Monday, January 6, 2014

Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Galant (1993-1997)

Let us start the year with a used car review. Myk Belmonte obliges you with a car that is a bargain nowadays.

1993-1997 Mitsubishi Galant

Among premium sedans, Filipinos have a soft spot for the Mitsubishi Galant. Why did I say so? Long before the Accords and the Camrys dotted the Philippine roads, executives had this one alongside with the Toyota Corona. One piece of trivia: during the 80s, several third and fourth generation Galants were used as patrol vehicles by Highway Patrol Group (which you know on whom they chase).

The seventh generation Galant can be had in sedan, hatchback, and hardtop (exclusive for Japan) known as the Emeraude. It saw a change in suspension from struts and beam axles to a multi-link system all around that later on was used to several Mitsubishi vehicles. The Lancer Evo may be Mitsubishi's rally car but the Galant VR-4 was treated to a 2.0 V6 twin turbo to compensate on the loss. Production lasted until 1998 with the eighth generation model replacing it.

1993 was the year when Japanese premium sedans arrived to the Philippine market. The seventh generation Galant battled with industry stalwart Toyota Corona which was redesigned for that year, as well as new entrants Mazda 626 and Nissan Altima. This one held its candle against these vehicles and even with the successful Honda Accord and Nissan Cefiro. As they said, good things must come to an end and it was replaced with the eight generation model in late 1997. Available variants back then include the Super Saloon and VR.

Value and Costs
This 90s wonder can be yours for nearly less than 200k, since prices fall between P80,000-P170,000. At the same time, rivals of the same period can be had at these prices. Do not expect Corolla or Sentra fuel economy with this, the reason for the low resale prices.

Unlike the Honda Accord of the same period, parts for the Galant are widespread and on the cheap side. What you should look at are the suspension and its inner components since this is the weak point (you know the notorious kalampag issue of Mitsubishis of old) and can cost you more. Obviously, the VR which has a V6 engine is expensive to maintain. The V6 has spark plugs at the rear portion of the engine which costs more and requires the removal of the intake manifold and several coolant hoses.

Exterior and Interior
Called as the "Ray-ban" by enthusiasts due to its taillights, the seventh generation Galant is more streamed and elegant in a low fashion way. There is no need to deal with the styling since it invites you to see one for yourself. To distinguish the Super Saloon from the VR, the latter carries side skirts while later models of the SS have twin tail pipes and 15 inch wheels, which was not standard before.

Occupants, driving or not, will be treated to an expanse space of interior room without having the feeling of being claustrophobic or violating each other's personal space. To distinguish interiors from one another, SS do have a four spoke steering wheel and manual type climate control while VR gets a three spoke wheel and automatic climate control, a notable first back then.

Two engines are made available of varying cylinder outputs and the basic one is a 4G63 1,997cc 4-cylinder that carries 136hp at 6,000rpm and 180Nm at 3,000rpm. It offers enough grunt inside the city and the Beer na Beer of the Galant engine range. If you want more kick in power, the Colt 45 of all Galant engines is the 6A12 1,998cc V6 that pumps out 145hp at 6,000rpm and 179Nm at 4,000rpm will give you a smile on your face while driving. Neither engines will disappoint you but set aside your priorities on which do you prefer.

Driving Impressions
Being behind the wheel is a pleasurable experience, especially the Galant is something that is enjoyable to drive. Road noise is vindicated but passing through road ruts will give your suspension some trip to the repair shop. While the 4-cylinder is basically a normal engine, the V6 is a revelation: fun to drive and less stress from the engine plus push it hard to give the engine some noise which is a sound to one's ears.

What used to be a car of the affluent is now a bargain for mere mortals like us. It had hidden gems which rivals current vehicles plus the timeless appeal, making it a future classic. The time for hunting is now.

The Good:
  • Stylish
  • Exciting V6
  • Spacious
The Bad:
  • Plain interior
  • A bit old
  • Somewhat expensive to maintain
The Pick: 2.0 VR

Engines: 1,997cc 4G63 I4 and 1,998cc 6A12 V6 gasoline
Power: 136hp @ 6,000rpm (2.0 4-cylinder), 145hp @ 6,000rpm (2.0 V6)
Torque: 180Nm @ 3,000rpm (2.0 4-cylinder), 179Nm @ 4,000rpm (2.0 V6)
Fuel Consumption: 6-9km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front and rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P650,000-P780,000
Price (Now): P80,000-P170,000
Rivals: Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 626, Nissan Altima, Toyota Corona
On Sale: 1993-1998

El Dorado (Mitsubishi Parts Specialist) Cubao - (02) 911-0021/ (02) 913-4482

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