1995 Mitsubishi Galant
Until last year, the Mitsubishi Galant was a compact sedan that appealed to very specialized tastes. This car’s boxy style and unusual lineup, including limited-edition
versions with turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive, set it apart from mainstream competitors’ products. Although many people admired the Galant, the simple fact was that not enough of these folks actually went out and bought the car.
That situation changed dramatically with the introduction of the 1994 Galant. Gone were the creases and sharp edges that gave the car its up-right appearance. That look was replaced by smooth, flowing lines derived from Mitsubishi’s larger Diamante sedan. Gone too were any offbeat mechanical features. The new Galant was utterly conventional, and superbly executed.
So it is in ’95, when Galant continues with only minor changes to an already appealing product.
One improvement that’s scheduled to arrive late in the ’95 model year is a V6 engine, which will be available in the top-of-the-line Galant LS V6. But for now, the primary alterations to the Galant are confined to a redesigned hood and some changes in content and option packages.
The Galant’s success is vital to Mitsubishi, a company that has invested considerable effort in establishing a brand image in this country after years of being known as a supplier of niche vehicles to Chrysler Corporation.
Whatever the result may have been so far on the corporate-image front, the work put into making the Galant an attractive proposition for customers has paid off.
Count the Galant as one of the most impressive sedans in its class, and a genuine best buy. And its appeal should only increase when the larger, more powerful V6 engine is made available.
When Mitsubishi designers chose to base the Galant on styling themes first applied to the Diamante, they made a winning decision. The Galant exterior is simple, but is saved from being plain by some careful detailing.
The twin-nostril front air inlet is nicely done, as are the smooth sculptural reliefs on the bodysides. Thin roof pillars look good, and they frame large windows that provide excellent visibility.
Only the view from the rear seems slightly uninspired, though a subdued posterior is better than going for excess with this type of car.
One practical benefit of the Galant’s simple shape is that it slips through the air less obtrusively than any of its rivals. This car’s aerodynamic traits lead to less wind noise and the use of less fuel.
As is the case with all Mitsubishi products, panel, fit-and-finish and paint quality are all beyond reproach.
Decoration has been kept to a minimum. All three Galant trim levels (S, ES, and LS) are nearly identical on the outside, with the exception of the upcoming LS V6, which will have a spoiler on its trunk lid.
Each model wears a smooth hood this year, as the optional engine that required a bulge to fit under last year’s panel is no longer available to Galant buyers.
The first impression you get when entering the Galant is that this is one spacious car. Some of that is an optical illusion created by the skillful design of dashboard, door panels and center console. But most of that is due to the fact that there is a lot of room in the Galant cabin.
As is common in this class, the space available is more suitable for four than five, though the fifth person probably wouldn’t complain during short trips. The others will be well cared for, riding on firm yet comfortable seats, surrounded by an attractive environment in which all controls are laid out for easy access.
The driver is faced with basic instrumentation plus a tachometer, and has a tilt steering wheel and a left footrest. The driver and front-seat passenger are both provided with an airbag.
Naturally, the Galant interior can be easily dressed up, though the best way to do this is to select the model that’s equipped to your taste rather than relying on options. Air conditioning is standard on ES and LS models, as well as a 6-speaker sound system with a cassette player (LS models add a CD player), power rearview mirrors/windows/door locks, and upgraded upholstery and carpeting. Leather seats are available on the LS.
A new and intriguing feature on the ’95 Galant LS is Mitsubishi’s HomeLink system, a built-in, programmable, 3-channel transmitter that can operate a garage-door opener and two other remote-control devices, such as home lighting and security systems.
Despite the lack of a 6-cylinder engine option (presently, anyway), the Galant is a willing performer that will satisfy some buyers who wouldn’t ordinarily buy a midsize 4-cylinder sedan.
With 141 hp on tap, the 2800-lb. Galant moves around nicely. And smoothly, with the aid of a pair of engine stabilizer shafts that effectively cancel out most of the roughness inherent in 4-cylinder powerplants. It gives away little in the way of performance, but the Galant nevertheless delivers very good fuel economy.
Only the Galant S is available with a manual transmission. All others are provided with a 4-speed automatic that we’d recommend even to those who like to shift for themselves. The automatic transmission’s electronic shift control incorporates a fuzzy logic program that monitors vehicle speed and throttle and brake use to tailor shifts to specific driving conditions. In real-world use, this transmission seems to think right along with the driver, never changing gears at an inappropriate time.
Even without the aid of electronic trickery, the Galant’s 4-wheel independent suspension delivers a fine blend of comfortable ride and responsive handling.
Though not a performance sedan, the Galant feels nimble when driven hard. A brisk pace is possible on all kinds of roads, with tire noise and body roll providing ample warning long before things get out of hand.
If there is a single reason to avoid the base model, it is its lack of anti-lock brakes (ABS). Like its costlier kin, the Galant S uses front disc and rear drum stoppers (the V6 will have 4-wheel discs) and they work well. But we think the extra margin of control ABS can provide (and does when ordered on ES and LS versions) is well worth the extra cost of both the upgrade model and the option itself.
During extended freeway driving, it becomes apparent that Mitsubishi has succeeded in keeping the Galant interior quiet, even beyond the reduction of wind noise. Good insulation buffers sound from the tires, suspension and engine.
Once the LS V6 arrives, the Galant will span the midsize car range in terms of features and prices. From the base model S to the fully equipped LX V6, there will be a Galant fighting for top seeding in every niche in the market.
The Galant counters its strong opposition with a top-quality product; a car that is visually attractive, drives well, delivers good performance and is likely to be above average in reliability. It’s an impressive piece of work.
On the down side, this car is sold and serviced by a relatively small dealer network. That’s no problem if there’s a Mitsubishi outlet near your home, but it can lead to nervous moments on the road should there ever be a problem.
But if the Galant is successful in sales, which wouldn’t surprise us, then that should lead to a larger sales network. And that expanded network, in turn, will cause deliveries to increase even more.