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Mitsubishi Diamante

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  • Traded in my pearl white 94 for an 95 Olds Aurora with far fewer miles.
  • vivonavivona Posts: 410
    For those that may be interested, I have several articles on the Diamante that can be read at:

    http://www.geocities.com/diamanteowner/diamonds.htm

    I haven't written any more articles for a while because I am waiting to see if the main Diamante Owners Group site at http://www.geocities.com/diamanteowner/ will remain active, or if the several new ones getting started will "take over".

    Mr. Vivona
  • I just bought a new 2003 Diamante and just wanted to tell everyone that I LOVE IT!!!!!

    It's a 4 DR LS, Beige w/ leather Interior. It's the only car that I liked for driving as well as good looks.

    I test drove just about everything else out there, and the Diamante had a nice smooth ride, quiet cabin, and I loved the interior.

    Other cars, like Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, were just plain, run-of-the-mill cars with sparse and chaeply made interiors.

    The Diamante is great, and I look forward to coming here to get advice from you veteran Diamante owners.

    Loozianagrl
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    congrats.....glad you see that the Diamante is nice alternative to Cars like Camry and Accord....for something unique and different....
  • vivonavivona Posts: 410
    Congratulations on your new Diamante!

    Every year I check out all the near luxury cars at the auto show and I always come away with the same conclusion: If I had it to do all over again, I would still buy a Diamante.

    The styling of the Diamante is timeless and you will still like looking at it long after the some of the current bug-eyed styling of the competitors goes out of style. But the real test is how YOU like looking at and driving the car. Not how somebody else likes their cars to look and drive. Driving feel is a very subjective experience and you did the right thing by test driving "everything else out there" and finding the car you liked to get in and drive.

    For me, the Diamante has a nicely balanced and linear feel to the handling and brakes that makes it feel like an extension of me when I drive. I really appreciate the ample interior storage - big glove box, two-tiered console, seat-back pockets, door pockets and dash bin. The interior design has the leather and wood luxury look I like, unlike the "boom box" metal plastic look that is showing up in many new cars. I could go on and on...

    And four years of trouble-free driving certainly adds to my owner satisfaction.

    I look forward to your participation on this site.

    Mr. Vivona
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    sure, whatever.

    yes, the design is old.....the D is not a contender in the entry lux category anymore like it was in 97......but now, it can entirely be considered as a nice alternative to a Camry or Accord. It has both trumped on the style card. The d has more hp than the Camry but not as much as Accord. The interior and exterior design are cleaner and more attractive than the Camry. The Honda trumps it in interior design.

    If you buy a Diamante like I did, you know you are not getting a class leader. And many people buy the Diamante for styling, with its crisp lines. And recently with 0% for 6 years to some it makes financial sense in a purchase over Accrod or Camry. I bought mine used and paid 15 grand for a 2002 with 11k miles on it. At 15k in dollars its a helluva step up from the GM midsize garbage that one could otherwise buy with 15 grand. Even a new Diamante with incentives is still a decent buy compared to other competitors. A new VR-X for example is an alternative to spending 5-7 grand more on a TL. Its nowhere near as good, but does a good job of portraying the same image.

    So admittedly, its not top of the heap, but it won't embarass the owner by driving one either.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    and yes the interior layout is wonderful.....clean legible gauges, MANY cupholders, handbrake right there....lots of storage....simple radio controls, nice climate control, actually I still prefer the D interior over a new accord now that i think about it again...the LS still has the lexus like gauges right?

    cupholders in front of the shifter are a godsend and more manufacturers should put them here.
  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    After leasing a Diamonte for almost 4 years, the only problem I had was a bad horn. So I went back to Mitsu to look at the new D. Was disapointed to see no changes. Then they showed us a VR-X. Took it for a test drive and was pleased with the changes inside. Was left a little wanting because of the plastic look of the console and exposed cupholders ahead of the shifter. Also disapointed that heated front seats were not available in the VR-X. Helloo....it gets cold in Chicago. Steering was very crisp and fast. Wheels could be sportier. And tires need to be changed to something other than Goodyear Eagles. I'm still thinking about it.

    Frank
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    http://www.fastlane.com.au/News_Mitsubishi/NZ_COTY_2002.htm

    but I thought you fellow Diamante owners would get a kick out of it.
  • vivonavivona Posts: 410
    Thanks for the link.

    In the US where the automotive press largely ignores the Diamante, it is nice to see somebody, even if it is offshore, giving it a favorable mention.

    I have been surprised and frustrated at the way the US automotive press has either ignored the Diamante, or given it a bad review for rather meaningless reasons. For instance, Car & Driver in a review of entry luxury cars a couple of years ago admitted all 8 or 9 models reviewed were equal and there was not a bad car among them. They stated that because the cars were all winners, their ranking was based on the personal preference of their testers.

    Rather than rank all cars as tied for first place, they did rank them in a numerical order and they listed the Diamante in last place because even though it did not have any negative qualities, it didn't achieve first place in any of the tests. That meant that the writers had nothing to be particularly surprised about, I guess. The Diamante ranked in the middle of most test scores. The other cars that had at least one first place test ranking also had some notable negative characteristics, such as road noise, braking distance, cost, reliability, etc. The difference between being mid ranked in the test results and achieving the top place in one of the tests was, for all normal driving conditions, a meaningless difference. But the negative characteristics mentioned for all the other cars were the kind of things that would create owner dissatisfaction in normal driving.

    C&D admitted the Diamante was without flaws. And they admitted that their rankings were just their own preferences and that any of the cars was just wonderful, but the last place ranking was perceived by their readers as saying the Diamante was a bad car -- ranked last in its field. Not much journalistic integrity in my opinion.

    I wrote a letter to the C&D editor taking them to task for the article, but they never replied or published the letter.

    I can post that letter, and other letters I have written to automotive reviewers regarding the Diamante, if there is any interest. Anybody want to see them?

    Mr. Vivona
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    sure, I would like to see them....I would find it odd that someone would say the car is not quiet....its way quieter than most other cars I have been in lately and is a tomb compared to my SHO.

    In 2003 it would be fair to say the Diamante doesn't stack up to a lot of other cars since it was last new in 97....but in 2003 you can buy a Diamante really cheap. Where I see the Diamante fitting in at this time is as a dashing alternative to the automitive jello of Camry and Accord and as a definite upgrade over the plethora of GM mid and large yuckmobiles. I mean, Regal vs. Diamante! NO BRAINER! Grand Prix vs. Diamante. NO BRAINER!

    Realsitically the D is no longer able to be compared to say, a Lexus ES300 in Luxury, nor an Acura TL, nor a BMW 3......I surely think someone looking hard at a Camry should at least test drive a Diamante. Accords too for that matter.

    The Diamante will be 90% of the engineering excellence of those two cars and has more style and elegance.....more of an aura to it. I saw an ad this weekend for new 2002 VR-x's for 22k.....what a deal.......No way I would plunk down 27g's for a Camry when I can get a just as loaded D for 22.
  • vivonavivona Posts: 410
    As I find time to post them, I will post my rebuttals to unfavorable Diamante reviews. Here is the first one. Edmunds ran a near luxury comparison review in December 2000. They ranked the Diamante in last place.

    See the review at http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/comparison/articles/43924/page001.- html

    Here is the rebuttal I had posted soon after the review:

    I found the Edmunds report on near luxury cars to be about the worst review of its type I have ever read.

    First, I had a problem with the test methodology. Too much emphasis was placed on performance not indicative of real world driving. For instance, I recently rented a Jeep and drove up rocky mountain roads and climbed up boulders in Moab, UT. Under those conditions the Jeep is king and a luxury car would be useless. But on a long drive on the highway, the Jeep would be a piece of crap and a luxury car would be king. Each type of vehicle has an intended use in which it shines. No vehicle does everything well. A person buys a luxury car for good performance and reasonable handling well within the capabilities of every one of the cars tested. Good styling, interior comfort front and rear, a quiet ride, interior storage space, luxury appointments and a good stereo are certainly more important than being one second faster in a 0-60 race or being able to run through a slalom a second faster. In real world driving you rarely push a luxury car to these performance limits, but you see, feel and use all the other qualities every day.

    Including a personal rating based on “I would buy it with cost no option” is useless in real world choices where cost is an option. Let’s not forget the price spread was $10,000. Also, the choice of cars was poor. According to market research the 300M, 328i, Acura TL and Volvo are bought by 40-43 year olds and the other cars are bought by 46-51 year old buyers. A comparison should be between similar-priced cars that appeal to the same group of buyers and based on criteria they use when selecting their car. This review missed the mark by a long shot.

    I thought negative comments about the Diamante showed the usual bias the press has against Mitsubishi products. The console lid is conveniently made to open from either side, but if you try to pull it up from the front (forcibly, I should add), both latches will activate and the lid will come off. I have never had a problem with using the lid the way it was intended. To judge the Diamante’s overall build quality by the design of the console lid is just plain stupid. I am amazed at the exceptional build quality of my Diamante. It has had zero defects. The higher-rated (by Edmunds) 300M had build quality issues that are a real concern. I would never consider buying a poorly built car like the 300M.

    The adaptive transmission of the Diamante is designed to learn the driving habits of the driver, not eight different testers determined to push the car to its limits. I never have a problem getting exactly the performance and shifts I want. I would expect the Edmund testers to be smarter than misuse the intended design of the transmission, then criticize it. I have read many other reviews of the Diamante and transmission performance is listed as a strong point.

    The seat in the Diamante was criticized for not having a height adjustment. That is not true. In fact, it has two height adjustments, one for the front and one for the rear. You can adjust tilt and height by using the two controls in unison. And one look at the picture in the report will tell you that the Diamante does indeed have lateral bolstering despite the testers comments to the contrary

    I am at a loss to understand the criticism about the climate controls being above the radio. Their centers are only three inches apart. You hardly have to move your wrist to move from one to the other. The same arrangement is found on the Audi and Acura, but that didn’t bother the testers. Why was it an issue on the Diamante?

    Edmunds did admit the Diamante shined in rear roominess, a quiet ride, the stereo system and overall styling. These are high on the list of qualities that I consider important. In fact, when you eliminate the Acura for its noise on coarse pavement, poor rear seat room and cheap feeling leather seats, the 300M for its poor build quality and noisy ride, the BMW for its high price, small rear seat, lack of interior storage space and small trunk, the Saab 9-5 for its high price and noisy ride, the Volvo for its excessive price and the Audi for its small rear seat, you are left with the Diamante and Lexus to choose from. The Diamante wins on price already, but by giving up the heated seats and chrome wheels, the Diamante comes down to a MSRP of $29,960, making it an even greater value. I made that choice and absolutely love my Diamante. I think Edmunds has misled many prospective buyers that would certainly appreciate the Diamante if they drove one for themselves.
  • vivonavivona Posts: 410
    SUMMARY EDITED FOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

    The Nine-Car Comparo of $30,000 Sedans (February 2000) was a good article with useful comparative objective test results, but I take issue with the subjective rankings, particularly that of the Diamante.

    Noting that all of the cars were excellent, “with no overt winners or losers,” you admit that the ranking was based on “blatant subjectivity.” That defeats the very purpose of a comparison article, which is to guide a prospective purchaser to the best choice. It would have been better to have ranked all as a tie for first place and then invite the reader to use the subjective comments and the objective test results to make their own choices. Many readers will miss the subjectivity of the rankings and conclude that there is quite an objective difference between the top and bottom ranked cars.

    Since you were compelled to rank the cars, I disagree with the last place ranking of the Diamante. In almost every objective performance test the Diamante beat the ES300. Millenia and Lincoln LS, but costs $2,600 to $6,800 less. Your subjective comments for the Diamante included no negatives other than being it being undistinguished. Positive comments for the other eight cars were offset by notable negatives such as excessive styling, body roll, jittery road manners, cramped interior, interior noise, poor lane change and braking, etc. The Diamante’s mid-pack test results, lack of criticisms and lowest price should at least have earned it fourth or fifth place, perhaps higher.

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

    You might conclude that readers would read all of the introductory text and understand that the rankings were subjective. But as you know many people scan articles and only remember about 20% of what they read. I am a regular participant in web forums and every initial comment I have read about the article has taken the rankings as factual measurements of quality, value and performance. Even after I point out the admitted subjectivity of the rankings the forum participants still say, yes, but such and such car is better because it ranked higher.

    As a very satisfied owner of a Diamante, I get unhappy when I see it kicked to last place because it, in your subjective opinion, lacked any distinctiveness. I think outperforming competitors as the Millenia, ES300 and Lincoln LS, and costing thousands less, is quite distinctive. I think having its own platform rather than being based on the platform of a cheaper car is quite distinctive. I think the exterior is a lot more distinctive than the TL (Accord-like) or ES300 (Camry-like) and certainly much more attractive than the Bonneville or Volvo. And how could you give the Lincoln LS a higher rating for exterior styling when it is so obviously a Diamante exterior clone?

    Subjective rankings tend to be inconsistent. For example, the Diamante and ES300 appeared in both the February 1997 and the February 2000 C&D tests essentially unchanged. In the February 1997 test the ES300 ranked first and the Diamante ranked third, but in the 2000 test the Diamante drops all the way to last place and the ES300 only slips to third? The Diamante’s rear seat or exterior styling has not changed since 1997, but the ratings for both dropped a few points.

    Personal preferences can influence subjective comments to contradict objective test results. For instance, the Diamante is quieter than the Lincoln LS, but the Diamante is called “average” and the LS has “vault-like quietness.” The Diamante outperformed the ES300 in almost every performance test, but the Diamante’s performance was called “well” and the ES300 was “more than adequate”.

    Subjective comments are further influenced by the “halo effect” that causes the evaluator to exaggerate the positives and ignore or rationalize the negatives. By weighting positive factors beyond negative factors, a car with at least one extreme positive has a much better chance at a higher subjective ranking despite offsetting negatives. The Diamante was “hard to criticize” but almost every other car in the test had a negative that could knock it out of consideration for a serious buyer. Once you actually own a car you find that you may rarely use that great 0-100 acceleration and that controversial styling is suddenly out of style, whereas the negatives, like jittery road manners, cramped interior, noise, etc., become more irritating. Or, worse yet, taking over 200 feet to stop from 70 has just cost you your life!

    The 2000 Diamante outperformed the TL in braking and lane-change. You rationalize the bottom ranking of the TL in these areas by suggesting that a tire change would be a quick fix for the problem. In the 1997 test the Diamante led the class with interior quietness that was 2 dbA lower than the ES300. In the 2000 test the ES300 leads the class with interior quietness that is 2 dbA lower than the Diamante. Both cars are unchanged. What happened? In 1997 the ES300 had Goodyear Eagles GA’s and the Diamante had Michelin Energy MXV4’s. In the 2000 test the cars have swapped tires and the 2 dbA advantage followed the Michelins to the ES300. Why didn’t you suggest that the Diamante would have tied in quietness with a quick fix tire change? And, according to the 1997 test, that tire change would have improved the Diamante’s ride and skidpad scores.

    Had the test taken into account predicted reliability, the “solid Mitsubishi reliability” of the Diamante would certainly have scored better than the known poor reliability of the 300M, S70 and Bonneville and the likely poor reliability of the Lincoln LS.

    To subjectively rate cars for their distinctive positives only provides no real value to the prospective buyer other than to express the personal preferences and prejudices of some automotive editors that may not represent your demographics or tastes at all. I liken it to being fixed up with a blind date, and we all know how unsuccessful that is!

    So, after reading the article I disagree and would say it was a shameless cop-out.

    In my opinion, the Diamante’s lack of negatives and lowest price make a compelling case for it, not against it. I find my Diamante very easy to love.
  • otoluvaotoluva Posts: 138
    Thank you for your thoughtful, knowledgeable, and informative comments. I did enjoy reading your posts and learned a great deal.
    The Diamante is one of my favorite cars and I'm- like you- taken aback every time I read a negative review about it.
    Although I have never owned one ( driven it a few times) but very impressed by it, and once came close to buy one but negotiation broke down with the dealer over the price so I went and got another town car.
    Having owned 3 town cars in the past I obviously appreciate a smooth comfortable and quiet ride and that's one of the things the Diamante delivers.

    On an other note I tend to blame Mitsubishi for the D's low sales for not aggressively marketing the ( FORGOTTEN CAR)
  • vivonavivona Posts: 410
    otoluva -- I agree that Mitsubishi does not market the Diamante.. at all. Even when they do a brand-wide ad, they mention Lancer, Eclipse, Galant, Montero Sport, Montero and stop there. I do not recall any mention of the Diamante in any ad -- for years, now.

    I know that the capacity of the Australia factory limits the availability of the Diamante. As I recall, the most they could probably get would be about 20,000 per year, around 10,000 more than they sell now. Advertising is very expensive and it is probably cost prohibitive to launch a Diamante campaign on the hope that they sell 10,000 more cars a year. But it doesn't cost Mitsubishi any more to add the Diamante to "corporate" ads. For some reason, they just rely on dealer traffic and word of mouth.

    They last time I spoke with Mitsubishi about this they said they had planned some Diamante advertising, but that was a couple of years ago and I never saw any evidence of advertising.

    Mr. Vivona
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    saw a dealer ad for new Diamante's for 19500 this wkd.....that's cheaper than a Camry for cryin out louds......

    I dunno whether the figure of 10,000 units per year is true or not but I see them all over the place here in MSP. There is 2 other ones in my townhouse complex alone. That makes 3 out of about 250 cars.
  • I am considering purchasing a 2003 Diamnate LS because I simply love the way the car looks. I am hesitating because of the EPA estimates of 17/25. I drive 27,000 a year, but 80% of that driving is at highway speeds of 65-70 MPH. Can somone give me a real estimate of the milage I should expect? Why doesn't this car get better MPG and why doesnt it have an available 5 speed auto tranny? JJ
  • I've had my 2002 Diamante LS for about 17,000 miles and I've averaged 20-25 MPG. the 25 MPG figure is for exclusive hwy driving at 70-80 MPH, while my typical mixed commute results in about 22 MPG. Blame the 3.5L engine, I guess.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    my wife drives 60 mph in stop and go freeway traffic, sometimes 80 mph and a lot of the time a dead stop bumper to bumper and she gets 27mpg that way. I don't recall what we got for mpg on our last extended freeway trip, coulda been close to 30.

    not bad for a midsize 6 cyl.
  • Hello! I currently own a '94 D. I have owned it four three years and I love it! However, it has over 141k and things are starting to fall apart: the tracks for the sunroof have broken and now it is a pain to shut, the power antena doesn't work and it stutters when going on upgrades. Anyway, I had not looked at the D's lately and I am very impressed by the looks and how great a deal a later model D is! I have read a few pages on this board but, if I may, I would like some input on the positives and negatives of the 2002 VR-X (my preference). Thanks!
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