Launched as an all-new model in 2004, the Galant for 2007 has an exterior freshening and an interior materials upgrading. Underneath, suspension settings were revised for better comfort and control.
The SE is a mid-year Special Edition version of the ES trim line. What makes it special, in addition to the ES trim, are leather seating surfaces, 17-inch alloy wheels, a color-keyed rear deck spoiler, foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a tire pressure monitoring system, a power sunroof, and additional trim pieces.
A 2.4-liter inline four with variable valve timing and lift control produces 160 hp and transmits power to the front wheels through a four-speed "Sportronic" automatic transmission. Consumer Guide saw 0-60 in 9.0 seconds. Reviewers found the engine adequate for a midsize family sedan. The EPA rates it at 20/27 mpg, while Consumer Guide averaged 24.2 mpg in city/highway driving.
The transmission features Adaptive Shift Control and the choice of manual shifting, which never overrides gear choice. Some reviewers praise the transmission's ability to "think for itself" in gear selection - so much so that they felt little need to get manual with the transmission. Others complain of some transmission gear hunting on hilly terrain.
With a front MacPherson strut suspension, a rear multi-link setup, and rack-and-pinion steering, the Galant has all the right ingredients for good handling. Yet reviewers differ, with some finding it "sparkling," and others calling it "a mixed bag." Under normal driving conditions the Galant is a well composed, comfortable driver, but when pressed it shows its midsize family sedan limitations. The Galant is equipped with ventilated front discs and solid rear discs. The trim-standard ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution provide stable braking performance in routine use. But Consumer Guide reported simulated panic stops produced "spongy pedal action and only average stopping distances."
The interior is roomy both front and back, seating five comfortably in a stylish cabin. Controls are large and well placed. Seats are comfortable, though some reviewers wish for firmer support. The 13.3-cubic-foot trunk is well shaped, but the rear seats don't fold down, with only a trunk pass-through standard.
Besides the above mentioned electronic brake systems, standard safety equipment includes dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side impact airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags. The Galant received the highest government and insurance crash test safety ratings.
By itself the Galant is a solid midsize family sedan, however, its competition does everything better, including resale value.