2006 Galant New Car Test Drive
The Mitsubishi Galant does everything well. It rides comfortably and quietly and offers competent, responsive handling. Its optional V6 provides ample power for passing, and its automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Its cabin is roomy and comfortable. It's a good family car, and a good value in the midsize market.
Then again, it has to be. Mitsubishi launched this bigger, more mainstream Galant just two years ago and it goes up against established nameplates such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima. That the Galant offers all the benefits of these other cars, at a reasonable price, is no small accomplishment. If you are shopping for a midsize sedan, it makes sense to visit your Mitsubishi dealer.
The one area where Galant breaks from the pack is in styling. The Galant is no wallflower. It's distinctive enough to turn heads in traffic, and not everyone will like what they see. Conversely, some of the Galant's competitors seem calculated to make no statement at all.
Galant was launched as an all-new model for 2004. For 2005, Mitsubishi enhanced Galant's safety by making seat-mounted side-impact airbags standard on all models. For 2006, Mitsubishi has subtly massaged Galant's styling inside and out, upgraded its sound systems and added MP3 capability on all but the base model; and added some standard equipment to nearly every trim level.
The 2006 Mitsubishi Galant comes in four trim levels: DE ($18,999) and ES ($19,899) are powered by a 160-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and come standard with a four-speed automatic transmission.
LS ($22,499) and GTS ($26,499) feature a 230-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6. They also come with a four-speed automatic transmission, but with a Sportronic mode for semi-manual shifting.
Standard features on all Galants include air conditioning; front and side-impact airbags; height-adjustable driver's seat; power windows, door locks and exterior mirrors; AM/FM/CD stereo; four-wheel disc brakes; rear-seat heater ducts; carpeted floor mats; and electronic lock-out protection. DE, ES and LS come with steel wheels and 215/60R16 all-season tires.
ES and LS both come with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). They also get premium cloth-trimmed seating surfaces, silver and black metallic interior trim, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with six instead of four audio speakers, a new 'ice blue' LED audio information display, and other amenities. Of course the LS adds the V6 engine, plus traction control and a power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support.
Leather is an option for LS ($1,185) and ES ($1,485) and adds the power driver's seat to the latter; the package includes seat heaters and heated outside mirrors. The Audio Package (available only with leather) adds a 270-watt Mitsubishi/Infinity sound system with six-CD changer and MP3 capability, sport-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and an anti-theft alarm. Optional 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels for the ES and LS come packaged with a new tire-pressure monitor ($300). A power glass sunroof ($800) is also available.
The GTS adds automatic climate control; power glass sunroof; leather upholstery; wood accents on the dashboard; leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio controls; heated front seats and side mirrors; the high-zoot Mitsubishi/Infinity 270-watt stereo; color LCD audio display with fuel mileage computer, maintenance reminder, outside temperature, calendar and compass; white-on-black gauges; color-keyed rear spoiler; special tail lamps; sporty-sounding muffler; 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with lower profile tires; tire pressure monitor; and a front suspension strut-tower brace. No options are offered for the GTS.