2009 Mitsubishi Galant Review and Prices
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant puts a new face and a toned-up tail on an old chassis. As similar work on humans often demonstrates, this can’t disguise some fundamental truths.
Beneath the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant’s cosmetic alterations is an aged underskin structure that doesn’t stand comparison with that of younger, suppler rivals.
Still, Galant operates on what might be called the second tier of midsize cars, a level below the pacesetting Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima. This is the realm of geezers like the Chevrolet Impala and quality-challenged sedans like the Dodge Avenger. Against this competition, Galant is a viable alternative.
Most appealing of Galant’s four models is the pair in the middle, the Sport Edition and the Sport V6.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Sport Edition has a four-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, heated front seats and mirrors, power driver’s seat, and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. It lists for $22,499.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Sport V6 adds a V-6 engine and a five-speed automatic, a 360-watt audio system, and other incidentals. List price is $24,499
As for Galant’s other models, the base ES version is out-valued by lower-line Accords, Camrys, and Altimas. And Galant’s top-of-the-line Ralliart model steps over the $27,000 mark, where fresh faces belong with younger bodies.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant is a five passenger front-wheel drive midsize sedan. It’s the largest car from a Japanese automaker whose multi-year stretch of slipping sales was only recently reversed, mainly on momentum from the redesigned Lancer compact car and Outlander SUV. This upturn is tempered by ongoing challenges facing the Mitsubishi brand, including low trade-in values and deep customer dissatisfaction with the sales experience and with overall vehicle quality.
Mitsubishi’s also been slow to introduce new models, especially all-new designs. Indeed, the main structure and engineering of the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant are essentially the same as those of the 2004 Galant. That’s elderly in today’s car market. Among midsize cars, only the General Motors platform that underpins the Chevy Impala, Buick LaCross, and Pontiac Grand Prix is older. It originated with the 2000 model year.
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Changes back to top
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant gets a nose job distinguished by a new hood, larger grille, and a new lower front fascia. Surgery on its rump brings wider tail lamps and a new trunk lid. The car’s rear window is slightly wider than in 2008, and alloy wheels are of a new pattern. Inside are new fabric textures and trim treatments.
Model designations shift, too, with 2008’s entry-level DE version dropped and the two Sport trim levels added. The 230-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 returns after a year’s hiatus.
No change to the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant will significantly alter its performance or passenger accommodations from those of the 2008 model. Statements in this review about performance and accommodations are based on detailed test drives of the 2008 Mitsubishi Galant.
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Test Drive back to top
Driving the Mitsubishi Galant
Galant’s got good giddy-up with a V-6 engine. In most conditions, the 230-horse version in the Sport V-6 delivers virtually the same feel as the 258-horsepower iteration in the Ralliart, though the Ralliart has extra oomph when you poke the accelerator at highway speeds.
Four-cylinder Galants provide serviceable acceleration and respond nicely to the transmission’s manual-shift mode. Both Galant transmissions have this feature, which Mitsubishi calls Sportronic. It enables the driver to toggle the console lever to change or hold gears for added control over engine power.
In smoothness or sound, no Galant engine can be described as stirring. And V-6 versions are subject to torque steer, an unwanted effect in which the car pulls to the side in response to liberal use of the throttle off the line or at low speeds.
In corners, Galants grip the road nicely when equipped with the 17-inche tires and especially in Ralliart guise. But those turns are best enjoyed on unblemished roads because rippled or bumpy pavement tends to triggers motions in which Galant’s body seems slightly at odds with what the suspension is experiencing. Even traveling in a straight line, wavy surfaces can set Galants to bobbing. Ralliarts minimize these affects, but they account for just 6 percent of Galant sales. Ralliarts also stand apart from other Galants with brake-pedal feel that’s slightly firmer and more in sync with actual stopping power.
Riding in the Mitsubishi Galant
ES Galants ride nicely on their 16-inch tires. With the 17s and 18s, sharp bumps can send shivers through the car’s structure, to the detriment of ride quality. And the slightly aquatic motions that corrupt Galant’s bumpy-turn control also degrade its ride comfort on wavy roads.
On paper, interior volume is no better than class-competitive, but Galant’s seats are comfy and supportive, and rear passengers get more room for their feet and legs than in an Impala or Avenger. Back seaters over 6-feet tall will want for head clearance, though, and Galant drivers might be jealous of neighbors whose cars have a steering column that telescopes as well as tilts.
Materials-quality envy is another symptom of Galant ownership. Soft-touch passenger-compartment surfaces are at a minimum. Worse, Galant’s doors and trunk lid ring hollow with every slam. It’s the sound of compromise.
Galant’s trunk will hold a family of four’s efficiently packed luggage, though the rather tight opening doesn’t make it easy to load bulky items. A center trunk pass-through substitutes for fold-down seatbacks, and the cabin doesn’t excel for space to store small stuff.
Mitsubishi Galant dashboard and controls
Instruments and controls are generously sized, clearly marked, and unobstructed. All models have orange dashboard illumination, and V-6 versions have white-faced instruments instead of black. On the Ralliart, the navigation system integrates too many audio functions, and its display screen is in a binnacle that looks tacked on to the top of the dashboard.
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Prices back to top
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant ES starts at $21,099 and comes with 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, power windows and locks, and manual driver’s seat height adjustment. For $2,550, the Sun, Sound & Leather Package option adds to the ES leather upholstery, power sunroof and driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, heated front seats and mirrors, and 17-inch alloy wheels, among other items.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Sport Edition also starts at $21,099, but Mitsubishi won’t sell you one unless it’s equipped with the Sport Value Package with Sunroof. That mandatory option brings the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Sport Edition price to $22,499. Outfitted thusly, the car includes 17-inch alloys, sunroof, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, heated front seats and mirrors, plus automatic climate control, rear spoiler, rear stabilizer bar, and fog lights.
Both the 2009 Galant ES and Sport Edition reprise 2008’s 160-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission. Galant does not offer a manual transmission.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Sport V6 has a base price of $23,099, which a mandatory Value Package with Sun & Sound option package elevates to $24,499. This model’s principal distinction from the Sport Edition is its 230-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission.
Base price of the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart is $27,299. It gets a 258-horsepower version of the 3.8-liter V-6 and comes with just about every Galant luxury and convenience item, including leather upholstery. Equipment exclusive to the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart includes a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch tires and alloy wheels, special exterior appearance touches, and a dashboard screen to display audio settings, outside temperature, trip information, and compass. Ralliart is the only Galant available with a navigation system; it’s a $1,500 option.
All 2009 Galants come with four-wheel disc brakes with antilock control, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags. V-6 models feature standard traction control. The Galant Sport V-6 and Ralliart add a standard 360-watt Rockford Acoustic Design premium audio system that includes SIRIUS Satellite Radio with a six-month pre-paid subscription.
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Fuel Economy back to top
Federal Environmental Protection Agency estimates for Galants with the four-cylinder engine are 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway. The EPA estimates the V-6 engine in both 230- and 258-horsepower tune at 16 city/25 highway. Over the long run, expect four-cylinder models to average around 22 mpg, V-6 versions around 18. Four-cylinder Galants use regular-grade fuel. Mitsubishi recommends more-expensive premium-grade gas for the 230-horsepower V-6 and requires it for the Ralliart.
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Safety and Reliability back to top
Galant scores well in government crash tests, which rate vehicles on a five-star system, five being best. Galant garners five stars for driver and passenger protection in both frontal and side collisions. That puts Galant among the top cars in the midsize class in these government tests.
Mitsubishi buyers tend to slam the brand when it comes to the dealership purchase experience, as measured by J.D. Power and Associates, the leading automotive consumer survey firm. Overall sales experience, dealer facilities, and the delivery process all rate below average on the surveys. Mitsubishi as a brand doesn’t fare much better in J.D. Power surveys of initial vehicle quality, again rating below average in a host of areas, including powertrain and body and interior quality.
However, Galant buyers surveyed rated their car at least average in almost every category of overall quality and reliability, and gave it high marks for body and interior quality and design.
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Release Date back to top
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant release date is in spring 2008.
What's next for the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant back to top
Mitsubishi’s plans to fully redesign its midsize sedan are unclear. Reports indicate no all-new replacement is expected before model-year 2012. There’s even a chance Galant’s place on Mitsubishi’s roster might be occupied by crossover wagon that blends elements of car and SUV. Basically, the 2009 edition is what a Galant will look like and feel like at least until 2012.
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Competition back to top
The Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Chevrolet Malibu are newer than the Galant, they’re more refined and comfortable, and they have similar sticker prices when similarly equipped.
However, factory cash-back incentives, low-interest financing, and dealer discounts are a way of life at Mitsubishi. So what you’ll actually pay for a Galant is almost certain to be less than what dealers command for comparably equipped Accords, Altimas, and Malibus. The transaction-price difference may not as pronounced between similarly outfitted Galants and Camrys, however.
If your budget does put you in Galant’s price territory, match the Mitsubishi against such cars as the Chevrolet Impala and Dodge Avenger.
Galant meets or beats comparable Impalas and Avengers on transaction price, but comes out ahead for comfort and handling. Engine power is competitive. And though both Dodge and Mitsubishi suffer depressing resale values, Mitsubishi eases the sting with a 5-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, versus 3/36,000 for Chevy and Dodge.
Impala doesn’t offer a four-cylinder, starting around $22,000 with a 211-horsepower V-6. At about $24,600, Impala’s 233-horsepower LT model compares to the Galant Sport V-6. The Chevy does include an important safety feature Galant doesn’t offer, an antiskid system, which automatically applies individual brakes to keep the car on course if a turn is taken too quickly. Impala’s future is as foggy as Galant’s. A rear-wheel-drive replacement has been studied, but no decision seems likely soon, so today’s Impala will probably be around in its current form through the 2010 model year, at least.
The Dodge Avenger was introduced for the 2008 model year, so it’ll be current in basic styling and engineering until model-year 2013 or so. Avenger’s burden is a crude driving feel and cheap interior décor. Base prices start under $19,000 for four-cylinder models, but the main attraction is the sporty Avenger R/T, which comes with a 235-horsepower V-6 and offers all-wheel drive. Listing for under $26,000, and all-wheel-drive.
R/T is the Avenger to get, but it still isn’t as rewarding to drive as a Galant Ralliart.