2002 Mitsubishi Diamante Preview

2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

sponsored by Cadillac


 

Selecting the "right" import mid-size sedan these days is a lot like ordering the "right" wine at a snooty French restaurant. It's almost easier to go with something familiar than risk trying something new.

But that would be a mistake if you end up overlooking a thoroughly decent car like the 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante, either the $25,687 ES, or the top-of-the-line $28,447 LS. This sedan, updated for 2002 with a new front end and upgraded braking system, has good looks, is fun to drive, well-equipped, and nicely straddles the line between full-on sport sedans such as the Nissan Altima and Maxima that may be too aggressively styled for some and four-wheeled Prozac like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, which are as reliable and efficient as they are staid and ubiquitous.

Punchy push

To begin with the Diamante comes equipped with a standard and nicely punchy 210-hp twin cam 3.5 liter V-6 engine — whereas both Camry and Accord are underpowered four-cylinder chuffers in their as-is form. If you want a V-6 (and decent acceleration) in either car, you'll have to pay extra to get it — and even then, neither the V-6 equipped Camry nor the Accord is more powerful than the Diamante, with 192 hp and 200 hp, respectively. The frumpy-looking Toyota Avalon, meanwhile – once aptly described as the "best Japanese Buick money can buy," — does offer a standard V-6 engine, but it's rated at exactly the same 210 hp as the Diamante's six, so it's a dead heat on the question of power for your dollar.

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