I bought my Diamante for $1200 and I'm not disappointed. It has problems starting even after i replaced the starter but she runs. Smooth riding car. I used to have a 2011 Kia soul and my Diamante handles a lot better. I wasn't expecting a nice engine but I'm amazed at how nice it is. One big problem i have with it is 3 of my door handles are broken. I know someone who had the same problem with theirs. Another small problem i have with this car is it feels a little cramped on the inside. My knees want to rest on the wheel. She's old and needs some more work done but for a $1200 car with 125,000 miles on it I'm very happy with it.
I've had this Diamante since early 2002. I love its look, the way it (used to) drive, and the driver comfort. As the years went on & I put more miles on it, of course, more went wrong with it. It's down right now, needing its third alternator. It has over 197,000 miles on it, though, and overall, I'm pleased with its life performance. It has a power steering problem (seems like fluid leak) that neither of my mechanics can fix. In the last 3 months, the steering has also become a bit less reliable - you have to turn the wheel more if you round a curve at over 35 mph.
I was driving my Diamante last weekend and hit a patch of black ice while taking a turn on a raised interstate. My car went into a spin and hit a concrete sidewall at about 35-40 MPH. It bounced off the front and back left bumpers before stopping. The only damage is to the bumpers and lights. The car still drives straight and has no mechanical problems, but most important of all, my two passengers and I are unhurt. This is one solid and safe car.
We bought our ES with 49K. My wife usually drives it. Both our sons and I really enjoy the acceleration of this car. The powertrain is awesome. I am a diehard Diamante lover. Their value does plummet, so buy while still under factory warranty, and let someone else bite the bullet on the depreciation. I also own a Diamante Wagon with nearly 300k. These cars ARE well made in my opinion.