What's New for 2010
The Mitsubishi Galant is now only available with a four-cylinder engine, which nevertheless boasts improved fuel economy for 2010. Its reduced number of trim levels (ES and SE) now gets standard stability control, improved sound insulation and an auxiliary audio jack. The SE trim level gets a standard navigation system, back-up camera, satellite radio and a premium stereo.
There are a lot of midsize family sedans out there. If we were to count them using our fingers and toes, it wouldn't be until the pinkie on our left foot that we finally came to the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant. Forgotten since almost the moment it was redesigned six years ago, this sedan isn't a diamond in the rough that's fallen victim to a poor marketing campaign or a lack of name recognition. With uninspired styling, subpar cabin construction, a lack of certain features and now only a single (underpowered) engine choice, the Galant has been and remains a choice best left to a rental lot.
For 2010, the Galant lineup has been pared to a pair of trim levels and a four-cylinder engine. Gone are the two V6 engine choices, as well as the sporty Ralliart trim. This makes sense given the fact that four-cylinder models are always the volume sellers, but with only 160 horsepower and a four-speed automatic, the remaining powertrain isn't exactly a strong remaining leg to stand on. Most competitors now produce 175 hp or more and feature five- or six-speed automatics. They also return the same or better fuel economy -- and that's with the Galant's improved EPA mileage estimates for 2010.
The Galant has been pinged in the past for a lack of features commonly found on competitors, but this has been mostly corrected for 2010. Newly added items like standard stability control and an auxiliary audio jack are welcome, while the reasonably priced SE trim now includes such items as a navigation system, back-up camera, satellite radio and upgraded stereo. Sadly, a telescoping steering column still eludes the Galant and every Mitsubishi. Also, the interior most of those features inhabit is a display of disappointing materials and a relic of dated design.
While the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is certainly a bargain in SE trim, any number of four-cylinder-powered midsize competitors would ultimately be a better, more rewarding choice. The first five we'll count up on our right hand would be the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6 and Suzuki Kizashi. Mitsubishi makes some interesting cars; this forgotten sedan isn't one of them.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is a midsize sedan available in ES and SE trim levels. Standard features on the ES include 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, tilt-only steering wheel, cruise control, driver-seat height adjustment and a six-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The SE adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a back-up camera, heated mirrors, rear spoiler, automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel (includes audio controls), eight-way power driver seat (includes lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, Bluetooth, navigation system, color LCD screen and an eight-speaker Rockford Acoustic Design audio system with six-CD changer and satellite radio.
There are no factory-installed options for the Galant, but there are a number of worthwhile port-installed accessories including leather upholstery, an iPod interface, a back-up camera (ES) and remote ignition.
Powertrains and Performance
Every Mitsubishi Galant is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine attached to a four-speed automatic. Output is a meager 160 hp and 157 pound-feet of torque, which trails almost all competitor models. Fuel economy is an estimated 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant comes standard with stability control, antilock brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In government crash testing, the Galant achieved four out of five stars for driver protection in a frontal crash and five stars in all other front and side crash categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Galant its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Mitsubishi Galant's cabin hails from a brief period of time when silver-painted control stacks were the hip thing. That day has past. The Galant's stereo and climate controls look removed from an old boombox and can be difficult to identify at a glance. Furthermore, materials quality is rather subpar. Most plastics and other surfaces just don't match the refined look and feel of the Galant's many more desirable competitors. There's also no telescoping steering wheel, a glaring omission in this class.
On the upside, seating front and rear is roomy and softly cushioned. Trunk capacity, at 13.3 cubic feet, is about 1 or 2 cubes less than the competition, but the opening is wide. And although there is a ski pass-through, the rear seats do not fold down.
The V6 engines are gone and in their wake only the weak four-cylinder engine remains. Therefore, don't expect much straight-line thrust. Nevertheless, the 2010 Mitsubishi Galant maintains a flat, predictable stance and feels smaller than it is. A surprising amount of road feel is communicated through the driver seat and the steering. Although the steering is a little vague on-center, it is quick and responsive. None of this entertainment comes at the expense of ride quality, which is smooth, forgiving and ideal for weekday commutes.