2002 Mitsubishi Galant Reviews and Ratings

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2002 Mitsubishi Galant
Mitch McCullough, Editor-in-Chief

Mitsubishi's Galant is smooth, responsive, and extremely stable underway. Climbing in, it's immediately comfortable, pleasant and easy to drive, requiring no ramp-up time to adjust to its operation. It instantly feels familiar. It handles well and it's fun to hustle around corners. And the Galant offers a good value when measured against other mid-size sedans, particularly the V6 models.

For 2002, Mitsubishi has revised the styling with a new grille, front fascia, and taillamps. Redesigned instruments give it a cleaner look inside. Model Lineup
The Galant model lineup is extensive. Six models are available: DE ($17,707); ES ($18,517); LS ($21,117); ES V6 ($20,417); LS V6 ($22,817); GTZ ($24,157).

All Galants come equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission.

DE, ES, and LS are powered by a 140-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

ES V6, LS V6, and GTZ models come with a 3.0-liter V6 engine rated at 195 horsepower. All V6 models (ES-V6, LS-V6, and GTZ) come with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (four-cylinder DE, ES, and LS models come with drum brakes on the rear). V6 models also come with 16-inch speed-rated P205/55HR tires (four-cylinder models get 15-inch P195/65 tires).

DE comes standard with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a 100-watt, four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, and 15-inch tires. A new seat Deluxe fabric design freshens the interior.

ES is trimmed better and is more popular. ES adds Premium cloth upholstery, new titanium- or bronze-look interior accents, integrated fog lamps, remote keyless entry system, cruise control, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, partial folding rear seat trunk pass-through, a cargo net, rear-window antenna, and body-colored side mirrors.

LS trim adds dual front side-impact airbags, antilock brakes (ABS), a nice leather-wrapped steering wheel, alloy wheels (instead of steel), a one-touch power glass sunroof, and a 210-watt Mitsubishi/Infinity CD stereo with seven speakers.

Both LS models offer leather seating surfaces as an option ($1118), which includes a nice leather-covered shifter, eight-way power driver's seat with manually adjustable headrest and lumbar support.

GTZ comes standard with the leather interior and is tuned more like a sports sedan. Distinguished by its color-keyed grille, the GTZ is equipped with a sport-tuned suspension. GTZ also comes standard with traction control. Walkaround
Galant is similar in size to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, though it's just a tad smaller. The Galant is a bit sportier in appearance than most mid-size sedans, though it's starting to look a little dated when compared with recently redesigned models.

It features a graceful, sweeping roofline, smartly tailored lines, and sculpted sides. For 2002, the grille has been redesigned and the taillamps have been revised. Older style door handles require flipping your hand upside down and are harder to grasp than the newer, more comfortable type that you stick your hand through. GTZ and LS V6 models get redesigned alloy wheels for 2002. Interior
The Galant is a little smaller inside than the Toyota Camry. Overall, it's less roomy than a Camry, but it does offer more front-seat legroom than the Camry.

Galant's well-designed interior is attractive and highly functional. Everything is located where expected and we never had to search for a control. Like its exterior, the Galant's inner regions are smooth, contemporary, and nicely designed. The instrument cluster is readily visible through the full range of steering wheel adjustment. For 2002, the instrument cluster has been redesigned for a cleaner look. The gauges are straightforward and easy to read.

Switchgear is straightforward and easy to operate. HVAC controls are rudimentary and would look more at home in a compact car. However, they are straightforward and easy to operate. A compartment under the HVAC controls is handy for wallets or sunglasses. There's a nice, big glovebox. The small center console is lined with rubber at the bottom to keep things from sliding around and making noise. A pair of cup holders in front of its are fairly easy to access.

The optional Infinity stereo is nicely designed; buttons are on the small side, but are laid out in a straightforward way that makes it easy to operate. The optional glass sunroof has a nice inside sliding opaque cover.

Sporty front bucket seats offer a good range of adjustment with above average side bolsters and thigh support. The optional Premium leather-covered seats in the LS V6 are comfortable and supportive and the leather is attractive. The leather package includes a nice leather-covered shifter, but the handbrake lever is on the spindly side. Driver sight lines are average for a car in this class; there's good visibility over the sloping hood with no significant blind spots.

The rear seats are comfortable as well, with lots of head room, hip room, and shoulder room. Leg room is a little limited, but you can slide your feet comfortably under the front seats and it's fine for a fairly lengthy drive. This car is comfortable for four people, but not for five. There are no adjustable headrests for the rear seats and there's no center armrest.

We liked the feel of the thick, padded steering wheel. However, the controls for the audio system are too small. In addition, the rear cupholders mounted on the rear of the center console reside below an armrest, which means flipping the armrest back if you want to use it. However, these are minor demerits in an otherwise thoughtful design.

The trunk features a nice, flat interior. The trunk lid uses the type of hinges that intrude into the trunk space, but offer the advantage of popping the trunk lid open when the button on the remote is hit. Galant's trunk is slightly larger than the trunk in the Honda Accord, but not quite as big as the trunk on the Toyota Camry.

Safety features include dual frontal airbags. Height-adjustable seat belts are used in front. Three-point seat belts are used in the rear, including in the center seating position; this rear-center belt is absent from some passenger cars and many sport-utility vehicles. Child restraint anchors are provided. Side airbags are a standard safety feature in LS, LS V6, and GTZ models, but are not available in the other models; Mitsubishi's side-impact airbags are mounted in the sides of the front seat frames. GTZ comes standard with traction control, which helps the driver maintain control under acceleration, particularly in slippery conditions. ABS is available, which helps the driver to maintain steering control under hard braking. Driving Impressions
Some cars require some adjustment, while others quickly become an extension of yourself. The Galant falls into this latter category. I jumped in and took off and immediately felt comfortable. If I had been at a race track I would have felt comfortable taking the first lap flat out. Handling is precise and this car feels very stable. It responds exactly as you expect.

The available V6 engine is very responsive. It's strong and eager, yet fairly quiet. Passing performance is brisk, even at elevations of 5000 feet. Mitsubishi's V6 is comparable to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord V6 engines, which are leaders in this class, though it doesn't have quite their levels of refinement. It's just a little noisier and not quite as smooth, yet we wouldn't call it rough and noisy. Mitsubishi's 3.0-liter single overhead-cam 24-valve V6 is rated at 195 horsepower and 205 foot-pounds of torque.

The standard four-cylinder engine is tuned to deliver power for good passing performance and good acceleration from a standstill. In other words, it offers good low-end torque. This 2.4-liter twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine is rated at 140 horsepower and 155 foot-pounds of torque. Mitsubishi's patented dual engine stabilizers virtually eliminate the harmonic vibration typical of large-displacement four-cylinder engines; this system is licensed for use by other automakers.

All Galants come equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission that delivers excellent response in all types of driving situations. We were rarely aware of the transmission at all, which means it does a very good job. Mitsubishi's fuzzy logic computer programming allows the engine and transmission to better anticipate the driver's wishes and eliminate the irritating up- and down-shifting that's still a characteristic of some automatics. All of this electronic gadgetry is transparent and works well.

Ride quality is first rate, effectively damping out nasty stretches of pavement. We were impressed by the noise suppression measures taken in this car. Mitsubishi has done a very good job of isolating the cabin from the suspension, thereby minimizing highway and tire noise. At the same time, Mitsubishi's attention to aerodynamic detail has helped reduce wind noise to a level that's comparable with the best in the class. The Galant may not be quite as quiet as a Camry, but it's quite pleasant.

Handling is balanced in favor of comfort over aggressive response. In hard cornering, there's a little more body lean than you'd encounter in an Accord. Like all front-drive cars, the Galant goes toward progressive understeer when pushed past the limit of tire grip; the faster the car enters a corner, the less it wants to turn. It's quite predictable. While Mitsubishi would like us to perceive the Galant as a sports sedan (especially the GTZ model), its suspension tuning feels more like family fare to us. However, there's nothing wrong with that. The Galant is very forgiving to driver errors, such as braking hard in the middle of a turn; while some cars would spin out under these circumstances, we had no trouble controlling the Galant. The GTZ's suspension uses a smaller front anti-roll bar and a larger rear anti-roll bar, which we assume are designed to help reduce understeer. Steering response in the Galant is accurate; it delivers acceptable road feel once the steering wheel is moved a degree or two off dead center. It does lack a little of what car magazines call on-center feel, meaning there is a small amount of play in the steering.

The brakes feel sure and are easy to modulate. Braking is provided by discs up front and drums at the rear on four-cylinder models, with discs all around on V6 models. Braking performance seemed to be about average for this class. Though more expensive, disc brakes generally offer superior fade resistance to drum brakes. (Brake performance often begins to fade when brakes are used repeatedly until they overheat, such as going downhill on a steep mountain pass.) On the other hand, we didn't encounter any fade problems during our driving, despite repeated hard stops in the Galant. Galant is available with antilock brakes, which allow the driver to maintain steering control during an emergency-stopping situation in dry as well as slippery conditions. Summary
Mitsubishi's Galant measures up against the best mid-size sedans. The Galant offers a pleasant blend of quiet operation, plentiful power, lots of standard equipment, excellent assembly quality, comfort for four, and good looks at a competitive price.

Model as tested
Galant LS V6 ($22,817)
Basic Warranty
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in
Normal, Illinois
Destination charge
Gas guzzler tax
Base Price
Price as tested
Options as tested
Premium Leather Package ($1118) includes leather seating surfaces, leather-trimmed shifter, 8-way power driver's seat with manual-adjust headrest and lumbar; All Weather Package ($310) includes traction control, heated side mirrors

Model Line Overview
Model lineup
DE ($17,707); ES ($18,517); LS ($21,117); ES V6 ($20,417); LS V6 ($22,817); GTZ ($24,157)
Safety equipment (standard)
dual airbags
Safety equipment (optional)
3.0-liter dohc 24v V6
4-speed automatic

Specifications as Tested
air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, power locks with keyless remote entry, cruise control, tilt steering, map lights, illuminated vanity mirrors, split-folding rear seatbacks, auxiliary power outlet, rear window defogger, variable intermittent wipers; LS adds dual front side-impact airbags, antilock brakes (ABS), leather-wrapped steering wheel, alloy wheels, one-touch power glass sunroof, 210-watt Mitsubishi/Infinity CD stereo with seven speakers

Engine & Transmission
3.0-liter dohc 24v V6
Drivetrain type
front-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
195 @ 5500
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)

Brakes, front/rear
disc/disc with ABS
Suspension, front
Suspension, rear

Seating capacity
Head/hip/leg room, middle
Head/hip/leg room, front
Head/hip/leg room, rear

Fuel capacity
Trunk volume
Turning circle
Towing capacity
Track, front/rear
Ground clearance
Curb weight

J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality Not Available
Overall Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Overall Quality - Design
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Design
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Design
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
Not Available

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

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