With a diamond attached to its name, it’s no wonder that the Mitsubishi Diamante spells nothing but luxury inside and out. This full-size vehicle was actually created to compete with the Honda Legend—a mid-size luxury car that was introduced to the market in 1985. It also replaced the Mitsubishi Magna, serving as a second-generation version of this Galant-Sigma based car. Here’s a quick look at the Mitsubishi Diamante from its inception, success, and demise.
First generation: Arriving in Japan, Australia, and the U.S.
The Mitsubishi Diamante was introduced to the market in the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show and sales immediately began in the spring of the following year. On initial release, the model was a four-door hardtop and it had frameless windows. It was available with three types of V6 engines with varying fuel capacities—2.0 L, 2.5 L, and 3.0 L. It was also available in three body types—a four-side window sedan, a six-side window sedan, and a wagon. Compared to its contemporaries, the four-side window Diamante sedan did not feature rear quarter windows. Instead, its side glasses were found in its doors. The six-side window sedans and wagons, on the other hand, were manufactured in Australia and they looked a lot like the Mitsubishi Magna that preceded them. On its first year, the Diamante instantly became the pride and joy of Mitsubishi when it was awarded Car of the Year in Japan.
The Diamante reached the American shores in 1992 and the models that reached the U.S. came from both Japanese and Australian assembly lines. The car was initially available in two trim levels, and they were all automatic, front-wheel drive vehicles. One of the trims available was the ES, which was powered by a 3.0 L 6G72 SOHC V6 engine. This trim came with standard features like power windows and mirrors, cruise control, driver’s airbag, etc. The other trim available in the American market was the LS, which was backed by a 3.0 L 6G72 DOHC V6 engine. This trim came with alloy wheels, a manual roof, ABS, etc.
Second generation: Changes and makeovers
The second generation of Diamantes was introduced to the Japanese market in January 1995. The new model noticeably had better headroom and it was still available in different types of engines. Just like its first generation, the new and improved Diamante was packed with new gadgets such as a satellite navigation system, distance-keeping system, and a 5-speed automatic transmission that came with a transverse drivetrain. The new generation of Diamantes arrived in the U.S. two years after in 1997. And in 2002 and 2004, the car received an exterior makeover until sales stopped in America due to its poor performance in the market. The Diamante was sold until 2005 and it was later replaced by the new GTS trim of the Galant.