Full 2011 Mitsubishi Galant Review
What's New for 2011
For 2011, the Mitsubishi Galant sees additional standard features for the premium SE trim, including a power sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, illuminated vanity mirrors and a programmable garage door opener. Leather upholstery is a new option for the SE, and every Galant gets a chrome beltline accent as well as a half-inch reduction in ride height.
There was a time when the Galant aspired to be a European-style sedan, but now time has passed by this model and the 2011 Mitsubishi Galant can't match its competition from Japan. After being redesigned seven years ago, the Galant has slowly devolved into a choice best left to car rental agencies (and ones that aren't terribly picky at that). There's little going on to recommend it, and a whole heap of drawbacks.
Given that most cars in this segment are sold with four-cylinder engines (even when a V6 is available), we can forgive Mitsubishi for declining to offer an optional V6 engine for this car any longer. Unfortunately this 2.4-liter inline-4 offers just 160 horsepower, some 15-40 hp less than the four-cylinder engines of its rivals. Making matters worse, the Galant must make do with a four-speed automatic while the competition offers five- and six-speed units that better optimize performance and fuel efficiency.
This year Mitsubishi tries to entice consumers with a bigger value proposition for the Galant by adding a few more features to the SE trim (including a sunroof and auto-dimming rearview mirror). Furthermore, the SE's generous roster of standard features also includes a navigation system, a back-up camera and an upgraded stereo with satellite radio. But there's no getting around the fact that these features reside in a dated cabin constructed with some materials that don't measure up to the competition.
As an automobile, the 2011 Mitsubishi Galant is a proven package. And in content-rich SE trim, it might even seem like a bit of a bargain. But there are just so many better picks that the Galant ends up at or near the back of the pack. Other models like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Suzuki Kizashi are all substantially better choices for a family sedan.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 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, a 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 a power sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a back-up camera, heated mirrors, a rear spoiler, automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with audio controls), an 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.
Apart from a Leather package for the SE (which includes leather upholstery and a rear spoiler), there are no factory-installed options for the Galant. However, there are a number of worthwhile dealer-installed accessories including an iPod interface, a back-up camera (ES) and remote engine start.
Powertrains and Performance
Every Mitsubishi Galant is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine attached to a four-speed automatic. Output is 160 hp and 157 pound-feet of torque, totals that trail those from almost all of the Galant's competition. Fuel economy is an estimated 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
The 2011 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 passed, and now the Galant's stereo and climate controls look as if they came from an old boombox and can be difficult to read at a glance besides. Furthermore, the quality of the materials has become 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, the passenger package is relatively roomy considering the Galant's size, and the seats prove to be softly cushioned. The trunk offers 13.3 cubic feet of capacity, just a foot or two less than the competition although the opening is usefully wide. The rear seat does not fold down to permit cargo volume to be enlarged, and although there's a ski pass-through, the rear seats do not fold down.
With only 160 hp charged with moving 3,400 pounds of Galant, there's not much in the way of straight-line thrust. Nevertheless, once underway the 2011 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.