1980 Mitsubishi Galant SL 1.6


Boring, but utterly dependable


Car was delivered with "defective" door trim on the left rear door in that its pattern didn't match the other doors! Rectified under warranty.

A noisy rear shock absorber quite early in its life, but left unattended till the car was sold!

Burst radiator hose when it was about 6-7 years old.

Heavy-ish oil consumption by the time it was 10 years old.

General Comments:

Lacks character, but utterly reliable. Nothing much really went wrong with the car.

Cheap materials used for the interior (and see my comments on the door trim) but good build quality even though it was not made in Japan (it was assembled in Malaysia) - there were no significant squeak and rattles even after 12 years of use.

Quite roomy for a RWD car.

75hp 4 cylinder 1600 single carb engine with balancer shafts is smooth at normal speeds, but turns gruff when stretched. The car could do about 160km/h (100mph). Mediocre acceleration (0-100km/h (0-60 mph) in about 13 seconds) but fair long distance cruiser. The cars is a bit heavy on fuel consumption though.

5 speed manual had good shift quality.

Soft wallowy suspension equals a comfortable ride, but very average handling. Non-assisted steering heavy at parking speeds, but settles down to a decent weight at speed even if the steering is a bit vague.

Quad rectangular headlamps were of the non-halogen type (I think they were called "sealed beams") - barely bright enough on low beam, but quite acceptable on high beam.

A good and popular car in Malaysia in its day, compared to unreliable cars then like the Ford Cortina and Fiat 131. It's only real rival at that time was the FWD 1st generation Honda Accord 1.6 which was however selling at a higher price.

This model was replaced by an all-new, but still RWD model in 1981. The new model was bigger, better-looking and more refined, but that's another story.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2006