This week’s Mitsubishi Diamante ES is a mid-size 5-passenger sedan that is obviously in the hunt and eagerly competing in this market. Mitsubishi has only been in the American market since 1982.
My first impressions were that it was nicely elegant. It reminded me of the Lexus LS400, even though the published competition from Lexus is the ES300. Diamante is spacious, comfortable and well appointed inside. It has lots of power with a 3.5 liter V6 and I really liked this car. It was a surprise as was the performance with 0-60 mph acceleration of 8.5 seconds, 1/4-mile performance is 16.5 seconds and it has a top speed of 137 mph.
A few interesting side notes are that more that half of the parts and the final assembly is Adelaide, Australia. Demographically, buyers are about equally split between men & women with median age of 51, 90% are married and 56% are HS grads and household income is about $64,000 per year.
Others competitors you may look at to compare the Diamante include the Acura TL ($30,700 – $33,150), Audi A4 ($23,790 – $30,040), Buick Park Avenue ($30,675 – $35,550), Cadillac Catera ($29,995), Infiniti I30 ($28,900 – $31,500), Lexus ES 300 ($30,790), Mazda Millenia ($28,995 – $36,595), Mercedes-Benz C-Class ($30,450 – $35,400), Saab 900 ($24,500 – $42,195), Toyota Avalon ($24,278 – $28,128) and the Volvo S70 ($26,985 – $34,010). I’ve driven all but a couple of the above and would agree that they are all very close in performance as well as pricing.
3.5 liter V6 210 horsepower engine, 4-speed auto trans, power rack & pinion steering, 4-wheel power anti-locking disc brakes, stainless steel exhaust, climate control, cruise control, security system with keyless entry, power windows and door locks, 6-way adjustable driver seat, velour seats, AM/FM stereo cassette, height adjustable steering column, remote fuel and trunk release, dual air bags, power door mirrors, auto-off headlights and power antenna.
18 City / 24 Highway MPG.
Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price is $27,650 and the model I drove included a 10 disc CD autochanger for $797, the premium package that upgraded the wheels and tires, leather seats and wrapped steering wheel, wood trim, fog lights, power driver seat 2-position memory, tilt front headrests for $2700 and a power sunroof for $963. After destination charges of $470 the total was only $32,580.
For the dealer nearest you call 1 800 222 0037.
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