By on February 2, 2007

front.jpgThis website has consistently and persistently lambasted The Big 2.5 for depending on fleet sales to keep the factories churning. As reported here and elsewhere, Detroit has finally responded to industry criticism that cranking-out sub-par transportation for fleet consumption drags down vehicle quality, resale value and image. They’ve sworn off rental car crack. Gradually, eventually, they’ll leave Alamo, Hertz, Avis, etc. behind and take their chances on the dealer’s lot. All of which makes room for… the Mitsubishi Galant!

The ninth gen Galant gets some new threads. The proportions aren’t bad, and its strong, chiseled shoulders meld into perfectly proportioned, smoked Altezza taillights. (Who knew that Malibu and sake mixed?) From the side, the Galant’s soaring beltline conforms to The Law of Unintended Aesthetic Consequences; the rear doors look like Lulu the Fat Lady’s thighs. Up front, the aesthetically challenged hood blister meets up with a finned grille, complete with shiny-happy chrome smile underneath. All in all, the Galant is handsome enough– to wear the rental car cloak of invisibility.

07galantralliart_12.jpgAs befitting this erstwhile honor, the Galant's interior is as about as cool as drinking milk from a sports bottle. From its brittle switchgear to its rotary knobs soaked in molasses to its rubbery steering wheel, Mitsubishi's sedan-starlet does the near-impossible: falls to match GM's mediocre advancements in interior excellence. While the Mitsu's panel gaps are fingernail thin and the aluminum-effect trim livens-up the dour dollops of flat black, the cabin’s mix of jutting planes, bloated curves and cheap plastics make the Galant ready for the rental car return row, like, now.

Grab your luggage and another problem creeps up; the Galant's strut assists make closing the decklid a challenge for one hand, and unnecessary effort for two. The resonating "thonk" following said action is about as reassuring as a stand up comic moonlighting as a bereavement counselor. The Galant's lack of fold down rear seating is another solid miss.

07galantralliart_05.jpgThat said, the rear accommodations are more than slightly salubrious. The fabrics are a pleasing blend of luxury, style and durability, wrapping the finest set of foam cushioning this side of an Olds 88 Royale Brougham. Who needs a folding park bench when the alternative is so much better for the back and the booty? The couch isn't just the Galant's best attribute; it’s class-leading mother-in-law kvetch protection.

The Galant’s standard 140-watt, six speaker, MP3-ready sound system also deserves special mention.  Actually that's a lie. By itself, the beatbox is nothing special. Factor in its ability to overpower the Galant's 2.4-liter buzz box under the hood and it becomes an absolute lifesaver. The MIVEC-tuned four-pot motor makes a respectable 160hp @ 5500 revs, but clock the tachometer above 3500rpm and this mill is ready to rattle itself to pieces. Runs to redline are accompanied by an intake-wheez so strong you can feel the Galant begging for your right foot for mercy.

07galantralliart_10.jpgThe Galant’s “Sportronic” automatic serves-up a quartet of cogs with wide-ass gear ratios; a holdover from a time when it was OK to keep a rock as a pet (don’t ask). The Galant's powertrain– and I use that term in its full ironic sense– is no match for the smooth operators available in baseline Camrys and Accords. Even worse, with 3439 pounds of sedan to tote from the airport to the meeting/Disneyworld and back, the Galant's wounded snail pace (zero to 60 in 8.9 very loud seconds) should come as no surprise– at least until you try to merge on the highway.

Curiously, the entry level Galant doesn’t offer ABS braking as standard; you have to upgrade to the ES or “Extra Stuff” model (I swear I’m not making that up) to get Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. At least the Galant has enough airbags to seduce the Stay Puft Man and a front and side five-star government safety rating.

Which is just as well. Although the Galant is about as close to being a rocket ship as a block of cement, it can, eventually, reach normal automotive speeds. Once there, drivers will discover that the Galant's steering, shifting and throttle response were originally extras in The Dead Hate the Living.

rear-3-4.jpgThe harder you push the Galant, the dumber you feel for bothering. Before unloading SUV-levels of understeer, the Galant pitches under cornering load and dives prodigiously in panic stops. Thrifty drivers on a Budget will get no kicks remembering the Alamo on a twisty on ramp or, more likely, circling for a parking space in a hotel parking lot. At least the four corner disc brakes keep the "fun" in check without hesitation or complaint.

Years ago, the market decided Mitsubishi's bread-and-butter sedan couldn’t hold a spent glow stick to the Camcordima. The market is still right; the Galant deserves its place in rental car infamy. As you will someday learn.

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66 Comments on “Mitsubishi Galant Review...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s nice to see that the ugliness of the Galant and Endeavor will be short lived, as the new Outlander and Lancer show. Interestingly, the new Lancer looks a lot like the last gen Galant.

    And just think. Mitsu made this “America” platform just for us!! They do hate us…..

  • avatar

    Would you like some torque steer with that?

    Mitsubishi also offers their Altima knock-off with a 3.8-liter V6 and more curve-worthy suspension tuning in the GTS (which I’ve had the luck to have driven) and Ralliart trims. The last is good for 258 horsepower, 98 more than the four.

    Specs, price comparisons:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/Galant.php

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    Good review. Maybe a quick look at the 3.8 wouldn’t be a bad idea… to see whether added power corrupts your view.

    And a nit to pick:
    “As befitting this erstwhile honor, the Galant’s interior…”
    Surely, you meant “ersatz”…

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    I’m glad this car got reviewed–it was my nominee for a TWAT.

    Shapeless, styleless, cheap, OK for a 2am trip to WalMart but not for a first date: Galant is automotive sweatpants.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Remember when the Diamante was representative of the new Japanese value in entry-lux? (around 1988-1990, before Lexus)

    I think they really squandered their first-to-market advantage there.

  • avatar
    amclint

    Ugh, this thing is a nightmare. Small wonder Mitsubishi is losing money like my father in law is losing his hair. I’m excited for the new lancer, but the rest of their lineup had better improve quick if that company is going to be around in the next 5 years. Death watch Mitsubishi and see how far they are from the crypt.

  • avatar
    kph

    Great review, you’re quite a wordsmith.

    I can’t believe this is the same company that puts out the Evo.

  • avatar

    Because the Evo interior is top notch?

  • avatar
    ash78

    A lot of a company’s direction is influenced by their financing policies, which in turn decides your clientele, which in turn decides how others perceive the car, its condition over time, and its owners.

    Let’s just say that where I live, Mitsu is “Kia for the upwardly mobile” (no offense to Kia).

    But how do you wean your 8-year-financing, negative equity trade-in clientele off that teat? I think they have a more difficult battle ahead of tham than Ford and GM, at least in that regard.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Isn’t the Galant up for a redesign soon? The Outlander is all new, the Lancer and Evo are coming this year and next. The Eclipse was recently redone (for good or bad) so I’d think its time for the Galant to be redesigned.

    I’d like to see Mitsubishi succeed if for nothing else that the Evo X is on my list of cars to try for my next car.

  • avatar
    nocaster

    That grill looks like it has a serious under bite.

  • avatar
    amclint

    No, the Evo is not meant to be top notch in the interior, but the performance for the money quotient is high. I’d never buy one for more practical reasons, like expensive brakes/insurance/repairs/etc, but they are fun to think about.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    But how do you wean your 8-year-financing, negative equity trade-in clientele off that teat? I think they have a more difficult battle ahead of tham than Ford and GM, at least in that regard. Agreed. And that's one reason why I think the Galant will "bite" when the fleet customers come a calling. 

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    What a shame. I remember horsing around in a new 1988 Galant. It wasn’t beautiful but it wasn’t ugly like the late models are. It had a sweet 6-cylinder and composed suspension that smoked contemporary Camry’s and Accord’s. Its high-tech voice-activated everything insides made driving it like piloting the Starship Enterprise. How did it get so bad? No wonder DCX dumped this once competitive brand. It’s a disgrace.

  • avatar
    amclint

    Didn’t they have a Galant that was AWD? I don’t think it was turbo in the USA, but maybe in japan? That might have been another winner if they’d have kept it up, competition with the Mazda 6 AWD and a ‘grown up’ Evo that would be more livable.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    Mitsubishi just makes me sad; their lineup used to be really good (well, at least in my eyes.)

    I mean they really just used to have some winners, thing of the early to mid ninties:

    Diamante was nice, if an absolute dinosaur as far as power – a 3.0L single cam with a whopping 145bhp meant this car was “shoot me” slow. My ex’s mum had a Diamante wagon with every option, i think a 1994? The seats were supremely comfy, hte drivetrain was whisper quiet, isolating suspension, the car would cruise at 80 like it was nothing – it just took forEVER to get there. It was a really nice car, and i really think they missed the boat not maintaining that car as an entry-lux.

    Galanjt VR-4: today we have the stupid Ralliart, a GTS with 28 more horsepower, still directed at the wrong wheels. the new altima has what, 270? And it still doesn’t have the torque steer of the Ralliart. But back in the early ninties you could get the VR-4, a midsizer with electronic AWD and a turbo’d 4G63. It wasn’t exciting looking but at least it wasn’t ugly like the current one.

    DSM’s (Eclipse): ran the gamut from slow 8v with good mileage to “pants on fire” 195bhp turbo GS-X model. It was far an away the best in the class. Now look at the eclipse: it’s more a competitor for a Solara than a Mustang. Crap.

    3000GT VR-4: Remember when Mitsu had a badass, class leading pseudo-supercar? Well ok, maybe not class leading but certainly badass and VERY fast. 300bhp, twin turbo, AWD, AWS, as wide as a house… They def. don’t have the balls to make a car like that again, ever.

    now we just have crap. Grrr.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    Other models include a DE (deleted equipment) Sanjeev’s ES (extra stuff) the GTS (grand torque steer) and the ralliart which includes such options as a cargo organiser (which I thought of as some sort of butler) The smokers kit (humidor, anyone?) a ralliart nose mask ( which brings to mind a plastic groucho marx glasses noses & tache’ set although it doesn’t say if thats for the car or the buyer)

    and then of course there are those time tested signs of automotive excellence, a galant brushed keytag and matching plate frame.

    The car includes (I’m quoting from the mitsubishi website) safety features that work; a “sportronic auto that learns”(possibly too late that its in a galant) and…wait for it Geo – mechanical styling… good thing its “safe from the frame up”

    yes this car is truely “refuses to blend in”. I wander if that why mitsi dealer lots are overrun with the dammed things.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    Galant is automotive sweatpants.
    Nice

    The Galant VR-4 was a unique automobile, like it’s bad-ass brother, the 3000GT. Remember the old smokin’ turbo four-banger AWD Eclipses, too? Maybe not the best quality, but fun nonetheless.

    My father’s company is owned by Mitsubishi, and he knows a lot of happy owners from the past. For example, someone had an early 90′s Montero that went 150,000 miles needing only brakes in that time. But no one he works with now wants any Mitsubishi, even though employees and family members can get virtually any model practically at cost. I really hope the rest of the product line gets overhauled the same way the Lancer and Outlander are going.

    I also agree that the new Lancer looks a lot like a continuation of the last generation Galant. I think the Lancer looks better all around, too.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    I’ve got the Ralliart version in two weeks, gee, I can hardly wait to to try out its “extra stuff.”

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    I rented one of these on a longish Florida trip a couple of years ago. It really didn’t stand out as any better or worse than other rental fare, except that it was a bit larger than many I’ve had (a plus). It is perfect for that function and was unobtrusive in its blandness and functionality.

    It has all the attractiveness of a Camry, albeit with a bit less polish. But who cared?

  • avatar
    Jay Shoemaker

    Nicely written piece. Keep this up Sajeev and C&D will be sending me emails to locate you. I heard they needed someone with an interesting enough name to replace Csaba Csere. Would you have any problem changing your nom de plume to Sajeev Sajere?

  • avatar
    MR42HH

    Wow, I absolutely didn’t know that there were still cars (other than Ariel Atoms and radical stuff alike) without ABS. Seems to have to do with the american definition of safety: Putting a lot of airbags in to make it more comfy when you crash. (Instead of putting equipment like ABS, ESP… in to make it less likely to crash at all…)

    Anyway, I remember an older Galant generation (mid-90s) that looked perfectly right. Like a mild evolution of the BMW E34 5-series. So right in fact that if I were in charge at BMW, I would replace Bangle with the guy who was responsible for that styling.
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:Mitsubishi_Galant_GDi_silver_vr.jpg
    It even has a Hofmeister kink…

  • avatar
    amclint

    Anyway, I remember an older Galant generation (mid-90s) that looked perfectly right.

    Yeah, too bad we never got the Japanese engine to go with the looks.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Didn’t they have a Galant that was AWD?

    Oh yeah, the VR-4. IIRC it was a four door AWD Eclipse turbo. Total stealth bomber, could be hopped up to make sick power just like the old Eclipse. Too bad Mitsubishi gave up on hi-po Galants and Eclipses a long time ago.

    Would you have any problem changing your nom de plume to Sajeev Sajere?

    Now that wouldn’t come cheap, my friend. LOL :)

    Anyway, I remember an older Galant generation (mid-90s) that looked perfectly right. Like a mild evolution of the BMW E34 5-series.

    Agreed, that was a beautiful design. The interior wasn’t very nice (mouse fur cloths, tacky center stack) but they nailed the exterior. I’d love a hopped up VR-4 (maybe a mild 12-sec quarter mile killer) version of that bodystyle in my dream garage.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    It’s not *that* bad, is it? I drove a Galant GTS back-to-back with an Accord EX and Camry XLE a couple years back, and was fairly impressed with the thing’s dynamics. The Accord felt a little soft and woefully under-tired afterwards (though I understand that was addressed in ’06).

    I suppose the four-cylinder models could be a great deal worse than the V6s.

    As far as I could tell, though, the only Galant’s only glaring flaws relative to the CamCord were its fixed seatback, its four-speed auto, and Mitsubishi’s piss-poor resale value.

  • avatar
    Glenn A.

    So with Mitsubishi’s already bad resale value, it won’t make a lot of difference if they churn out as many as possible from the Normal, Illinois plant and sell them to Hertavisprise renta-wheels all over the US of A. (Nope, not making up the name of the town where Mitsubishi built a plant, originally as a joint venture with Chrysler).

    I thought I read “somewhere” that the next generation Galant was going to be based upon a stretched Lancer/Evo platform, which shares much with the new Outlook platform?

    Who was it that said “well…. noplace to go but up”?

  • avatar
    carguy

    There are reasons why I read this site and about as reassuring as a stand up comic moonlighting as a bereavement counselor and NICKNICKs automotive sweatpants are two of them!

    Yes, the Galant is a true TWAT contender. I had one as a rental and was so traumatized buy it that I was impressed by the HHR I picked up at Hertz the following day! But I got over that illusion quickly half-way up an I-95 on-ramp.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I swear I nominated this car for TWAT… or did I just say anything made by mitsubishi today?

  • avatar
    confused1096

    The seats in the Gallant are comfortable but don’t have much leg room. A friend had one of these. When the guys went out as a group my Regal (similar sized car) usually got the nod over the Mitsu because no one felt like seeing a doctor about thier knees the next day.

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    Here’s the sweet old Galant VR-4. What happened, Mitsubishi?

    http://www.galantvr4.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Board=UBB12&Number=437856&page=0&fpart=1

  • avatar
    confused1096

    Mitsu seems to have forgotten themselves, even worse than Nissan (Nissan can still point to the Altima) has. The older Galants and Eclipses were sharp, fun cars. The new ones…ehh.

  • avatar

    qfrog:
    I swear I nominated this car for TWAT… or did I just say anything made by mitsubishi today?

    I didn’t track who made the nominations, but the Galant was a nominee for the TWAT. As were the Raider, Lancer, Endeavor and Eclipse.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    FWIW I nominated the Galant for a TWAT on the grounds that I forgot they were still making them until I passed one on the way to work.

    I wasn’t mistaken as if I heard they went out of production and was then proven wrong. Nope, they just plain slipped my mind. *that’s* vanilla

  • avatar
    tms1999

    They definitely took the Galant in the direction of the Camry: more bloated, soft, wobly, icky i4, they made it just as detestable. The previous gen at least looked sharp, I don’t know how it drove.

    They should have taken it to Mazda6 territory, sharp, good handling, tight, enjoyable to drive.

    But what do I know? I like to drive.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    tms1999, I’d argue that they did take it in that direction.

    From ’94 to ’98, the Galant was only available with a Four. The ’99-onward models were better, but even with the V6, they were lucky to do 0-60 in less than nine seconds, and interior quality was marginal.

    The current model–with the V6–is among the faster cars in that class; most tests return 0-60 in the high sixes or low sevens. They beefed up the control efforts quite a bit, too–the ’99-’03′s steering was much too light for my tastes.

    It doesn’t feel agile in the manner of the Mazda6, but it does feel more planted and substantial (my personal preference).

  • avatar
    blautens

    It’s sad to see how far Mitsu has fallen, and even if they do manage to produce a shining star (okay, maybe just a competitive vehicle not styled by Suzuki Aerio devotees) the aformentioned abysmal resale value makes it a horrible purchase for all but the severely credit impaired.

    Rest in peace, Mitsubishi. We’ll remember you fondly.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Sajeev,

    IIRC mitsu made the last gen galant (I spent 5 secconds searching it’s name) in VR4 trim for consumption in places other than North America. I’m pretty sure the Galant VR4 is in Gran Tourismo 3 or 4.

  • avatar
    lenchase

    This is a horrible car, but a great review:

    is about as reassuring as a stand up comic moonlighting as a bereavement counselor.

    Classic.

  • avatar
    airglow

    amclint:
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:21 am
    Ugh, this thing is a nightmare. Small wonder Mitsubishi is losing money like my father in law is losing his hair. I’m excited for the new lancer, but the rest of their lineup had better improve quick if that company is going to be around in the next 5 years. Death watch Mitsubishi and see how far they are from the crypt.

    Mitsubishi Motors has lost money for every single one of their 30 or so years in the American market, and they are still here. Some Japanese companies are persistent, if not very bright. One of the problems with the North American auto market is the money loosing niche players like Mitsubishi, VW, etc. who just won’t stop throwing good money after bad.

  • avatar
    kph

    Michael Karesh:
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Because the Evo interior is top notch?

    Perhaps interiors are consistently poor across the entire lineup (I haven’t been in any recently other than the low-end Lancer). But I’d say Mitsubishi now lacks a distinctive brand identity, which could hurt the company’s ability to survive, especially compared to other brands with low sales volumes.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    When I think of Mitsubishi, I think of how the mighty has fallen. There was a time where every car in their lineup had a turbocharged variant (even the lowly Mirage had a fire-breathing turbo version, and I’m not talking about the Lancer Evolutions), but then they just abruptly stopped making cool cars. The Eclipse lost everything that made it fun, the 3000GT became way too expensive (although I do give them credit for making that car last longer than the Supra, 300ZX, and RX-7 that left the US market much earlier for the same reasons), and the rest of the line just went ho-hum boring. It’s a sad thing to think about especially since I own one of their mighty Galant VR-4′s and to think of the technology that Mitsubishi had in these cars, they were ahead of their time in many respects.

    The 06 Eclipse showed us that they know how to not make an ugly car, but they still have work to do if they want to be recognized as maker of cool cars that make you want to sacrifice your first born over.

  • avatar
    amclint

    The ’06 might not be ugly, but it sure is a portly fellow. That HP level would have been fantastic if the car wasn’t 8-900lbs overweight.

  • avatar
    amclint

    OK, my bad….looks like it’s just 5-600lbs overweight (3500lbs curb weight).

  • avatar
    powerglide

    MrbOOst,

    Odd fact:

    Yours, and I believe most, if not all US-bound Diamantes were made in Australia !

    It’s the Magna there.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    IIRC mitsu made the last gen galant (I spent 5 secconds searching it’s name) in VR4 trim for consumption in places other than North America.

    qfrog: yup, but for some reason Mitsu decided to neuter the Galant/Eclipse for the American market. Combined with the not-impressive interior and resale value, it was a bad move for their NA lineup.

    Yours, and I believe most, if not all US-bound Diamantes were made in Australia !

    powerglide: I think only the wagons were imported from Australia. The Diamonte wagon was another mistake.

  • avatar
    Seth

    sedan diamantes were made in oz as well.

    I rented a previous gen galant once and I was pleased with it.
    1. suspension soaked up all the bumps and you are made aware that it did absorb them
    2. steering was pure springer spaniel. Light, effortless yet stable at highway speeds.
    3. fourbanger was quite rev happy and 90 mph was effortless and entertaining as well.

    Current gen galant I have no clue about… but previous gen was good. However, on previous gen, they screwed up the front end by making it more aerodynamic and it didnt gel well with rear bmw esque styling.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    So what are we saying? That only Toyota and Hyundai can sell marginally acceptable midsized vehicles? I rent Camrys all the time and I gotta say, I’m shocked that anyone would pay their own money to own one. Yet every magazine gushes over how wonderful they are. Actually, about the Camry, magazines are like, “It’s pretty drab, but it probably won’t break down. So we love it.” Yeah, that’s great. A Buick is better looking and the new ones have nicer interiors and they break down even less than a Camry. And still, no one gushes over them. Nor should they.

    The bias of automotive publications…

    So what if the Galant isn’t as great as a 3 Series, or even a Ford Fusion? It’s basic cheap transportation. And face it… not everyone wants a Camry.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Well just so its clear, I don’t gush over the Camry.

    (see the review)

    I feel the Camry is better than the Galant, but the Accord trumps them all. Well, at least in the realm of lightly-optioned family cars with an MSRP in the low 20s.

  • avatar
    Terry

    blue adidas:
    February 2nd, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    “The bias of automotive publications…”

    The bias I can understand. That people live and die by these “evaluations” make me just shake my head and laugh.
    The beleaguered GM cheerleaders on another message board are jumping up and down telling anybody that will listen(same choir they belong to) that the GM_____ just won “Car of the Year”!!!
    While the rest of the world yawns and buys Camrys and Accords.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    “… but the Accord trumps them all”

    Yes the Accord does. by quite a lot. In spite of the way it looks.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    “While the rest of the world yawns and buys Camrys and Accords. ”

    Car and Driver sez…
    The 1985 Camry is good…
    The 1990 Camry is good because C&D said the last one was good…
    The 1994 Camry is good because C&D said the last one was good…
    The 1997 Camry is good because C&D said the last one was good…
    And so on and so on.

    Well, I’m here to say, it’s not good and the boring masses flock to it because they do what they are told, while the rest of us can do better. And the Aura is quite a bit better in the ways that count. Whether it will sell, I haven’t any idea. Can the minds of sheep be changed?

  • avatar

    I worked for 6 months as a salesman at a Mitsubishi only new car dealer back in 95 to 96. I got a ridiculously good deal on a ’96 Galant S ($75 total down, $199.91 a month for 24 months, 15,000 miles a year) on a snowy January day.

    The ridiculously low payment was helped by an amazing rebate combined with an attractive incentive lease rate.

    The rebates weren’t just in place just because these cars weren’t household names, but also because Mitsubishi was getting a lot of bad publicity over some serious sexual harassment allegations from workers at the Normal plant.

    I enjoyed the Galant well enough (it was my first ever new car), but it ate brakes. I needed new pads all around and new front rotors after just under 19,000 miles. While I was selling there I saw countless customers come in with low mileage cars, often as low as 12-15K miles, needing new brakes.

    It wasn’t just on the Galants either, but also on the Monteros. Montero owners would come in after 10-12K miles needing to have their front brake rotors replaced. The brakes worked well enough, but the compounds chosen just didn’t seem compatible with whatever the rotors were made out of. Warping was inevitable, and the pads got chewed up at a prodigious rate.

    __________

    Aside:

    I had a chance to drive a 3000GT VR-4 Spyder (Hard top convertible version), with the top down, for about 20 miles, delivering it for showing at a tent sale. 10 years later that still ranks as one of the great drives of my life.

    Was it overpriced and overweight? Likely.

    Did it have a frail roof mechanism? Certainly.

    Smile inducing? Absolutely

    __________

    Further aside:
    The 95-96 Diamante sedans, for the US market, were made in Japan. The wagons for the US market were made in Australia.

    The last model year of that body style was never made available directly to retail customers. The LS (high trim) model was never brought in, and all the ES’s imported were dumped directly on to the rental car market.

  • avatar
    Infamous Dr. X

    I haven’t tried out this new Galant, and I’ll tell you why.

    I had the unfortunate experience of getting one of these clunkers as a rental about two or three years ago.

    I thought it was pretty good for a fleet buggy. Got me from point a to point b, no real problems. Until I got in a fender bender.

    To make a very long story short, I ended up rear-ending a young lady who’d stopped short in a work zone. (heh. rear-ending young ladies. sweet). I was doing more than 5 miles an hour but certainly not more than 15 mph when we collided – we were part of a slow-moving caravan of cars going uphill on a single lane road at just over idle speeds.

    Her car, a newish Mazda Protege 5, ended up having a seriously scuffed-up bumper and a broken taillight. What happened to the Galant?

    Windshield shatters. Airbag deploys. Hood crumples. Engine drops. Bumper disintegrates. Headlight & turn indicator shards scattered in a semicircle around the smoking remains of the front end. Puddles of antifreeze and other liquids forming by the tires. I literally fall out of passenger seat, choking on airbag dust.

    Because this is the midwest, *everyone* within 500 feet runs to my assistance – detail cop, flag people, construction workers, other drivers. They take one look at my car, one look at her car, and say “how the hell fast could you possibly be going to cause that much damage to your car? And did you hit something *besides* her car?”

    Est 10 mph fender bender = $5200 worth of damage to Mitsu Galant (‘cuz they tried to get me to pay it instead of calling my insurance company…jerks).

    Will. Never. Drive. One. Again. Total POS car.

    /just my 2¢.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    speaking of the devils at C&D, in the last 4 banger auto test, I vaguely remember the Camry beating the Sebring because it was so godamned boring that nobody could remember anything about it and with everybody loathing the Sebring….

    In what shouldn’t be a surprise, the Aura was beaten by the Optima, Altima & the Accord, largely because GMs Cheap n Nasty money sponge dept got at it. Again the Accord wins by the dumb lion joke.

  • avatar
    nino

    Of course, I was a big Starion fan.

    The ’06 Eclipse could’ve been a star, but the thing weighs almost 2 TONS!

  • avatar
    nino

    speaking of the devils at C&D, in the last 4 banger auto test, I vaguely remember the Camry only beating the Sebring and the Aura being beaten by the Kia Optima Altima & Accord, largely because GMs Cheap n Nasty money sponge dept got at it.

    The Aura in that test was the base level trim V6/4speed auto combo, much like your regular Pontiac G6.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    They were all very budget. maybe the Galant fits between the rotten Sebring (why they just didn’t call it a Dynasty) and the Camry.

  • avatar
    Seth

    blue addidas wrote
    I rent Camrys all the time and I gotta say, I’m shocked that anyone would pay their own money to own one. Yet every magazine gushes over how wonderful they are. Actually, about the Camry, magazines are like, “It’s pretty drab, but it probably won’t break down. So we love it.” Yeah, that’s great. A Buick is better looking and the new ones have nicer interiors and they break down even less than a Camry

    Ok you lost me at buicks and nicer interiors. Dash on LaCrosse/Allure is not nice IMHO.

    Last year approx 450k camries were sold of which 40k went to fleet while 390k accords moved with about 5k going to fleet sales. I believe that an average camcord buyer is different. They do not cross-shop with other brands. Atleast most of them. Its always “Should I buy an accord or camry”? but they already know which way to go. Head just needs to lawyer for the heart. Stubborn heart already made its mind. Anyways, I digress..

    Bottomline, mitsu galant is not in the mix of Camcord shoppers list. Neither is fusion/g6/malibu/impala/lacrosse/sebring/altima/

    pity ’cause mitsu had the right formula once upon a time. Instead of building on it, they lost it.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Windshield shatters. Airbag deploys. Hood crumples. Engine drops. Bumper disintegrates.

    Dr. X: granted that’s pretty extreme, but the person who jams on the brakes to avoid hitting a car that is either stopping (with nose dive) or parked (normal ride height) is gonna sustain more damage. The rear-ender has more parts to come in contact with that other person’s bumper.

    speaking of the devils at C&D, in the last 4 banger auto test, I vaguely remember the Camry beating the Sebring because it was so godamned boring that nobody could remember anything about it and with everybody loathing the Sebring

    HEATHROI: Yeah, but the Camry was still second to last. I’m sure the driving dynamics are similar, but the Camry is a MUCH nicer place to visit. It deserved its ranking in that test.

  • avatar
    Bob Estes

    blue adidas: “And the Aura is quite a bit better in the ways that count”

    But what “counts” differs from person to person. I am in the market to replace my 2002 Camry. The Gallant is definitely not on the list, but the Aura caught my eye – nice exterior, modern multi-valve V-6 in the XR. Then I sat in one – looked right: no above-door grab-handle (which my wife frequently uses when I take turns a bit briskly). Rested elbows – hard plastic on the door panel armrest, hard plastic on the console cover. Little things do count – there is no way I am going to tolerate comfort-challenged interior design like this for the next 5-6 years; but some people may enjoy the feel of hard plastic against their upper appendages…

  • avatar
    hondaboy55

    I think Seth is right when he said Camry Accord buyers already know what they are looking for, and often go back to what has served them well in the past. And that some cars will not enter into their short list of possibilities. While I think the fusion is nice looking, and I found the 500 comfortable and much nicer fit and finish than the previous generation of ford sedan. I like the honda layout, the fact that the model is well defined, and an owner quickly finds fimiliar comfort behind the wheel of a newer model. When I consider myself as a shopper of cars (something I don't do very often) I can think back to a few of the cars my parents owned. My dad's 85 T-bird was pretty awkward to get use to, the first of the cars owned when gadget knobs were moved off knee level dash area to the steering column. Our 79 Murcury LTD had its horn as a strange push in on the end of the blinker thing. After a while I got use to it, and missed it when we got a 87 LTD. My 89 Accord which I am very comfortable with, I am looking forward to having the same "fit" when I get a new one, relaxed in knowing the blinker stalk will have the same functions on it, and the intermitant wipers will work exactly like they do in my present car. On the occasion when I have to drive my dads '00 Accord I know I can find and operate the wipers, speed control, windows, etc. with the cabin light off if I happen to come upon the task at night. Same goes for finding comfort behind the wheel. I was never comfortable in the brick my dad owned in 79 (Murcury Granada), both it and his 85 Monte Carlo seemed to have the seat indent on one side of the steering wheel, and the other car had it on the other. Both I found to be very uncomfortable. I guess in my next newer car I will enjoy the fact that my newer accord will basically feel and be the same, except for a slight hint of left over new car smell.

  • avatar
    hondaboy55

    My first two cars were pretty shot before they had 100,000 miles on them, and I had to put almost every weekend into fixing them, and tons of my money. My third and first almost new car I still have, and drive proudly. The one prime driving decision in deciding on that car was the desire to NOT make fixing it my hobbie. I’m sure lots of people would agree dependibility is nice, but to have a car go more than 3 times the service life of my previous cars. And in which I can count each repair that cost more than $300. on less than half the fingers of one hand, that car company, and the simple act of dependibility deserve respect in my book.
    And has more than earned my repeat business. As a matter of fact, my 89 prelude won over 2 ford owners, 3 if you count me, one ( 2 chevy driver person ( one was in the shop while the other preformed automotive duties)) A pontiac person, and our kid who does not drive yet, but wants a civic. She watches me work on my 88 Dakota. A very respectible truck. One of only one I have seen with HD spring set and 15 inch truck rims.

  • avatar
    Terry

    blue adidas:

    “Well, I’m here to say, it’s not good and the boring masses flock to it because they do what they are told, while the rest of us can do better. And the Aura is quite a bit better in the ways that count. Whether it will sell, I haven’t any idea. Can the minds of sheep be changed?”

    Sure they can, it’s been proven! Remember when people mindlessly and dutifully reported to the Big 3 domestic carmakers? Were they not sheep then?
    The Aura may be an outstanding car. But many no longer wanna bet on a “maybe”. Rightly or wrongly they think a Toyota(for example) is a sure thing. Kinda how US cars USED to be viewed…

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Poor Mitsubishi.They are the victim of their own mistakes.(do I have to list them?)Not unlike Ford,GM, and Chrysler,but Mitsu’s mistakes are different,often even dumber than your big 2.5
    Mitsubishi probably shouldn’t be in the US market , but then the same could have been said of Audi and Nissan not that long ago.We still have too many vehicles chasing too few buyers. I’m not sure the products are all that bad, even when compared to Honda/Toyota, but Mitsu’s current reputation causes many to not consider it.As for styling, yep , they need work , but so does Subaru and 90% of the “new” GM product,along with half of the Ford and Chrysler line up. Styling’s a good point, and important point,but is anybody Buying a Camry/Accord for its looks?
    One last thing…My 04 Endeavor has been trouble free,how Many M-Class Mercedes owners can say that?
    Bill C.

  • avatar
    Roger Hislop

    No one’s mentioned the Mitsu Pajero (Shogun in UK, Montero in US, apparently because “pajero” in spanish means “wanker”).

    I had a second generation one for five blissfull years – the 3L SWB V6. The 2.4l inline petrol was a grossly underpowered POS, but the V6 rocked.

    The Paj was comfortable and easy to drive onroad, light clutch and steering, easy to park in shopping malls, and you could rally it around like an idiot on dry tar (but give it welly on a corner on wet tar and it would swap ends faster than drug mule turning state’s witness).

    Offroad it was phenomenal – which is why probably half of offroad rally cars (as in Paris Dakar, not WRC) are second gen Pajeros. You could almost take the 3.5L stocker, gut-and-rollcage it, put in fire protection be ready to race.

    The Super Select 4WD was brilliant – go from 2wd to 4wd at up to 60mp , with low range and electronically lockable rear diff. And the front seats had independant suspension. Eat that, you sad Landy luddites.

    It was stunningly reliable, and not too heavy on gas. Admittedly after ten years mine was drinking oil (common prob…not dripping, not smoking, just steadily sipping), and a top-end rebuild would have cost the earth (24 valves…). And the SWB had piss-all luggage space behind the back seats…

    The Pajero Evolution is a monster — the Dakar weapon that’s triumphed for well over decade. MPR 12 is 4L, six-speed sequential box, “only” 270hp and 412Nm. I was passed by Peterhansel in one. I was flat out on my bike on soft, rutted sand trails in dunes at about 160kph, he went past like I was standing sill.

    The third gen saw the start of the rot. They went from ladder frame to unibody, stuck in lots of folderols and build quality plummeted. Problems like exhaust baffles coming loose and rattling around, plastic fairings on the edges ripping off on steep approaches or departures offroad. And the bulges on the wheel arches gave it the profile of a bloated wrench.

    Now there’s the fourth gen launched in Paris, and it’s gone all first gen retro. It looks like the Hyundai Galloper (a 1st gen knockoff built under licence).

  • avatar
    Glenn A.

    Mitsubishi just said they’ve turned a profit, looks like they’ve turned the corner.

    The new Evo and Lancer look really good. The diminutive i car is neat, and I think they’d be crazy NOT to bring them to the states, if only as a ‘statement’ to say ‘huh, you want to really be ‘SMART’? Get a small car with FOUR seats!’

    A whole lot more practical than the SMART cars are going to be. (Plus the new SMART car uses guess what ? The Mitsubishi i drivetrain!)

    What I REALLY want to see is Mitsubishi’s upcoming electric car, IF it will work in northern climates. No more gas stations… ah, I can dream, can’t I? (95% of my driving is back & forth to work/ errands – for the rest, I’d keep my Prius).


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