The Diamante, a front-drive near-luxury sedan, returns in base ES and upscale LS price levels. While Mitsubishis other U.S. models are built either in Japan or Illinois, the Diamante comes from Australia.
The current model arrived for 1997 as a lower-cost alternative to other near-luxury sedans, such as the Lexus ES 300 and Infiniti I30.
At 194 inches bumper to bumper, the Diamante is 6 inches longer than Mitsubishis compact Galant sedan. The two show a family resemblance in profile and in the roof styling, but the Diamante has a larger grille and four enclosed headlights for a unique front appearance.
The base ES comes with cloth upholstery, and the more-expensive LS has leather and a standard power sunroof. Both seat five, and the front buckets have manual adjustments on the ES and power adjustments on the LS.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, a CD player, an engine immobilizer that requires the proper key coded to start the car, and power windows, locks and mirrors.
Under the Hood
Both models come with a 210-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission a combination that provides brisk acceleration and refined highway cruising.
Antilock brakes are standard on both models, and traction control is optional on the LS.
A sweet engine, capable handling, and a long list of comfort and convenience features make the Diamante an attractively priced alternative to rivals from Lexus and Infiniti. The Mitsubishi brand name, however, is more closely associated with cars such as the Eclipse sports coupe, frequently pitched to first-time buyers at big discounts. That makes a near-luxury sedan like the Diamante a hard sell to image-conscious shoppers.