New for 2004, the Galant is available in six different models, the Galant DE, Galant ES, Mitsubishi Galant LS, 2004 Galant ES V-6, Galant LS V-6, and 2004 Mitsubishi Galant GTS. The new Galant is a bigger car than its predecessor, longer, wider and a smidge taller, with a longer wheelbase. Mitsubishi makes good use of the larger external dimensions with a larger interior. The 2004 Galant is expected to be among the roomiest of the mid-size sedans.
The front-wheel drive 2004 Mitsubishi Galant offers a multitude of features. Exterior features include: auto-off headlights, integrated fog lights, electric rear window defrosters, tinted solar control glass, two-speed variable intermittent windshield wipers, and color-keyed bumpers. Interior 2004 Mitsubishi Galant amenities include: air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, height-adjustable steering column, cup holders, floor mats, and two 12-volt accessory outlets. What's more, for a little extra money, you can purchase a 2004 Mitsubishi Galant body kit that includes a tricked-out front bumper, snazzy rear-bumper and stylish side skirts, too.
Mitsubishi hasn't gone as far as Scion in allowing you to pick all the options to make over 10,000 unique styles, but they're multi-faceted in their options.
The 2004 Mitsubishi Galant isn't all about style; it's about substance, too. With this in mind, Mitsubishi engineering built the car around one of the most powerful engines on the road in its class. The base engine, offered in the price-leading DE and the popular ES, gets a power boost this year thanks to variable-valve timing that Mitsubishi calls MIVEC, for Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control. By having two different camshaft profiles to use below and above 3500 rpm respectively, the engine makes more horsepower and fatter low-end torque. Standard on the Mitsubishi Galant DE, ES, and Galant LS models you'll find a cast-iron, 2.4-liter, SOHC 16-valve, Inline-4 engine that delivers 140 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 155 lbs/ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. For even more uumph, the ES V-6, LS V-6, and the practically loaded GTS come standard with a cast-iron, 3.0-liter, SOHC 24-valve V-6 engine that delivers 195 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 205 lbs/ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. Every 2004 Mitsubishi Galant comes standard with a four-speed automatic transmission (the competitors have 5-speed) and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) on the V-6 cars. If you are looking for the car with the most MPG this car may not be for you. Part of the reason the competitors went with 5-speed automatic is you get better gas mileage. Galant models also include front independent suspension with MacPherson struts, and rear multi-link suspension with coil springs. All 2004 Galants have four-disc brakes. Anti-lock brakes are optional.
Why then, with such a powerful engine and so many options does the Galant get looked over? There are too many choices in one segment, too much marketing by Mitsubishi on price and low resale value. Instead of looking at the options, people are looking at the cars on the road. For example, in 2002 Mitsubishi Galant sales totaled 97,343, compared to Camry's 434,145, Accord's 398,980, Taurus's 332,690 and Altima's 201,822. The last year has not been the best for Mitsuhishis' target audience. The younger group buys the Mitusbishi, and they have been the last hired and the first hired. Mitsubishi is optimistically cautious in their figures. In 2002 they sold over 97,000. They are predicting 100,000 sales in 2004. Why? More competitors.
Mitsubishi believes their re-designed 2004 Galant, which is bigger, more powerful and stiffer than its predecessor can help them increase their market share in the commuter segment of the market.
The basic Galant has the same design cues as a basic Camry or Accord and like its competitors the top of the line Galant is more luxurious with woodgrain trim, leather on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, a premium stereo system with a CD player, side air bags, antilock brakes and traction control, remote locking with a security system, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and projector headlights.
The front bucket seats are nicely shaped for support and comfort, and the controls and instruments are easy to find, use and see. The center control panel for climate and stereo adjustments was designed to resemble a high-tech home audio system, with large knobs and displays. At the top of the panel is a color liquid crystal display (LCD) that provides ambient temperature and other information.
The new Galant has been stretched to accommodate five American-fed people, but probably is better suited for four. The back seat is spacious for two to relax on long drives. The center position, as on most cars in this class, is less than desirable. There's a nicely upholstered trunk that, at 13 cubic feet, is smaller than the trunks on some competitors' cars. The rear seat does not fold down for extra cargo or long items such as skis.
The feel of the Galant is solid in the seat and on the road. We tested the Galant GTS and it proved to be a capable performer with rapid acceleration and effortless cruising. 0-60 mph acceleration is in the seven-second range. It fits right in with the expectations of this class of car for competency, performance and comfort. The Galant sticks out a bit more than its competitors for its sports car look, starting at the split grille continuing with an arching roofline, ending with large taillights molded into the rear end. The front legroom (42 inches) is class-competitive while the back seat has generous legroom (37.0 inches), equal to the Toyota Camry (37.8 inches) and significantly more than the Honda Accord (31.9 inches). Mitsubishi promised us they would look at the wind noise on around the outside mirrors. My partner and I agreed that we probably noticed it more just because everything else worked so well.
In the past, the Galant has lacked the differentiating qualities to make it stand out in the crowded midsize field. The largess of the 2004, coupled with the competitive price, outstanding performance and realigned marketing should give Mitsubishi the ability to distance itself from the crowded midsize segment. If you're not as concerned with resale value (Accord and Camry win in that category) and want to drive something a little more interesting take a look at the Galant.
Audi, Ford Taurus, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat.