So we bought a 2008 Mitsubishi Galant GTS

So we bought a 2008 Mitsubishi Galant GTS

Some of you may have noticed that my brother Marouf does not write news articles for us any more. That’s because he is now a web editor at a sports newspaper in Abu Dhabi. And that means he has to drive from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and back everyday, a distance of 270 km daily. We’d already sold our Peugeot 307 2.0 last year, I wasn’t going to have him rack up miles on my fuel-hog Jeep or my exotic BMW, and our Renault Safrane is in use by the Old Man of the house. So he was doing the daily road-trip in our trusty old 1997 Toyota Corolla, still as functional and reliable as the day we bought it new. The problem is, it was a crap car to begin with. So we started hunting for a “new” used car. And we bought this 2008 Mitsubishi Galant GTS.

The Galant V6 wasn’t our first choice. We first started looking for economy cars at around Dhs 25,000 such as the Nissan Tiida and the Honda Jazz, but they had to have a manual gearbox so that they could keep up with 140 kph speeds on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway when pulling out of, say, a petrol station. That was a real problem with our 1.3-litre Corolla, made even worse when the good a/c was running.

We didn’t particularly like what we found, so we moved on to compact and midsize sedans for around Dhs 40,000 such as the 2008 Nissan Altima 2.5, the 2007 Honda Accord 2.4, the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer EX, the 2009 Ford Focus, the 2008 Peugeot 308 and the 2008 Honda Civic. After doing more research on the durability of the latest CVT transmissions, we threw the Altima and the Lancer off the list. Our car was going to be doing 70,000 km per year, and CVTs have a “history” with high mileage. The Honda models, they were simply too expensive for what they were. And the Europeans both have a weak a/c and “uncertain” in reliability.

After throwing all that off our list, we started looking at anything and everything in the local classifieds, ranging from the Peugeot 207 RC for Dhs 38,000 all the way up to Dhs 117,000 for a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, even considering a Chevrolet CR8 for Dhs 80,000 at one point. We have the cash, but then we came back down to Earth, because this was going to be a car to be used only for the daily roadtrip, not for racing punks and impressing valets. We randomly came across this 2008 Mitsubishi Galant GTS, it looked nice in that colour, asking price was only Dhs 40,000 and so we went to see it.

The owner was a Muslim brother named Saeed who told me everything about the history of the car, including the fact that he drives a bit aggressively and that he drove this car all the way to Saudi Arabia and back at 200 kph for Umra. Now, normally if you hear this, I’d advise you to run in the other direction. But you see, this gave us the interesting opportunity to report on a car with 43,500 km on it, and know why it was having a problem, since we had an idea of the car’s history. Sometimes, knowing is everything.

Saeed handed us the key and told us to go test-drive the car. The car seemed fine for the most part. We came back and then we started discussing things. I even mentioned that I own and he was an occasional user of the website. It’s always nice to meet our users. In the end, Saeed told us to take the car home for two days to try it out!

We took it home, did our barrage of tests, got it visually looked at by an expert industry friend, did the basic RTA passing, and went back to Saeed the next day to tell him we were buying the car!

Now, the aging Galant isn’t the best midsize sedan money can buy. However, it is the cheapest Japanese-branded midsize sedan money can buy, and what you get for the money is damn impressive. But we’ll get into that in another story.

Our car wasn’t problem-free. It has a sizeable spider-crack on the rear bumper from a parking accident. The rear-seat leather was scratched by kids, there were food crumbs everywhere and the car actually failed the RTA test for worn tyres. That’s about it really, aside from the usual minor dings and scratches.

We quickly negotiated the price down to Dhs 38,000, made the deal, took the car home again for a few days, slapped on some tyres at my convenience, finally bought the car, and even gave Saeed detailed advice on his next new car, his heart set on a Chevrolet Tahoe which he is already in the process of buying.

We suspect the Galant goes for even lower prices than this, but Saeed was a stand-up guy and we didn’t want to play games with him. This is how all used-car buying should be like. I’m rather enjoying the car right now, it being sportier than the one I tested in 2007, but this now means the end of the line for our family’s 1997 Toyota Corolla 1.3 manual. Selling it now will be another story. We can already smell the potential buyers.

What do you think?



  1. CR8 is one my favourite still i wouldn’t buy it for long runs….. Galant is an awesome choice……

    • Check the CR8 spare part costs… Brake Rotors and Pads from the dealer cost some 3X those of a porsche boxster..

    • For service and brake pad changes i will take it to Bosch Service center. Their prices are cheaper than many dealers.
      Nothing can stop me I love that car that bad. But still unsure if i would own one.

  2. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    I’m proud to say that I remain brand-unbiased. Al Habtoor is allergic to online so we don’t have much contact with them, but I can’t blame the car.

    • Mitsubishi gets sold here just because of its own name and reliability. Al Habtoor is acting as if they want to kill it.

  3. Why not get the Corolla buried…Top Gear style!! 😛

  4. this one was going for 80000 in 2008 u got it at half price pretty damn good deal and driven very less, congratulationz

  5. we have exactly the same car but red its a great car and the a/c is one of the best 🙂

  6. actually in kuwait we bought ours in 2008 brand new for 60000 dhs 🙂

  7. now my cousin has 2010 model and its vastly improved theres a touchscreen and 18 inch alloys and handles better too 🙂

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      We found a 2010 for only Dhs 52k, but don’t like the rear styling. The rear on the 2008 GTS looks much cooler with the colourless taillights shaped alongside the spoiler, but the smaller 17-inch rims mean a more comfortable ride for the daily drive. Indeed, the a/c is great.

  8. congrats mash,waiting to see ur detailed review on galant,38k for a 3.8 engine with 40km on the odo ,gud price indeed .And will the car be serviced at the dealer?coz ive heard the dealership service is way too expensive over here.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      It still has one free service left. Let’s see. We don’t want to keep going to the dealer every 5k, so we’ll do 10k synthetic oil service elsewhere later, only major ones at dealer.

  9. good car.
    it was sold in habtoor at that time for 73k with free insurance and free services. i remember that because my brother wanted to buy it at that time.
    i like anything comes from mitsubishi

  10. Good choice! I have a friend owning a Galant for over 3 years now and she has never been happier.

  11. How is the cabin noise in the car, is it quiet?

  12. I too have bought one second hand. Inshallah will be transferred on sunday. Its a v6 3.8lt, i think it ds nt hv a sunroof, am not sure of cruise control either. Any idea? I cant wait until sunday 🙂

  13. The only thing I have against this car is its looks..

  14. Hey, who is that expert industry friend? hahaha

  15. Congratz Mash !!I am curious about the torque steer on this one,Isn’t it tad too front heavy??

    anyways Gr8 buy ,enjoy.

  16. yes it is a bit heavy on the 2008 model but the 2010 is not too heavy or too light its balanced i know cause iv driven both of them 🙂

  17. mash i disagree i think the 2010 looks more luxurious from the back i swear i sometimes mistake it for a Mercedes e-class from the back whilst the 2008 model looks like a dodge charger 🙂

  18. Is the user rana a lady like the name sounds, if it is then she is one of its kind to be that familiar with car issues

  19. before 4 years i encoragemy freind to buy this car,and he still like this car, The torque are good and the Air condition also in summer time is very good, and to be honest good that you can feel relaibilty and quality in a US made, not a japanese made for this galant.
    The design for this generation of Galant are good and the brake system much more better than Camry, the only issue is about the services , well me and him still feel that they doesn’t give that prefect-care for cars (i still have mitsubishi car from 2000 till now, but what should we do about the services).

  20. excuse me but why cant girls be intrested in cars nobody said only men can drive except in saudi ofcourse 🙂

  21. Another good car built in Australia I think.

  22. The one I had was built in Adelaide, South Australia.

  23. Sorry for replying after really some good time, but i am offered a galant 2009 100k odo, and for 31, the car is in perfect condition, i will take it for gear and engine check, but i wanted to ask about the parts prices and services ? average quarterly check up and changes cost ? , and what parts needs to be changed from once in a while and average price. is it convinient to get a galant 2009 V6 3.8 ? or should look for some corolla or altima or maybe civic ?

    Please advice i will be waiting. thanks

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