Vehicle Overview
Exterior and interior revisions for the 2002 model year gave Mitsubishi’s high-volume sedan a fresh appearance. One of those features was a new grille. The Galant comes in a variety of trim levels: DE, ES, ES V6, LS, LS V6 and GTZ. A 2.4 liter inline-four-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter V-6 powers these models. All Galants are equipped with a four-speed-automatic transmission.

For 2003, a Sun and Sound Package has been added to the base ES V6 in order to compete more effectively against the all-new Honda Accord. The option group includes a seven-speaker Infinity audio system, 16-inch alloy wheels and a power sunroof.

An ashtray and lighter are no longer standard but can be installed by the dealer. A new lower bezel trim design has been developed with an additional accessory power outlet. Antilock brakes are no longer standard on the ES V6, but they are available in an all-weather option package. Heated mirrors and traction control are now standard on the LS V6, and a rear spoiler returns to GTZ sedans. The glove box is no longer lockable.

First seen in its present form at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2001, the Galant is Mitsubishi’s top-selling model. It is built at the same plant as the company’s Eclipse coupe and Eclipse Spyder convertible and the Chrysler Sebring coupe and Dodge Stratus coupe. Mitsubishi and Chrysler have a 30-year history of sharing vehicles and components, and DaimlerChrysler holds a controlling interest in Mitsubishi.

The Galant may be considered either a long compact or a short midsize sedan. Based on its passenger volume of 97.6 cubic feet, the Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as a midsize car. The Galant measures 187.8 inches long overall and stands approximately 55.7 inches tall.

Contemporary styling is marked by chiseled fenders and sweeping rear roof pillars, which help give the Galant the appearance of a larger automobile. Intakes in the lower bumper wrap around the bodysides, and openings house projector-beam fog lamps. Like all Mitsubishi vehicles, the Galant displays a triple-diamond chrome badge. The tires measure 15 inches in diameter on four-cylinder models and 16 inches in diameter on V-6-equipped Galants.

Five occupants fit inside the Galant with some degree of comfort, but the rear seat gets crowded when three people try to squeeze in. The trunk has 14.6 cubic feet of cargo volume, and the split rear seatback folds for extra space on all models except the base DE sedan. A CD player is standard in all models. The LS, LS V6 and GTZ trims have a premium Infinity audio system, and new carbon fiber-look interior panels decorated the GTZ edition for 2002.

Under the Hood
The DE, ES and LS sedans are equipped with a 140-horsepower, 2.4-liter inline-four-cylinder engine. A 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 195 hp is standard in the LS and GTZ and optional in the ES V6. Both engines team with a four-speed-automatic transmission that incorporates adaptive shift control. The V-6 engine requires premium fuel.

Antilock brakes are part of an all-weather option package for the ES V6 sedan. Side-impact airbags are not available.

Driving Impressions
Mitsubishi’s midlevel sedan is surprisingly pleasant and capable. Promising excellent visibility all around, this four-door is particularly easy to drive. The Galant has been a very good car in the past, and its current form moves the sedan up to excellent.

A smooth ride is a big part of its appeal. It’s not completely gentle but is impressively close, and it doesn’t impair handling to any noticeable degree. The sedan reacts to the bulk of bumps but not enough to disrupt passengers. It steers with a light touch and suffers no shortage of control.

Equally enticing are the energetic V-6 engine and easy-shifting automatic transmission. Engine sounds are barely discernible, even during acceleration. The V-6 engine requires premium fuel, but the inline-four gets by on regular gasoline.

The backseat is spacious and comfortable for three passengers. All seats are amply cushioned with excellent thigh support, but back support could be better. Storage space includes an immense glove box and an ample, easy-to-load trunk. The controls and conveniences are well organized with simple, legible gauges.

Reported by Jim Flammang  for
From the 2003 Buying Guide
Posted on 2/19/03