After having my 2000 Mitsubishi Galant ES
almost 7 years I must say that the experience in general was positive. But I have to downgrade it to 4 stars from 5 based on the recent events. Reliability
One of the things I considered when buying a car was reliability. Although I have not expected my Galant to be as reliable as Accord or Camry, it stands the test of time relatively well so far. By the way, the warranty is 36 months or 36,000 miles for the car and 60 months or 60,000 miles for the powertrain.
The problems I have had after 82 months and 78,000 miles are:
1. A squeaky brake pedal (was lubed under warranty).
2. At the age of 30 months, the car refused to start. The battery died and had only 2-year full warranty. Between 2 and 3 years it is replaceable for 50% of the price. I just bought a new one. As the car refused to start, I had a chance to experience Mitsubishi's free roadside assistance. They arrived in 50 minutes and jumpstarted my car.
3. Tires - the original equipment Goodyear Eagle LS
195/65HR15 were wearing and gave me scary moments in the wet weather, I opted to replace them with Kumho Ecsta 716 HP4
in size 205/60HR15 (they fit fine on the OE wheels). The traction and handling improved as did noise level. See my separate reviews of Eagle LS
and Kumho Ecsta 716 HP4
4. Front brake pads were worn and had to be replaced at 34,000 miles. At least they were worn according to the service department of the dealership I went to as they started to make slight squeaking sounds. I suspect they were not worn yet. The front brakes were worn again at 61,000 miles and made grinding sounds when coming to a stop. Replaced the pads. The dealerships wanted $200-260 for front brake job only, but sometimes you can find a coupon special for $90-100. Which I did.
5. Fuel door - it is made of plastic and mine broke. One of the plastic hinges broke off (I don't recall appying any force to the door). If this happens to you, you will need to order a new door, have it painted and installed. Ordered a door online for $24 (local dealership wanted $30). The dealership wanted $35 for the installation and they said you have to go to a body shop yourself and have it painted (another $85). Since I don't care about the perfect color match, I painted the door using Wal-Mart's spray paint ($2) and installed it myselft, saving me $120.
Why the hell is this door made of plastic in the first place?
6. The upper radiator hose had to be replaced (or re-clamped, I forgot) as it was slowly leaking. The cost was about $20.
7. The water pump (supposedly) was slowly leaking and was replaced at 61,000 miles during the timing belt replacement for $320.
8. Although a part of general maintenance, I have to mention the timing belt replacement here. My local dealer wanted $585. I got it replaced at another Mitsubishi dealer for $390. I wish the car had a timing chain instead of the belt. Recalls
The car was subjected to several safety recalls. First, the recall was issued to replace the headlight/turn signal and windshield wiper switches. Then there was a recall concerning the steering gearbox. The other one was about a transmission cooler hose. These recalls caused me to visit the dealership more often than I wanted to.
However, if you are reading this review while considering to buy a used Galant, this should not concern you if the previous owner has taken the car to perform the recalls. Car Buying Made Easy
I bought my 2000 Mitsubishi Galant ES
on the Internet for $15,400 (using CarOrder.com, which doesn't exist anymore, due in part to the great prices they had) after reading the article in "Car and Driver" magazine where it was rated number one
among midsize family sedans under 20K.
Although the car featured in C&D was an ES V-6, I got a 4-cylinder model because of the following:
1. It was cheaper.
2. Better fuel economy.
3. Lower insurance premiums.
4. The wheels on V6 models look ugly.
5. Better weight distribution.
6. It was one of the most powerful 4-cylinder engines at the time with 155 lb-ft of torque.
7. It allow you use regular gas.
The engine has 4 valves per cylinder and twin balance shafts. Servicing
The "regular" schedule service stops are at 7,5K miles and mostly consist of oil and filter changes, tire rotation and inspections.
The car has an in-cabin air filter that filters out dust and polen out of the air that enters the cabin - a nice feature. It has to be replaced every 7.5K miles. The problem is 2 dealerships I went to were unable to do it.
The mechanic at the first dealership told me my car didn't have a filter. I told him it did and he still couldn't find it. The mechanic at the second dealership fed me stories that the filter has to be inspected and replaced as needed. Which probably meant never :-)
Sure enough, nothing was inspected or replaced. I suspect even the location of the mistery filter remained unknown. I found out (online) that the filter is located behind the glovebox compartment. I pulled the glovebox out and got to look at the filter (which does, indeed, exist).
The filter, which resembles a smaller version of the engine air filter, was very dirty and packed with dried leaves. I ordered the new one online and replaced it once it arrived - it only took 10 minutes.
The dealership I normally go to didn't even have the filter in its parts' department, which tells me that there are hundreds of thousands of Galants all over the country with dirty in-cabin filters (aka HEPA filter).
The 4-cylinder Galants have regular spark plugs that have to be replaced every 30,000 miles (regular schedule) and the 6-cylinder ones have platinum-tipped plugs that have to be replaced every 60,000 miles. Be aware that the 6-cylinder engie has 3 plugs that are covered by an intake manifold, which has to be removed to gain access to the plugs and the spark plug replacement will be costly.
My 4-cylinder Galant had spark plugs replaced at a dealership at 30,000 miles. At 57,500 I replaced them myself with Bosch Platinum2 dual-electrode platinum spark plugs, which should last much longer. The engine seems to start faster now - almost instantly. The procedure took 50 minutes and required a use of a Torque Wrench
The most regular service requred is, not surprisingly, oil and filter changes. An oil change is required every 7.5 mile (regular schedule) or 3K miles (severe service). The oil filter needs to be replaced every other oil change. I replaced the oil and filter approximately every 6K miles.Timing Belt
The engine uses a timing belt, which has to be replaced every 60K miles. The manual states that the replacement is required in all states but in California and other states adopting CA emissions, the replacement is recommended but not required and is required at 100K miles. I am not taking any chances since after 60K miles the car has no warranty and I will be responsible when the timing belt fails and the pistons hit the valves, bending them into submission.
I wish the car had a timing chain. It wouldn't require such a frequent and expensive serivce. The timing belt itself is pretty cheap, but the labor adds up, especially at the Mitsu dealership. A local dealership quoted me $585 to replace this belt. I got it replaced at another Mitsu dealership for $390. At the same time, they supposedly noticed that the water pump was leaking and replaced it for another $320. It is better to replace the water pump when the timing belt is replaced. HEPA In-Cabin Filter (Manual calls it "Air Purifier Filter") Replacement
Open the glovebox all the way. Squeeze the sides (quite a bit of force is required, but don't blame me if you break anything) to make the box completely pop out. Remove two screws that hold the lid of the filter compartment and remove the lid. Pull the filter out, pop the new one in. Styling
I liked the look of this car - it resembles the look of BMW (in other words they stole some styling elements from BMW, but it is certainly a good thing) and stood out among the sea of similarly-looking Accords and Camrys. Today, although the new Camry looks much better than the model it replaced and the new Nissan Altima is also nice, I still prefer the styling of my Galant. Interior
In fact, I recently participated in the marketing study of the Galant's 4 midsize competitors and was quite happy to return to my Galant after it. However
, the fit of the interior parts falls short of Accord, Camry or Altima.
I like the interior materials (except for the seat fabric, which could have been better) and the switches have the right feel to them. The dash is covered with soft plastic that looks rich, and ES model that I have has "wood" trim. The instrument cluster has great visibility day and night, unlike VW Passat I test drove recently.
The headroom in front is great, however the rear passengers have pretty much no legroom (especially taking into account the fact that I move the front seats all the way back). I usually don't care, since 90% of the time I am alone in my car, however at times I had 5 people in it and, although they didn't complain, I am sure they were not comfortable.
Anyway, if you decide to get Galant, check the rear legroom to see if it is going to be sufficient for you. The glove box is quite large and the center console storage area holds several CDs well. There are two 12V power ports.
The trunk is rather large but has somewhat small opening and the pass-through is located off-center. The rear seats do not fold. But the trunk has convenient grocery bag hooks, which I always use.
The cabin is quiet and the engine is not noisy, unless you rev it past 4000 RPM. More noise is produced by the wind and tires at higher speeds than by the engine. A small gripe - the A/C LEDs are invisible in the sunlight, which is exactly when you need to see them. Seats
When I compare the seats with the seats of my 1988 Volvo 740GLE, the seats of Volvo are much more convenient and I could spend a day in them with no fatigue. However, Volvos cost much more. Handling
I love to drive on the mountain roads in Banning (100 miles east of LA). The Galant is really easy to control and after getting used to it, the limits of its handling are well-known. When I see the turn in front of me, I know if the rate of speed the car is going at will cause it to slide or not and it also takes just a slight speed correction to keep it from understeering. Acceleration and Drivetrain
I also would like to point out that the acceleration of the 4-cylinder model, although not fast according to the tests, feels fast, due in part to the 155 lb-ft of torque at low RPMs (around 3,000 RPM). In other words, the engine is not "peaky&" and doesn't require revving close to redline to produce reasonable acceleration.
Because of this, I wish that the car either had a manual transmission or wouldn't downshift the way it does. Often I know that the engine's torque will be able to produce the acceleration I need, yet it downshifts harming fuel economy and making more noise.
However, I must admit that the adaptive automatic is very smart and adapts to your driving style very well. The shifts are smooth and in regular driving they happen in right places (I used to drive a car with stick, and although stick gives you more control, the Galant's transmission is very good when it comes to shifting points). During shifting, the electronics retards ignition, so shifts don't happen abruptly.
I have read some review that said that the Galant is slow and doesn't accelerate uphill. This is not true - I go to the mountains every Sunday and the acceleration uphill is more than adequate. Also, on a recent trip to Vegas (from LA), the car's cruise control had no problem keeping the car at 79 mph at any grade and I could quite quickly accelerate to 100. By the way, the engine feels best in the 3000 RPM zone which corresponds to above 70 mph in 4th gear. Brakes
The brakes are easy to modulate and very effective, however (I have the car without an ABS) they tend to lock during panic stops (new tires improved things - I have yet to lock the Kumhos). Still, even with the wheels locked, you have some control over the car's direction.
The 4-cylinder cars use disc/drum combination and 15-inch wheels with 195-series tires whereas V6 models have all discs and 16-inch wheels with 205mm tires.
I had to replace front brake pads twice - at 33K and 61K miles. The rear brake shoes requred no replacement in the meantime.Fuel Economy
In the beginning, I averaged 23-25 MPG with a lot of short city trips and occasional freeway driving. However, the trip from LA to Vegas (500 miles) resulted in 28 MPG, which corresponds to the EPA's rating for Galant - 21 MPG city, 28 MPG highway. In fact, I probably could do better if I drove at steady 75 MPH and have not accelerated to 100 occasionally.
Recently, I have tried to maximize the fuel economy by attempting not to exceed 75 mph. With about 60% freeway/ 40 % city/mountain driving, I got 26.5-28.5 MPG.
The problem with Galant's fuel gauge is that it is inaccurate - it stays at "Full" for the first 50-80 miles, then goes down and when it reaches "Empty", there is still 3
gallons in the tank. Value
Even the base DE trim level is very well equipped. The best value for the money is provided by ES trim level (which I got) - it has automatic transmission as a standard equipment, power everything, A/C with air filtration, engine immobilizer, fog lights, antiroll bars front and rear, remote keyless entry, radio/CD player, delay-off headlights, intermittent wipers, etc.
I must admit that, although the automatic transmission is standard equipment, I would like to be able to have a manual gearbox. Safety
The crash tests (www.crashtest.com) results are good, especially for side impact for cars with side airbags, and insurance premiums are quite low. Also, the car features an engine immobilizer - the keys have transmitters without which the car cannot be started. Some cars have ABS and side airbags (side airbags improve the side impact ratings from "Average" to "Excellent"). Sound System
The standard sound system sounds OK; the optional premium sound system sounds noticeably better with better defined midrage. The car features a grid antenna, embedded in the rear glass. Conclusion I ask myself if I made the right choice buying Galant instead of Accord or something else. True, the car has small issues: small rattles here and there, not-so-perfect assembly quality, A/C LEDs that are invisible in sunlight... But all cars have issues. Given the chance to reconsider, even if I could choose another car for the similar amount of money, I would still have chosen Galant. But I would have added ABS and side airbags to it.
Amount Paid (US$):
2000Model and Options: