Home » Forgotten, But Not Gone: 2007 Chevy Cobalt vs 2012 Mitsubishi Galant

Forgotten, But Not Gone: 2007 Chevy Cobalt vs 2012 Mitsubishi Galant

Sbsd 7 25 2023
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Welcome back! Yesterday it was two white cars; today it’s two black cars as we look at the opposite scenario: cars that are still around that you have probably completely forgotten even existed. But first let’s look at yesterday’s results:

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Ha! My evil plan came to fruition: I got you all to vote for a middling, lackluster GM product – over a Honda. Step one complete. Step two, well, you’ll find out soon enough.

But first: I was driving home from work yesterday, listening to an album I hadn’t heard all the way through in quite a while: Arc Angels, if you’re curious. I got into the second half, and came across a couple of songs I had completely forgotten about, until they started. Lots of albums have songs like that, and they’re usually buried somewhere in the middle of side two. They’re not bad songs; in fact, they’re pretty good, but they don’t stick in your head like the hits do, or resonate with you like that one that reminds you of that one girl. And I got to thinking: Some cars are like that too, not bad, just lost in the shuffle and forgotten about – until you see one again. So I picked out a couple of cars from the middle of side two of the used car market. Forgotten? Yep. Gems? You tell me.

2007 Chevrolet Cobalt LT – $3,500

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Engine/drivetrain: 2.2 liter dual overhead cam inline 4, four-speed automatic, FWD

Location: Everett, WA

Odometer reading: 164,000 miles

Runs/drives? Just fine

Chevy’s Cobalt was the replacement for the often (and often unfairly) maligned J-body Cavalier. It shared GM’s Delta platform with the Saturn Ion, and much hoopla was made when it was introduced about it being a whole new breed of small car. In truth, it’s not too far off the Cavalier mechanically, and you can only tell a Cobalt from a late-model Cavalier if they’re parked next to each other. Not surprising; most of GM’s “revolutionary new ideas” are either a hot mess, or much ado about nothing. But that’s why we love GM around here: it’s like that crazy uncle who always has the best stories.

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A livelier version of the Cobalt, the SS, is celebrated in enthusiast circles for its supercharged (later turbocharged) engine and “holy crap, this is no Z24” performance. But the base models like this one fly so far under the radar that they’re practically invisible. I remember renting one of these once, and it was fine. It did car things, and nothing about it annoyed me. I guess that’s good enough for some circumstances.

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This one seems to be holding up well after 164,000 miles. GM interiors from this era are a sea of cheap-feeling plastic (I’ve heard a joke that they went from “Body By Fisher” to “Interior By Fisher-Price”), but surprisingly, it all holds up well. Cars like this looked cheap and tacky inside when they were new, but sixteen years later, they look exactly the same.

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The seller says that this one’s 2.2 liter Ecotec engine and four-speed automatic run just fine, but it’s being sold by a dealer, so don’t expect much more detailed information. But it looks pretty good in the photos.

2012 Mitsubishi Galant ES – $3,500

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Engine/drivetrain: 2.4 liter overhead cam inline 4, four-speed automatic, FWD

Location: Roseville, CA

Odometer reading: 208,000 miles

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Runs/drives? “Fabulous,” they say

Remember Mitsubishi? Yeah, they’re still around. This car isn’t though; they stopped making the Galant in – wait, that can’t be right – 2012. Yep, this “no, it’s not a Camry, really” sedan hung around almost until Obama’s second term. Long since stripped of any of the cool features of the earlier models like the turbocharged all-wheel-drive VR4, by 2012 the Galant had become ruthlessly ordinary. Perhaps that was to be expected of a car built in a town called Normal.

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This one is pretty nice, though, with leather seats and a bunch of power stuff, all part of the ES trim level, I imagine. It’s a four-cylinder, and by this point all Galants were automatics, so it’s not going to get your heart racing. But it has chugged along faithfully for over 200,000 miles already, so it must be doing something right. The seller says all the power stuff works, too, as does the air conditioning, important with the black seats.

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It’s in good condition except for this one rather unsightly boop on the nose. I wonder if one of those paintless dent removal places could take care of that, or if it’s accessible enough on the underside of the hood that you could just pop it back out again.

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It’s a handsome enough car, and obviously well-built; I saw quite a few of these for sale north of 200,000 miles and just picked one from the middle of the price range. I can’t comment on how these drive, really – a friend of mine owns one, and she likes it well enough. I’ve only driven it 100 feet in reverse, when she was too nervous to back down our treacherous driveway in the dark. Can’t get much of a sense of a car from that.

So there they are, a couple of decent-looking also-rans for what seem like reasonably fair prices. These aren’t “Hotel California,” and they certainly aren’t “Life In The Fast Lane;” they’re more like “Pretty Maids All In A Row,” but that’s a nice song too. What do you think? Rental-spec Chevy, or end-of-the-line Mitsubishi?

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(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

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Alec Harvey
Alec Harvey
10 months ago

I didn’t even know they made a 4 cyl version of the Mitsi. They were called the 380 here in australia and only came with a 3.8 V6

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
10 months ago

Either of these cars would be perfectly cromulent, but I voted for the Mitsu because it’s a bit larger, seems to be better-equipped, and was built at the Rivian plant.

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