Used 1997 Mitsubishi Galant Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1997

Mitsubishi shuffles the Galant lineup, replacing the S sedan with a base model called the DE. Front and rear fascias have been redesigned, and the interiors of all models have been upgraded by the addition of more ergonomically correct center armrests, upgraded upholstery, additional sound deadening material and a new steering wheel.

Vehicle overview

Mitsubishi has seen the writing on the wall. With ever-improving designs from both foreign and domestic manufacturers, the designers at the three-diamond studios have had to get busy improving their bread-and-butter car.

Built to compete with the likes of the Honda Accord, Ford Contour, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima, last year's Galant fell short of most of the competition. Not as durable as the Honda, fun-to-drive as the Contour, prestigious as the Camry, nor polished as the Altima, the Galant seemed to be having an identity crisis. Looking at the sales numbers, it appears that Mitsubishi was failing to attract the customers that the other compact car makers were bringing into the fold.

This year, however, things are different. Mitsubishi has addressed most of our main gripes about the interior of the car. The cheap and flimsy center console has been replaced by a redesigned unit that is the proper height for resting one's arm upon. The chintzy dashboard plastic has been upgraded, and additional sound deadening material has been installed to quiet the buzz from the engine compartment.

We're still waiting to see a V6 engine offered in the Galant. At this point, the Nissan Altima is the Galant's only competition that makes do with just a four-cylinder powerplant. And unlike the Nissan, which cranks out 154-horsepower, the 2.4-liter Mitsu powerplant feels overtaxed when combined with an automatic transmission. There are rumors that a V6 will be introduced within the next few years; we hope that they aren't just rumors.

If you are in the market for an around-town car that doesn't look like everything else on the road, the Mitsubishi Galant should make a satisfying choice.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.