What's New for 2012
For 2012, the Mitsubishi Galant sees no changes, as this will be its last year of production.
About a dozen years ago, Mitsubishi's midsize sedan offered a bit more pizzazz than most cars in this popular segment. With its European-inspired styling, agile handling, solid powertrains and lower pricing, the Galant had more than a few things going for it. But the same can't be said of the 2012 Mitsubishi Galant, which is simply outdated and outclassed by newer, more competent rivals.
Last redesigned eight years ago, the Galant has slowly devolved into a choice popular only among car rental agencies. Although most of the Galant's competitors offer available V6 power, the Galant no longer does. That's not a deal-breaker on its own, as the reality is that most cars in this segment are sold with four-cylinder engines. What hurts the Galant here is that its competitors' four-cylinders offer considerably more power, with outputs ranging anywhere from 15-40 more horsepower. Similarly, the Galant soldiers on with a four-speed automatic, while most rivals provide six-speed units that further optimize performance and fuel efficiency.
On the upside, the Galant offers a generous list of upscale features at an attractive price in its SE trim where a sunroof, a navigation system, a back-up camera and an upgraded stereo with satellite radio are all included. Still, that can't hide the fact that they're in a cabin that lags behind the competition in terms of materials quality.
Considered on its own, the 2012 Mitsubishi Galant isn't necessarily a bad car, as consumer reviews tout its reliability, pleasant handling and smooth, quiet ride. But this isn't 2000, and as such shoppers should be aware of the wealth of notably better choices that include the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 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 sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a back-up camera, heated mirrors, a rear spoiler, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat (includes lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, Bluetooth, a navigation system 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 paired with a four-speed automatic. Output is 160 horsepower and 157 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is an estimated 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
The 2012 Mitsubishi Galant comes standard with stability control, antilock brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Galant its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side-impact tests and a second-best "Acceptable" in the roof-strength test.
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 era 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 cabin is relatively roomy considering the Galant's size, and the seats are 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. And although there's a ski pass-through, the rear seats do not fold down to expand cargo capacity.
With only 160 hp and a four-speed automatic, there's not much in the way of straight-line thrust. Nevertheless, once underway the 2012 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. None of this driving enjoyment comes at the expense of ride quality, which is smooth, forgiving and ideal for weekday commutes.