1983 Dodge Diplomat Reviews

1983 Dodge Diplomat Medallion 6 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 6 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired67000 miles
Most recent distance117000 miles
Previous carPontiac 6000

Summary:

Very Reliable and smart looking too!

Faults:

This car was bought at a auction and inspection found the pitman arm needed to be replaced. Besides that, it was in excellent condition.

The water pump and master cylinder on the brakes have been replaced, but that's about it.

The seats had some rips in them, but a seat cover from the nearby Walmart fit perfectly and the seats look great now.

General Comments:

I have really enjoyed this car. I bought it at first for parts on my other 1983 Diplomat Salon, but after the car started on the second try at the auction, I decided to drive it as long as it would run. That was nearly 4 years ago.

This car has the slant six engine, not a favorite of Diplomat fans. While there is a heavy duty 6 cylinder available, my car has the civilian model, and there is no question it is slower than the V-8 models. But it has been QUITE reliable. This car never breaks down except for the one time the water pump died on the highway. ($65. and I was back on the road) It does tend to leak a tiny bit of oil when it is parked, but it never seems to be an issue as it runs great every time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2004

1st Sep 2009, 19:12

Update ; This car still runs and is a daily driver September 2009!

1983 Dodge Diplomat Salon 3.7 liter slant six from North America

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.7 liter slant six Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired130000 miles
Most recent distance134000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

Not a race car, but nicely-styled and will take your abuse

Faults:

A few days after I bought it, car started stalling out at stop signs and red lights. My mechanic discovered it was idling too low because the carburetor was loose. He tightened the screws for $80, and it never stalled again.

Battery died (but it was obviously worn when I got the car).

Around 132,000, the horn stopped working when the car was on (but it still works when the car was off, oddly enough).

Carpet by driver's feet badly worn.

Goes through antifreeze (about a medium McDonalds cup a month).

Didn't have a tailpipe or resonator when I bought it, they had fallen off from rust.

Leaks a very small amount of oil when the engine is hot (less than a quart between changes).

The front brakes were worn badly when I bought the car. The pads were squealing, and the rotors were warped so the car would shake when I braked. Finally had to replace them at 133,000 (a friend of mine did the labor, so it was just $80 in parts).

The roof is rusty, and much of the paint has peeled off it.

General Comments:

It has held up well for being so abused throughout its life, still doesn't burn a drop of oil, the transmission shifts smoothly. It has only not started twice--once when the battery died, once when it ran out of gas. Aside from the roof, there is little visible rust, and this car has spent its life in Canada and Upstate New York.

I like the old-fashioned styling, all the chrome, the woodgrain dash, the sharply sculpted lines around the hood and the nose-like front end. It looks a little more old-fashioned than the Chevy Caprice and Ford Crown Vic, more like a 70s car than an 80s. Navy blue is a good color for this car; it makes it look more like an undercover cop car (which, I am told, this car once was; it has a couple police options, and a big hole under the dash where a police radio was once hooked up).

Gets high teens to the gallon, pretty good for a six-cylinder engine that was originally designed in the 60s, but not great by today's standards. Acceleration from a stop isn't very good, it's a heavy car, but it gets better once you're going fast, and the top speed is at least 10 miles over 85 (which is as high as the speedometer goes). Handling is poor, however, and you have to take it slow on twisty or rough roads. It is very comfortable and quiet on good roads. The muffler is old and rusty and it is very loud on the outside, but inside you don't notice at all. Not very good in rain or snow, even with the special police anti-slip rear end, but, in fairness, most of the smaller front-wheel drive economy cars I have driven did worse in snow.

Comfortable seats, very roomy (three people on the front bench are as comfortable as three in back). The trunk isn't as big as on similarly-sized Chevy cars, but it's still bigger than most people will need.

I have the absolute base model, no options except power steering, power brakes and automatic transmission (and these things were probably standard by 83 anyway). Plain cloth seats, AM radio which still works. Still worth the $380 I paid for it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th December, 2003

14th Jul 2004, 18:06

There were six cylinder police models, even had a heavy duty engine available. They stopped with this option in 1983.

6th Dec 2004, 09:07

I have a 1983 Dodge Diplomat Salon, 8 Cylinder. Great car! However, I need the toggle switch to turn on the rear defroster. Any idea where I can get one? dodgeowner@kwgcapital.com.

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 2 reviews