Lets have a show of hands. How many of you have seen a Mitsubishi Galant on the road recently? Um … okay. Anyone even know what a Galant looks like?
Cue the crickets.
This, the ninth-generation of Mitsubishi’s four-door mid-sized sedan, has been around since 2003, and flies so far under shopper’s radar it’s almost subterranean. Last year Mitsu moved 463 Galants in Canada (total Mitsubishi sales were 19,786). Compare that to 15,524 Toyota Camrys and 16,526 Ford Fusions.
For 2010, Mitsubishi has streamlined the Galant line to one model — the 160 hp 2.4L four-cylinder ES with four-speed manumatic, un-heated fabric seats and nary an available option. Asking price is $23.998, which puts it right in the thick of this fiercely competitive segment. Exhibit A: the all-new and very stylish 2011 Hyundai Sonata that packs a 198 hp direct-injection 2.4L four with six-speed auto for $24,249.
The Galant is not a bad car. It’s just not a great car, and in this company you may as well just stay home.
For 2010, the Galant gets side skirts, black headlight surrounds (from last year’s 3.8L V6 GT model) a new grill and 16-inch alloys that look somewhat lost in the wheel wells.
In the plus ledger, the Galant feels structurally rock solid and exhibits a matured and refined ride/handling balance. While the steering isn’t particularly communicative, it is quick and accurate. All in all, this Mitsu is quite comfortable, with good seats, plenty of headroom and capacious rear quarters.
While the four-speed auto is down one or two cogs from the competition, it’s a smooth and quick shifting unit. In day-to-day operation it works just fine, and I didn’t really miss the extra gears.
Mitsubishi has added standard stability control to the 2010 Galant ES.