2006 Mitsubishi Galant GTS ; by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
By Chris Chase
Mitsubishi’s Galant is far from a household name in Canada, despite competing in the midsize sedan segment, which enjoys consistent popularity here. Attribute that to Mitsubishi’s relatively recent arrival in Canada: the company has only officially existed in Canada since 2003, though its models were sold here (and in the U.S.) as “captive imports” by Chrysler for many years.
Just a year after arriving here for 2003, the 2004 Galant was redesigned into what is, globally, its ninth generation.
The 2004 Galant could be had with either a 2.4-litre four-cylinder (160 hp), or 3.8-litre V6 (230 hp) engines, and a four-speed automatic was the only choice, despite most of the Galant’s competitors being available with a manual transmission, at least in base models.
2004 Mitsubishi Galant ES, by Laurance Yap (top); 2005 Mitsubishi Galant GTS, courtesy Mitsubishi. Click image to enlarge
In 2007, the Galant’s styling was refreshed inside and out, and a Ralliart model replaced the GTS as the sportiest offering. The Ralliart used a uniquely-revised version of the V6 engine tuned for 258 horsepower. Six-cylinder models also got a new five-speed automatic transmission, while the four-cylinder stuck with the four-speed. The 2007 update included the addition of side curtain airbags as standard; all Galants from 2004 came with front-seat side airbags as standard.
The Galant took a hiatus for 2008, and came back for 2009 with a more-comprehensive styling update, though the car’s platform and mechanicals were unchanged. In 2010, the Galant was reduced to a single ES trim line, and the V6 engine was dropped. It was discontinued in Canada after that model year (though it remained on sale in the U.S.).
The Galant’s fuel consumption ratings were 10.2/7.2 L/100 km (city/highway) for the four-cylinder, and 12.6/8.0 with the V6 (12.9/8.2 in GTS trim), numbers that were, on average, higher than the Galant’s competitors’. The Galant’s fuel consumption ratings remained unchanged through 2009.
There isn’t much anecdotal information to be found about the Galant’s reliability in Mitsubishi web forums, but Consumer Reports has basic details on the trouble spots that it has heard about from subscribers.
Watch for a leaky air conditioning system, possibly caused by a bad condenser. Consumer Reports also notes problems with the automatic climate controls (in so-equipped cars).
2007 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart; by Chris Chase. Click image to enlarge
The only other common trouble spot that I found any chatter about online was that of frequent oxygen sensor failures. These sensors, which are a little larger than a typical spark plug, monitor the amount of oxygen in the exhaust stream, information that the engine’s electronic brain uses to determine the proper fuel-to-air mixture the engine needs for optimum performance and fuel economy. I found one thread at TheGalantCentre.net where an owner suspected that a failed oxygen sensor wrecked one of the catalytic converters in the car’s exhaust – a pricey part to replace.
One Galant owner, posting at Mitsubishi-Forums.com says their dealer has suggested that pinging, or pre-detonation, is normal in the Galant’s 3.8 L V6.
Neither Consumer Reports nor TrueDelta.com have enough data to gauge the ninth-generation Galant’s reliability.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Galant its highest “good” rating in frontal offset crash tests. In side impact tests, early ninth-generation models without side curtain airbags scored “poor,” owing to a high probably of head injury. Later models (2007 and on) with standard side curtain airbags scored “good.”
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart, by Jil McIntosh (top); 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart, by Chris Chase. Click image to enlarge
From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2004 Galant earned five stars for driver and front seat occupant protection in frontal impact tests, and five and four stars respectively for front and rear-seat occupant protection in side impact tests. A 2007 Galant earned four and five stars respectively for driver and front passenger protection in frontal impact tests, and five stars for both front and rear seat occupant protection in side impacts.
A used Galant is certainly an affordable car, with resale values that rival those of domestic-branded competitors, and the undervalued (at least, from 2006 or so) Hyundai Sonata and (to a lesser extent) Kia Magentis. The Galant is a bargain next to its Japanese counterparts, particularly the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
The Galant is worthy of consideration, though the lack of accurate reliability information makes it tough to judge what this car would be like to own for the long term. For the price, however, the Galant is a lot of car, both in terms of power and space, and while there are a few known common issues, none of these should be deal-breakers if a given car has been well-maintained. The Galant’s status as a relative unknown in its class means there could be a lot of wiggle room in a seller’s asking price. If you find a used Galant that you like, take my usual advice: make sure it comes with detailed maintenance records and passes a once-over by a trusted mechanic.
Black Book Pricing (avg. retail) January 2010:
Related links on Autos
2005: On certain vehicles, the brake master cylinder was improperly assembled which can result in reduced braking pressure and increase brake pedal stroke. Should this condition occur, the braking distance required to stop the vehicle will increase and may lead to a vehicle crash. Correction: Dealers will replace the brake master cylinder.
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2008264; Units affected: 1,907
Transport Canada Recall Number: 2008374; Units affected: 2,366 (includes other models)
Crash test results
Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.
For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.