2009 Mitsubishi Galant

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$21,249

starting MSRP

2009 Mitsubishi Galant

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Handling
  • Performance of Ralliart's V-6
  • Comfortable leather seats

The bad:

  • Harsh ride quality (Ralliart)
  • V-6 gas mileage
  • Interior quality trails competitors
  • No folding backseat
  • No stability system

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2009 Mitsubishi Galant trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Mild restyling for 2009
  • Standard automatic transmission
  • Standard side curtain airbags

2009 Mitsubishi Galant review: Our expert's take

By Mike Hanley

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Unlike if someone asked you your opinion about this year’s presidential candidates, no one would blame you if you didn’t know much about Mitsubishi’s midsize sedan, the Galant. Its relatively low annual sales pale in comparison to the numbers put up by competitors like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but if you don’t want to drive what everyone else in the neighborhood does, the Galant delivers surprisingly capable handling and strong performance from the optional V-6.

There are tradeoffs when you choose to be different, though, and with the Galant those come in the form of an uncompetitive starting price and a lower-quality interior than you’ll find in much of its competition.

Clean, Forgettable Styling
For 2009, the Galant receives some mild exterior styling tweaks, including a new grille, hood and taillights. The changes are subtle enough that someone unfamiliar with the Galant probably wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from a 2008 model, but they do give the car a more cohesive look than it had before (see a side-by-side comparison with the 2008 model).

Hampering the Galant’s attempt to attract buyers is its relatively forgettable looks; the front end is bland and could be at home on any number of sedans. That’s not a knock on just the Galant; many models in this class don’t have particularly distinctive styling. That also means, though, that an intriguing design would be a good way to generate buyer interest in a segment where other models — the Accord and Camry — typically dominate the conversation. Chrysler benefitted from this approach with its 300 sedan a few years ago, and Mitsubishi has the makings of a unique corporate look with the strong design theme on its small Lancer sedan. Sadly, that look hasn’t migrated to the Galant.

Sporty Handling, Robust V-6
I wasn’t expecting to like the Galant’s ride and handling qualities and engine performance as much as I did, but the car offers quite a bit of sportiness in a four-door package. Granted, my test vehicle was the top-of-the-line Ralliart version, which gets a sport suspension and the most potent engine offered. Impressions apply to this model.

The Ralliart has firmer springs and shocks, and it confidently carves through turns. The driver is rewarded with weighty steering feel that’s appropriate for a sport-oriented midsize sedan.

The downside of the Galant’s taut suspension tuning is that the ride can be harsh on pavement that’s not perfectly smooth. Likely contributing to this experience is the Ralliart’s standard 18-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped with P235/45R18 low-profile tires.

Ralliart models are powered by a 3.8-liter V-6 that makes 258 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque and drives the front wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission (Mitsubishi also uses a 230-hp version of this V-6 in the Sport V6 Galant).

The Ralliart feels as strong on the road as its engine specs suggest, which isn’t always the case in other cars. Look no further than the V-6 Accord sedan, which features a 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 that doesn’t feel like it’s making that much power. Whether you’re driving in the city or on the highway, the Galant’s V-6 feels strong and not taxed in any way by the car’s 3,726-pound curb weight. The automatic transmission is a faithful servant that makes smooth shifts and kicks down quickly when more power is needed.

Where the Galant’s V-6 powertrain suffers is fuel economy, as those numbers are at the bottom of this class.

Gas Mileage Compared
  MPG, City/Highway*
2008 Honda Accord w/3.5-liter V-6 19/29
2009 Hyundai Sonata w/3.3-liter V-6 19/29
2008 Toyota Camry w/3.5-liter V-6 19/28
2008 Nissan Altima w/3.5-liter V-6 19/26
2008 Ford Fusion w/3.0-liter V-6 18/26
2008 Chevrolet Malibu w/3.6-liter V-6 17/26
2009 Mitsubishi Galant w/3.8-liter V-6 16/25
*All figures shown are for automatic-transmission-equipped models.

A Cabin That’s Behind the Times
The Galant’s cabin didn’t change significantly for 2009, and it’s starting to show its age both in terms of material quality and design aesthetics. The biggest shortcomings are noticeable gaps between trim panels and inconsistent plastic graining. These things weren’t as big an issue a few years ago, but with competitors making interior quality improvements these shortcomings are magnified.

On the plus side, the Ralliart’s leather-covered front bucket seats are quite comfortable and include seat heaters and driver-side power adjustments. There’s room for three people in back, and while the bench seat offers good comfort for adults, the space feels smaller than the backseat of an Accord or Camry.

Unlike many of its competitors, the Galant doesn’t offer a folding backseat, though it does include a pass-thru to the 13.3-cubic-foot trunk.

Safety
Standard safety features include antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags. An electronic stability system is not offered. The Accord and Hyundai Sonata include this important safety feature as standard equipment, and a number of other competitors have it as an option.

Galant in the Market
What might hurt the Galant more than anything else is Mitsubishi’s pricing strategy for it. With a starting price of $21,099, it costs more than a number of its prime competitors with similar equipment, including the Camry, Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion. It’s not a matter of a hundred bucks, either — it’s about $2,000 more than a Fusion. That’s a lot of money for a family looking for a new car.

In the midsize sedan segment, brand reputation and price have powerful sway. Mitsubishi doesn’t have the reputation of, say, Honda or Toyota, and it doesn’t offer any price advantage to make up for that. That’s a losing combination.

Send Mike an email  

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.2
  • Interior design 4.2
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 4.4
  • Exterior styling 4.2
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

DEPENDABLE COMFORTABLE

Car has been the perfect car for doing everything I don't need my pickup truck for. Everything works perfectly. Great gas mileage. cd player and radio has great sound.

3.0

Reliable yet average overall.

Comfort,roomy,mid front console could be more accommodating.Take off is pretty slow and the ride is not too smooth. Ordinary and average but has been reliable.

4.5

New brand experience

I am pleased with my selection. I waamt going to consider a new car but after test driving it i felt more connected to it.

See all 21 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Mitsubishi
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
60 months/60,000 miles
Corrosion
84 months/100,000 miles
Powertrain
120 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Remainder of original 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain
Remainder of original 10-year/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
123-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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