Used 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante Sedan

2002 Mitsubishi Diamante
List price range
2002 Mitsubishi Diamante


  • Attractive styling, low price.


  • Numerous design and ergonomic flaws, easily befuddled transmission, lacks availability of key features.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A diamond best left in the rough.

vehicle overview

We recently conducted a comparison of eight entry-level luxury sedans. The Mitsubishi Diamante was not among them. Why? Our rules for comparisons say that competing vehicles must have either won the previous test, or be all-new or significantly revised. The Diamante hasn't been redesigned or significantly revised since 1998, and it didn't win our 1999 entry-level luxury sedan test. Actually, it came in last.

This wasn't due to styling. We generally approve of this car's shape, and Mitsubishi has further updated the look this year with a restyled grille, hood and decklid; new combination lamps; and new wheels.

The last-place finish wasn't due to a poor value equation, either. The base ES model comes with a CD player, a 10-way-adjustable power seat and an anti-theft engine immobilizer. Stepping up to the LS nets leather seats, 16-inch alloy wheels, driver seat memory, a power sunroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, woodgrain accents, color-keyed body-side molding and a HomeLink transmitter. You also get steering wheel audio controls, but the All Weather Package is required to get heated seats, heated exterior mirrors and traction control. The new VR-X, slotted between the ES and LS, is designed to appeal to those who prefer more sporting features and driving dynamics, and as such comes with a performance-tuned suspension and exhaust (the latter worth a five-horsepower increase), mesh grille inserts, rear deck spoiler, white-faced instruments and the now-obligatory metallic interior accents.

Even an LS with the All Weather Package and additional accessories costs little more than $30,000. But many features found on competing vehicles aren't available on the Diamante, such as a navigation system, stability control, side (or side curtain) airbags, high-intensity discharge headlamps or an automanual transmission.

The only transmission offered is a four-speed automatic. It's not a particularly bright unit, despite Mitsu's claims of "Adaptive Shift Control." Downshifts are lumbering, which is unfortunate, as the Diamante's 210-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is a torquey and smooth unit. The Diamante has some strengths as a driver's car that include capable and confident brakes; a quiet, well-insulated interior; and sticky tires that remain silent at highway speeds. But these attributes are more than offset by the somewhat mushy suspension (on the ES and LS) and numb steering.

In the past, we've criticized the design of the climate and audio controls, saying they were overly fussy. Mitsubishi has at least upgraded the audio system interface this year, but the interior still has other problems. The interior materials aren't up to $30,000-sedan standards, and there's a rampant lack of nighttime control illumination. Seating is comfortable, but the rear seat does not fold down, and no center pass-through is offered.

There's not much that's positive to say about Mitsubishi's slow-selling sedan. It has the basic ingredients -- elegant shape, long list of luxury features, a seemingly sumptuous interior (as long as you don't look too closely). It even has a strong engine and comfy ride. But if you dig a little deeper, you find a host of negative traits. If you're shopping for an entry-level luxury sedan, we suggest something other than the Diamante.

2002 Highlights

A sporty new trim level, the VR-X, debuts in an attempt to put some life into the Diamante's sales charts. Otherwise, only minor changes are in store for the Diamante this year. Slight styling tweaks have been applied to the front and rear, and the interior features redesigned audio controls and an emergency inside-trunk release. One mechanical change has been made this year -- Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) has been added to all trim levels.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great car
This car was purchased in 2003, It now has 140,000 miles on it. After about 130,000k, it started to burn a little oil at high rpms, guess this is kinda my fault for always driving like a maniac and always in a hurry.. Anyways, now, if i keep it at low rpms the engine is fine, I haven't had any problems with the transmission, heater and a/c works great.. Has been in two wrecks and this car holds up really well, regular maintenance and good driving habits this car will last a LONG time.. I mean, nothing is broken, it all works fine, and is what, 8 years old with 140k miles on it, great buy!
100,000 Miles 2002 Diamante LS
I have owned my LS for just over 4 years now and have just under 100,000 miles on it having purchased it used with 17k miles. I test drove a variety of vehicles at the time within my price range and options requirements. Nothing else came close to the value of this car. Pblms at 100k miles: 1. One door speaker needs to be replaced 2. Antenna no longer retracts. 3. Roof Liner in back has started to droop Minor issues, but lead to a problem; replacement parts are hard to come by due to the rarity of the car. Mechanically its been a rock. Zero Dollars past scheduled maintenance so far. I am still in love with this car 4 years later.
The Mitsubishi Diamante Vr-X is a fun fast ride but since I purchased it I have had to put a lot of money into it... the heater core went around 75k, and it's conveniently place on the firewall so the job itself is a nightmare, I haven't met a Diamante driver past 80k who didn't have to do the same, now I'm having trouble with the 02 sensors, I replaced 3 last year and this year the fourth went. I'd say the car would be worth it if it didn't cost so much to maintain. About 1500$ for the heater core repair and about the same for the o2 sensor work.
Excellent Value
I love this car. I read all the reviews before I bought this car, and the power train was highly rated. This car is quiet, comfortable, powerful and reliable. I have the LS with the heated, 8-way power seats w/power lumbar and love it. This car was virtually unchanged from 98 until last year, 2004. The engine is smooth, and responsive and I get much better mileage than edmunds says. I measured 30 mpg highway in SoCal. Transmission failed at 75k (apparently common). Had it fixed by the pros at SoCal Transmission in San Diego and not a lick of trouble since. Heater core is recurrent problem w/these cars. These sell for much less than comp. Acura CL or 3.2 TL.
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Features & Specs

16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
205 hp @ 5000 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
205 hp @ 5000 rpm
16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
210 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante Sedan features & specs
More about the 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante
Used 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante Sedan Overview

The Used 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante Sedan is offered in the following styles: LS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A), ES 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A), and VR-X 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante Sedan?

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Find a used Mitsubishi Diamante for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $22,846.

Find a used Mitsubishi for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,115.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi Diamante for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,989.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,646.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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