, leaving no significant factory options.

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2010 Mitsubishi Galant

Styling

The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant isn't ugly, but you honestly might make more of a style statement in a used Honda Accord.

Although the Galant has seen a number of minor refreshes over the years, it's been carried over for the most part since its last major redesign, for 2004. With most mid-size sedans seeing one (some two) redesigns since then, it feels a little outdated from a style standpoint, to put it nicely. Last year Mitsubishi gave it a new lower grille mesh on all ES trim levels, which has now been expanded to both models.

Cars.com says, “Hampering the Galant's attempt to attract buyers is its relatively forgettable looks; the front end is bland and could be at home on any number of sedans.” With the former Ralliart edition, Automobile Magazine contends the 18-inch wheels "give the Galant more dignity than a typical mid-size rental, but don't expect the neighborhood kids to follow you home on their bicycles." Many of the Ralliart's styling details have been picked up by the SE trim. Car and Driver simply concludes that the Galant has “confused exterior styling.” As Edmunds puts it, the Galant is now a "very dark horse in a stable filled with thoroughbreds."

Inside, the Galant weathers the storms of time much better, and aside from feeling a little drab, the design still looks attractive, if not a little basic. Automobile Magazine isn't impressed with its interior styling, and Cars.com goes so far as to call the interior design "unfortunate." Cars.com also dislikes the fact that "buttons are arranged in an anomalous cluster of bizarre shapes." Edmunds is one of the few reviewers with significant positives, asserting that the Galant still has attractive qualities worth noting, such as the "cascading center console, blue backlighting, white-faced gauges and metallic or wood-grained accents," which make it "stylish in a contemporary way."

Review continues below
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2010 Mitsubishi Galant

Performance

The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant isn't fun to drive by any measure, but it's responsive enough for most basic sedan shoppers.

If you don't expect a lot out of the driving experience, the Galant will reward you with well-rounded competence. The sole engine in the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is the 160-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, with a four-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is respectable, too, at 20 mpg city, 27 highway.

With the four, the Galant is generally pleasant to drive, provided you don't push it too hard. The four-cylinder engine has "more-than-adequate power for most situations," according to ConsumerGuide; they clock a 0-60-mph run in 9 seconds. Car and Driver comments, “the four-cylinder is acceptable.” Automobile Magazine finds the four-speed automatic "remarkably responsive.”

On all versions, the steering is nicely weighted, brake modulation good, and pedal travel short. Edmunds finds the standard Galant to be “one of the more fun-to-drive family sedans,” and says it “remains flat and predictable and feels smaller than it is.” ConsumerGuide deems the base versions "reasonably nimble," but also points out that they "don't control body motions as well on their softer suspensions."

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2010 Mitsubishi Galant

Comfort & Quality

The quality of the interior is a step behind most rivals, but overall the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is a comfortable, refined vehicle with an absorbent ride.

The interior of the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant, if you can get past the somewhat drab, low-rent appearance up close, is roomy and comfortable. The front seats have plenty of room, and so do the deeply set backseats. Telescopic steering isn't available, though, which might be a deal-breaker for the driver. Edmunds says that the Galant is "roomy for four." Motor Trend likes the Galant's “fabulous backseat—oodles of foot room, terrific thigh support, nice armrests, and plenty of head, leg, and shoulder room.” As ConsumerGuide points out, the car "easily accommodates six-footers." Not only that, but "three adults fit without undue crowding," a seemingly impossible task in a mid-size.

One definite miss is that the rear seatback doesn't fold forward—there's only a pass-through. Overall, trunk space is a big drawback in the 2010 Galant. ConsumerGuide actually finds more problems with the design, saying that the "short decklid and high liftover limit utility of the roomy, usefully shaped trunk." Cars.com points out that most competitors "offer folding rear seats in at least some trim levels," while the 2010 Galant doesn't. ConsumerGuide sums it up: "Cabin storage is nothing special."

Most notably, the interior is covered in industrial-looking trim, and in general, the dark, plastic-addicted cabin needs a richer look and feel. "The Galant suffers from the typical Mitsubishi trait of subpar interior materials quality," says Edmunds, and when put up against its competitors, it just doesn't match their "refined look and feel." Motor Trend reports, “Much of the plastic is cheap-looking.” Cars.com is the lone voice stating the opposite: "Mitsubishi used good-quality materials."

But ConsumerGuide also notes assembly issues with the Galant. "One test Ralliart had a persistent and loud dashboard squeak," they say, also noting "ill-fitting interior panels."

The soft suspension tuning of the 2010 Galant absorbs most road impacts well, and there's plenty of insulation from road and wind noise, though the engine can get noisy up steep grades or during passing.

Review continues below
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2010 Mitsubishi Galant

Safety

Safety shouldn't be a major concern for those considering the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant, as nearly all the bases are covered.

Anti-lock brakes, dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and side front and rear curtain airbags are all now standard on the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant, along with electronic stability control.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Galant five stars for front-impact protection; the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Galant as “good” for frontal and side impacts. However, the IIHS rates it "poor" in the agency's seat-based rear impact test.

Outward visibility, sometimes an issue even on sedans, is good on the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant. “Thanks to a broad rear window and low trunk, rear sightlines are excellent,” observes Cars.com.

Review continues below
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2010 Mitsubishi Galant

Features

With a decent array of standard features but an empty options list, the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant doesn't stand out in this respect.

The Galant has been reconfigured in recent years to offer a lot of features for the money.

Base 2010 Mitsubishi Galant ES models come with most popular features like cruise control, air conditioning, keyless entry, and a 140-watt, six-speaker sound system, while SE models add automatic climate control, heated seats, hands-free Bluetooth, and a Rockford Fosgate audio system, plus lots of equipment that make the Galant SE look, if not feel, sportier, such as larger alloy wheels, a spoiler, and fog lamps.

Cars.com calls the Galant's interior "unfortunate," criticizing the arrangement of instrument panel controls, and how the "automatic climate control alternates between low and high fan speeds without much warning." Automobile Magazine compliments both the "killer audio system" (Rockford Fosgate) and the navigation system for its ease of use.

The former Navigation and Rearview Camera Package has now been rolled into the SE's list of features, leaving no significant factory options.

Review continues below
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