[UPDATE: I finally got my camera and computer to cooperate, so here are some glamor shots of my car! Click picture to embiggen!]
As I've already posted previously, I recently exchanged my 1998 Jeep Wrangler--proud owner for 9 years--for a 2009 Mitsubishi Galant. I wasn't looking for this particular model. It sort of snuck up on me. I'd gone, at the behest of The Other Half, to the dealership to check out a special they were running on Kia Optimas. It was $3,000 off, and the special ended that night. So, I went, and I test drove the thing.
Bo-o-o-r-r-r-ring! I was totally underwhelmed by the car, as was TOH. So, we decided to go take a look at the used cars. There, my designated dealer lead me to the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant. This one had 30,000+ miles on it, and was $14,999. I liked it, but the miles were too steep. No problem! They had two more, and they both had 16,000 miles on them for around the same price. Cool. I test drove a red one, and liked it. A lot.
Keep in mind, I'd been driving a Jeep. A bouncy, rough and tumble Jeep. So driving a mid-size car was a dramatic departure. And thinking of the service my Jeep needed that week, my mind was quickly being made up for me. Had they shown me a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord, would I have been as ready to buy? Maybe. Probably. But neither of those cars would have been as cheap in the same model year and mileage.
I ultimately made the purchase, at a slightly steeper than average price, though I got a good trade-in. And I have been for the most part extremely satisfied with my purchase. The only drawback? The automotive press' reviews of my automobile. They are uniformly moderate-to-negative. See, even though my car is only a year old, the model was introduced in late 2003. . .seven years ago. It has since had a modest and then a more dramatic face lift, first in 2007 and then in 2009. But it remains--cosmetics aside--essentially the same car.
For some reason, there is an abundance of 2009 Mitsubishi Galant ES models for sale in Las Vegas. And by abundance, I mean a dozen or so. But there are no SE (sports edition) or Ralliart (super-duper sports edition) models at all. I'm curious and perplexed by this. Is it regional or something? I dunno. So, I find out after my purchase that my model is the base model, and it is considered blah by MotorTrend and Automobile and Edmunds. Meh.
I look at my car out in the garage, and I smile. It's pretty. It's sleek. It has a forward stance, looks aggressive. Driving it, there is no problem getting up to speed in residential areas or on the freeway. It's smooth (at least compared to the Jeep). It has the power windows and locks. It's roomy and comfortable. And on those rare occasions that I see other (usually older) Galants, I'm impressed at the facelift and butt-lift the car got in 2009.
They took the front end, and got rid of the strange nose that came out in 2003 (2004 model), and put a nice Maxima-like grille on it. They sculpted and molded the hood and bumper to make sense of some lines that were originally kind of confused. They inexplicably kept the headlights, which are a little old-school. And in the back end, they totally transformed the sort of Dodge Charger-like rear into a more Lexus-y looking tushy. Some widening of the back window and a little creasing action to the cowl and trunk lid completed a nifty transformation of the rear view.
All in all, I'm very happy with my choice. I like the fact that I'm driving something bordering on unique. I especially like that the previous owner elected for no badging outside of the Mitsubishi "three diamond" logo, rendering the car something of an enigma. But I'm a little deflated to know that the car is on the "worst sellers" list. That Mitsubishi is not only not planning to continue the car, but seemingly is ready to abandon the whole mid-size segment. So my ninth generation Galant is likely the last of its kind. The upshot of that, is that there will not be a tenth generation to supplant it. Mine's the newest! Well, outside of the 2010s, which look exactly the same.
The competitors to my car are the Toyota Camry (lookout, it won't stop!), the Honda Accord (boring), the Ford Fusion (over-sized Focus), the Mazda 6 (sexy!), the Hyundai Sonata (decent, but soon to be supplanted by the awesome 2011 version), the Kia Optima (snooooooze), the Nissan Altima (super sexy) and Maxima (very similar to my car), and the Chevrolet Impala and Malibu (both rental car bland). Of those, I'd take either Nissan and the Mazda. The Sonata is also still a favorite. But my Mitsubishi is likely mine for the next 5-10 years, and I have no--or relatively no--qualms about that.