Monday, November 25, 2013

Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Galant (2006-2012)

On the fourth day of Christmas Myk Belmonte gave to me... four of them. Four Mitsubishi Galants, great!

2006-2012 Mitsubishi Galant

I was definitely wondering why the word 'galant' does not exist in any English dictionary or receive a red jagged line whether in MS Word or in Google Chrome. While writing this article, I stumbled upon everyone's favorite research website, Wikipedia, that the word means "chivalrous". This word means a courteous man towards the fairer sex, hence the elegant styling that targets executives (in my own interpretation).

Based on the SSS concept sedan displayed at the North American International Auto Show in 2000, the ninth generation Galant had its US launch in 2003. With numerous versions sold for the North American (Russia, Ukraine, and some Middle East countries have this version), Australian (sold as the 380 with a few differences), and East Asian markets, the Galant was either successful or a flop. The last unit rolled out the Illinois' facility on August 30, 2012.

Long due for introduction, the ninth generation model arrived at Philippine shores in January 2006. Rather than assembled locally, PHDM units are sourced from Taiwan. From 2006 until 2008, it is dubbed as the 240M with the 2009 update gaining the SE moniker. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines silently dropped the vehicle in 2012.

Value and Costs
Sedans with two liters of displacement and above usually have poor resale values. With that in mind, a ninth generation Galant would cost you between P300,000-P700,000. With that sum, you get something comfortable without spending too much.

The 4G69 engine is also used by the Grandis and the first generation Outlander, so finding engine components isn't a problem. While this is a low volume model, spare parts can be purchased in the casa or even a specialist shop.

Exterior and Interior
More larger than the model it replaces, the ninth generation is the athlete in jersey turned father in suits in terms of design. Sharp lines that shout sportiness is not that much evident; replacing them are: rising window line, sharp creases, and an imposing grille. To distinguish models, 2006-2008 Galants have the Boulay grille while a one piece chrome grille is standard among 2009-2012 units.

If I criticize the previous model for having a tight rear, the Galant offers you tons of cabin space. Need to change the radio station or adjust the climate controls? Well, the center stack has their buttons crammed to one another and mastering them takes time. A minus point is the cheap feeling materials, especially for something that has a retail price of P1.5M when brand new. There are some other negatives inside the cabin apart from the interior materials: a passenger side airbag for 2006-2008 models is not available; the GPS unit cannot read street names, opening it requires a bulky remote, writing destinations is still through the remote, and isn't portable; and lastly, the DVD player is picky when it comes to playing discs. Do take note the GPS and DVD is available in the updated 2009 models. Thankfully, this sedan has an electronic power seat and the gauges in blue do not washout in direct sunlight.

Taiwan sourced models have only one engine available: the 4G69 2,378cc four cylinder that disposes 162hp at 5,500rpm and 219Nm at 4,000rpm. The numbers may look conservative, but as they say numbers are just numbers. This is one car that loves to be pushed to V6 speed territory, despite the automatic tranny being a four speed.

Driving Impressions
It defies the size, this sedan has a tight turning radius coupled with a responsive steering. A cavernous cabin must be partnered with a suspension and high levels of isolation, and it does oblige you with tons of it. But despite the speedy engine, this is no sports car.

A good choice for those who value luxury and isolation above else, the ninth generation Galant is one good buy. There are some quirks in it but at these prices (established ones of the same age are priced higher) you can't help but resist.

The Good: 
  • Comfortable
  • Roomy
  • Suspension absorbs road ruts
The Bad:
  • Dull
  • Cheap interior
  • Old looking
The Pick: 2.4

Engine: 2,378cc 4G69 I4 gasoline
Power: 162hp @ 5,500rpm
Torque: 219Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P1,500,000-P1,588,000
Price (Now): P300,000-P700,000
Rivals: Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, Nissan Teana, Toyota Camry
On Sale: 2006-2012

Citimotors Makati - (02) 892-0331
Diamond Motors Valle Verde - (02) 671-9190
Diamond Motors Marcos Highway - (02) 645-4801

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