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Mitsubishi Diamante (1997) Gives Japanese Automaker the Luxury End of a Full Line


22 July 1997

Mitsubishi's 1997 full line of cars covers most all niches starting with the $10,000 Mirage, through Eclipse, Galant, $48,000 3000GT Spyder and up to the "near-luxury" slot with the high performance Diamante. It shows car buyers that Mitsu really means business, intends to stay in the U.S. and as displayed by the all-new Diamante assembled in Australia and the zoomy Eclipse rag top they are keeping Mitsus styling current with the trends.

The redesigned Diamante for '97 comes with a sohc V6 of 3.5 liters and it scoots down the highway. There's also a new automatic transmission that learns a drivers habits and shift patterns accordingly.

Then 210 hp four-door has interior appointments worthy of any luxury car and carried on our test cars price sticker of $38,308 were a bunch of _no charge_ features such as power windows, power locks, heated mirrors, tinted glass, rear window defroster, cup holders, power seats, clock, lots wood and CD player with six speakers.

Mileage is 18 city and 26 highway...not bad for a 3400 pound sedan. Dual airbags are standard.

Though Mitsubishi says the list price for the car is $30,000 the trip up to 38 grand stemmed from two luxury group packages of $2,600 each and which included sunroof, homelink system, ABS, auto dimming, remote audio control (?) and few more goodies you really don_t need. The car rides on 107.1 inch wheelbase and like Chrysler they are touting "cab forward" styling.

Part of the reason for Diamantes outstanding performance for 1997 is the increased use of aluminum in the car which of course reduces weight and gives you more steam away from the stoplight.

Though BMW and Infiniti J30 have four door sedans in the same product category it's worth flogging a Diamante on a dealer test drive and find out just what else is out there, All these cars are so well made and have such impressive performance you really have to set yourself a set of parameters and grade each model on a I-10 scale. Mitsu may amaze you.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel