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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Its engines are powerful and relatively frugal

Against The interior is dull and the ride is too firm

Verdict Unfairly overlooked as a good, solid family car

Go for… 2.0-litre GLS

Avoid… 2.5-litre V6

Mitsubishi Galant Saloon
  • 1. Alloy wheels, twin front airbags, sunroof, remote central locking alarm, cruise control and four electric windows come as standard
  • 2. Although mechanical problems are very rare, when they do occur they can be quite pricey to fix
  • 3. The automatic gearbox can cause an expensive problem, but because this was a cost option, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a manual version
  • 4. The suspension is notoriously pricey to overhaul, so make sure it’s in good order by checking for uneven tyre wear
  • 5. The braking system is the most common cause of problems, so make sure the car stops in a straight line
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Mitsubishi Galant Saloon full review with expert trade views

Family cars can be a very bland bunch. They each have their individual merits, but most of them look too similar. The Mitsubishi Galant, with its square-jawed, aggressive looks, is a big exception.

Admittedly, it’s by no means the best car of its generation - a VW Passat is better on almost every count. But, the Galant is much cheaper to pick up used.

It's far from bad, though. The Galant handles reasonably well and cruises nicely on the motorway, and the only major complaint is that the ride is firm around town. Our favourite 2.0-litre engine is punchy and relatively frugal, although the V6 is a bit disappointing.

More of a problem is that the cabin isn’t great. Some of the materials are cheap and the rear seats are tight in comparison to those in similar cars. That said, you do get a lot of equipment for little cash, and the Galant's reliability record is superb.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Hard work to sell, especially older models, although Sport has appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The 2.0-litre GLS is the best bet, with a four-cylinder engine that gives a healthy 134bhp. It provides reasonable performance and a competitive average fuel consumption of around 32.8mpg. You’ll get a decent amount of kit, including alloy wheels, twin front airbags, sunroof, cruise control and four electric windows.

The only other choice you have is the 2.5-litre V6. If you're expecting something sporty, the V6 disappoints, because it’s only a second quicker than the 2.0-litre. But, you don’t lose too much in the way of fuel economy, because you’ll still get around 30mpg.

It also comes with a lot more kit. As well as all the toys you get on the GLS, you’ll also get air-con, side airbags and a CD changer.

Whichever you choose, your biggest problem will be finding one. Used examples are few and far between.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Good reliability, low failure rates - a good buy

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

If you compare it to similar-sized cars of a similar age, certainly not. Residual values were fairly horrific when the car was new, which makes the Galant a cracking used buy because it has already lost most of its value. Few cars come as cheap or as well-stocked as the Galant.

Running costs are fairly reasonable, too. The fuel economy is roughly the same as you’d get from the equivalent Vectra or Passat, and insurance groupings of 12 for the 2.0-litre and 14 for the V6, are also on a par with rivals'.

You’re likely to pay a bit more for your servicing than you would for a Vectra or Passat, but there isn’t a huge amount in it. Besides, the Galant’s bullet-proof reliability means very little is likely to go wrong.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Hard work to sell, especially older models, although Sport has appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Although mechanical problems are very rare, when they do occur they can be quite pricey to fix. According to Warranty Direct, the average cost of repair is more than £450, compared to around £250 for the Vectra and the Passat.

Don’t worry too much, though. The Galant’s reliability record is so superior that you’ll probably still be better off with it in the long term.

That said, the automatic gearbox can be the source of expensive problems. However, this was an option when the Galant was new, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a manual version.

Brakes cause the most problems, so when you're buying, check the brakes work properly and make sure the car brakes in a straight line.

And, while you're about it, the Galant’s suspension is notoriously pricey to overhaul, so make sure it’s in good order by checking for uneven tyre wear. Also, check service history for signs of past trouble.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Good reliability, low failure rates - a good buy

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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