Car reviews - Mitsubishi - Galant - SE 4-dr sedan
Roomy, comfortable, refined
Room for improvement
20 Jun 2003
THE Galant was introduced in 1987 in Japan and arrived in Australia in 1989, followed the following year by an updated version called the HH.
Mitsubishi pitched the Galant as the fully imported flagship of the range, supplementing the Australian produced Magna and fitting into the semi-luxury segment against the lower priced Europeans.
The Galant immediately won acceptance with the motoring press around the world, being awarded Imported Car of the Year in 1987 by the American Motor Trend magazine.
The Galant was available in a range of models from the base SE through the high spec GSR to the top of the line four-wheel drive turbocharged VR4, which claimed many rally successes, including the Australian Rally Championship in 1990.
The SE came in two body styles - a four-door sedan and five-door hatch.
The sporty GSR comes in hatch style only and features a twin cam, roller rocker engine, "active" electronically controlled suspension and five-speed manual transmission only.
The HH model that superseded the HG in September, 1990, involved a minor body facelift and the introduction of automatic transmission for the GSR model.
The SE is powered by a single overhead cam, eight-valve, multi- point fuel-injected engine of 1997cc and a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed electronic automatic transmission with power/economy mode selection to drive the front wheels.
Suspension is by MacPherson struts and coil springs at the front and a three-link U-beam with integral torsion bar, trailing arm, lateral locating rods and coil springs at the rear.
Brakes are power-assisted four wheel discs while the tyres/wheels are 185/70R14 on the SE and 195/60R15 on the GSR.
The Galant is conservatively styled with an attempt at a European flavour, but is unmistakably Japanese.
In keeping with its prestige image, the car is well equipped, with a high quality of finish.
Standard equipment includes power steering, power windows, central locking and quality sound system with power radio antenna. Air-conditioning was a dealer fitted option.
Inside, the SE features a tilt adjustable steering column, driver's foot rest, adjustable front seatbelt shoulder anchor points, driver's seat height and lumbar support adjustments, 60/40 split fold down rear seats on the hatch, velour trim and cut pile carpet.
A tachometer is standard and ventilation controls are dial type.
Head and leg room are above average while luggage space is good, with a low loading lip, although the rear suspension towers intrude into the boot space.
On the road, the Galant's engine is quiet and smooth, using the Mitsubishi twin balance shaft system, and it is a willing performer. The manual gearshift is slick in operation and the clutch action is light.
Handling shows slight understeer, the steering is light and precise on twisty roads, the four-wheel disc brakes are fade free and the ride on both bitumen and gravel surfaces is very good.
The quality image of the Galant is reflected in its reliability. Mitsubishi has a reputation for sound engineering and the Galant has no known service problems.
The Galant SE is a high quality, well engineered car with excellent handling, braking and equipment and reasonable performance. In the Japanese tradition, it is excellent in what it does but to some it may lack the character and individuality of some of its rivals.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
All car reviews
Click to share