THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Sport Edition midsize sedan.
DOWN THE ROAD: The Sport edition we test-drove is an all-new model for 2009. Based on a unibody structure, the Galant delivers an energetic ride on city streets in peak-hour traffic or while cruising the highway.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: Available in four trims, this Galant is equipped with a 2.4-liter inline-4- cylinder engine, which develops 160 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 157 pounds-feet of torque at 4000 rpm. It is mated to a slick-shifting Sportronic 4-speed automatic transmission. An independent suspension system of a MacPherson strut with coil springs in the front and a low-mount multilink in the rear ensures stability, especially around tight corners and rough surfaces. A power-assist variable rack-and-pinion steering is precise and linear. Front 10.9-inch ventilated and rear 10.3-inch solid discs are sufficient to slow down or stop the car.
LOOK & FEEL: Two chrome strips surround the bold grille, which hosts the familiar three-diamond Mitsubishi badge. Also catching your attention are halogen headlights with black bezels, parabolic fog lamps and color-keyed door handles, mirrors, bumpers and rear spoiler. Take a seat behind the four-spoke steering wheel and you are greeted with black instrument gauges for speedometer, tachometer, fuel and temperature illuminated in orange. A black wood trim strip under the instrument panel and center console looks elegant. Storage area is aplenty with door pocket in the front doors and a rear armrest with two hidden cup holders. There is 101 cubic feet of passenger space and 37 inches of legroom space for rear passengers. Windows, door locks, side-view mirrors and trunk release are power operated. Also standard is a 140-watt stereo system, air conditioning, cruise control and a remote keyless entry.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, latch system, child safety locks, front and rear crumple zones, engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.
OUT THE DOOR: $21,099, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P215/55R17 (with Sport Value option); wheelbase, 108.3 inches; length, 191.1 inches; weight, 3,395 pounds; fuel capacity, 17.7 gallons; city, 20 mpg; highway, 27 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: Don't let the small 2.4-liter, inline-4-cylinder engine trick you. It suffices for the Galant, which offers decent acceleration and subtle styling at an easy-on-the-pocket price. The five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and the 10-year/100,000-mile power train warranties surely make the sedan a best buy in our eyes.