New Car Review
MITSUBISHI DIAMANTE WAGON
by: BILL RUSS
SEE ALSO:Mitsubishi Buyer's Guide
Diamante is the newest Mitsubishi nameplate, and the Wagon is the newest Diamante. Following the successful introduction of its luxury four-door sedan, Mitsubishi extensively studied current design and sales trends and came away convinced that the market for station wagons will continue to increase throughout the '90's. It also learned that many owners and prospective buyers look upon the station wagon as a logical extension of their sedan when their need increases for added space and versatility. They want more room for hauling people and things, but not at the expense of amenities and performance. With these findings Mitsubishi designers and engineers went to work, and deftly reconfigured the Diamante sedan into an attractive and practical station wagon.
APPEARANCE: The Wagon retains the clean Euro-styling lines of the Diamante sedan. In fact the two vehicles are identical to the back of the rear doors, the C pillars. From there back the aerodynamically angled roof line is slightly higher and extends back over the large rear compartment where a rear air deflector stabilizes the air flow over the rear window. Access to the rear storage area is via a large, balanced, lift-up rear hatch, fitted with a washer/wiper and defogger. Lower body plastic cladding provides side protection and styling that is also enhanced by optional alloy wheels and Goodyear touring tires.
COMFORT: In base trim the Wagon is very well equipped for convenience and comfort. Air conditioning, AM/FM/cassette sound, power accessories, cruise control, speed sensitive door locks and more are part of the ES trim package. Optional comfort items include leather seating and trim, power driver's seat, power sunroof, remote keyless entry, an upgrade sound system and a CD player. There are many little nooks and crannies for storage of small items, and when the 60/40 split rear seats are fully folded down up to 72 cubic feet is available for carrying cargo. Whether driving or riding the Diamante Wagon offers an excellent travelling environment with its comfortable driving position, flexible seating arrangements, easy to see and use controls, effective climate control and good basic sound system.
ROADABILITY: The Diamante Wagon has a somewhat firmer ride than the sedan as it was necessary to revise the rear suspension to accomodate its variety of seating configurations and load arrangements. However, with front wheel drive and power steering it is quite agile in tight parking situations, heavy traffic and on the open road. Goodyear Eagle GA all-season Touring tires aid in road holding, while four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, plus the optional anti-lock braking system insure safe stopping. Safety is enhanced by the driver's air bag, three point seat belts with front seat adjustable shoulder height, and the speed-sensitive automatic door locks. It is quiet on the highway and all-around vision is excellent.
PERFORMANCE: Power for the Wagon comes from Mitsubishi's 3.0 liter, single overhead cam, 12 valve, multipoint fuel injected V-6 engine. It develops 175 horsepower, and its power is delivered to the front wheels via a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. To assure desired performance levels this transmission has "economy" and "power" settings, as well as an overdrive lockout switch. An engine management computer "reads" the drivers driving habits and interacts electronically to insure smooth shifting. The stainless steel exhaust system is tuned for the sound of power.
SUGGESTIONS: For easier use relocate the driver's power seat controls. Increase visibility of station readout on radio.
ECONOMY: EPA ratings are 19 city/27 highway. My overall average was 24.2 miles per gallon.
CONCLUSIONS: The new Diamante Wagon is a vehicle that feels good. It has a solid and tight fitting body, it rides and handles well, has adequate power and smooth shifting, plus many safety features, too.
PRICE AS TESTED: $ 27,861 including every option but the CD player and the roof rack.
BASE PRICE: $ 22,950 with ES equipment.
MITSUBISHI DIAMANTE WAGON
Base Price $ 22,950 Price As Tested $ 27,861 Engine Type V-6, sohc - 12 v, mpfi Engine Size 3.0 liter/181 cid Horsepower 175 @ 5500 Torque (ft/lbs) 185 @ 3000 Wheelbase/Length 107"/192" Transmission four-speed automatic w/od Curb Weight 3620 Pounds per Horsepower 21 Fuel Capacity 19 Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular (87 oct) Tires Goodyear Eagle GA 205/65HR15 M+S Brakes anti-lock optional vented disc/vented disc Drive Train front engine/front drive PERFORMANCE EPA Economy - miles per gallon, city/highway/observed 19/27/24.2 0 to 60 mph 10.2 sec 1/4 mi (E.T.) 17.6 sec Coefficient of Drag (Cd) .40