KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Mitsubishi may be well-known for its sports cars and SUVs, but its family sedan sometimes gets overlooked by the masses. Mitsubishi hopes to change its fortunes with the early introduction of the 2009 Galant. Given a major refreshening both inside and out, the Galant's flashy styling and value-packed standard-equipment list should prove a tempting lure for buyers shopping the more mainstream Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. On the other hand, fierce new competition from Chevrolet's Malibu, and the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, means the Galant is in a tough market. Look for Mitsubishi to continue offering a number of attractive incentive programs to make it even easier to purchase a Galant.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a family sedan with a plush interior, a racy exterior and a nice big back seat, the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant should be on your shopping list. The Ralliart trim delivers surprisingly good off-the-line performance and handling capability.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a sport sedan with a manual transmission, you're going to have to stick with Honda or Volkswagen. Although it does feature a center pass-through slot, the Galant's rear seatback cannot be folded down.
What's New for 2009
New exterior styling includes a revised front end, new taillamp treatment and a new lineup consisting of four trims: ES, Sport Edition, Sport V6 and Ralliart. Four-cylinder models sold in California, Maine, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts qualify as Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicles (PZEV).
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart's potent V6, though a bit loud at idle, has a nice throaty growl when you punch it. With 258 horsepower, the performance is exhilarating and quick, and the Ralliart has no trouble merging with freeway traffic or passing on the highway. Once under way, you'll discover the speed-sensitive hydraulic power steering delivers accurate feedback in most maneuvers, but feels a bit slow to respond during really hard driving. The Ralliart trim, with its low-profile 18-inch performance tires, provides precise handling without a harsh ride.
Blue Dash Lights
The blue dash lighting on white-face gauges (GTS) really stands out in this field.
Sportronic Automatic Transmission
Mitsubishi's Sportronic automatic is one of the better transmissions on the market.
The Galant's interior is a refreshing blend of bold, modern design and soothing blue light. The dash, steering wheel and center console take their cues from the Endeavor SUV. Large rotary knobs control the heating and fan speeds as well as the sound system volume and tuning functions – a much-needed improvement over previous Mitsubishi stereo systems. Redesigned doors have integrated cup holders up front and storage pockets for small electronic devices in back. We found the Galant's seating to be first-rate, with rear-seat passengers reporting plenty of legroom and a surprising amount of headroom. The absence of a fold-down rear seatback, however, limits the Galant's ability to carry large or bulky items.
While the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant is in the same market segment as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the powerful front nose, sloping fastback rear window and short deck lid give it an appearance all its own. The sporty Galant Ralliart seems to be aimed directly at buyers who require four doors but also want a bit more personality than most sedans offer. It has several subtle touches that set it apart stylistically, such as side mirrors that are attached to the doors by slim plastic arms and front headlamp turn signals sealed in huge tinted plastic casings.
Notable Standard Equipment
The Galant ES features a 160-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, front side-impact airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, rear cup holders, rear defroster, power locks, power windows, power mirrors, keyless entry, engine immobilizer, automatic headlamps, tilt wheel, height-adjustable driver's seat, AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 player, air conditioning, rear-seat pass-through, 16-inch tires with full wheel covers and a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. The Sport Edition trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, rear spoiler, fog lamps, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, power glass sunroof and an eight-way power driver's seat. The Sport V6 adds a 230-horsepower V6, five-speed automatic transmission, traction control and a 360-watt Rockford audio system. The Ralliart adds a 258-horsepower V6, 18-inch wheels and a sport suspension. Stand-alone options include floor mats, an iPod adapter and a trunk cargo organizer.
Notable Optional Equipment
Mitsubishi has packaged the Galant to be well-equipped and attractive in its segment, leaving only a few options for each trim. ES models can be equipped with the Sun, Sound and Leather package, which includes 17-inch wheels, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, leather seats, power sunroof, power driver's seat and the Rockford audio system. The Ralliart offers a Navigation package that adds DVD navigation, rear backup camera and a seven-inch LCD touch-screen panel.
Under the Hood
The Galant offers four trim levels, two with the four-cylinder engine, one with a 230-horsepower V6 and the last, the Ralliart, with a high-output V6. The Galant's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is adequate for around-town driving and returns impressive city and highway fuel economy. The V6 is best suited to those who demand extra power, the kind required for quicker acceleration when merging or passing.
2.4-liter in-line 4
160 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
155 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27
230 horsepower @ 5250 rpm
250 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25
3.8-liter V6 MIVEC
258 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25
The 2009 Galant ES' Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just under $22,000, while the Sport Edition begins around $23,000. The fully loaded Ralliart, with navigation, tops out around $30,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows that the Galant sells slightly below MSRP, although Mitsubishi's current round of incentives will likely lower the price even more. The Galant does not hold its value as well as the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima or Toyota Camry, but remains on par with the Chevrolet Impala.