Well where do I start, I love this car to death. I paid $7200 for it with only 67,000 miles on it.
Originally when I was looking for a replacement for my Geo Storm, I was looking for small and mid size foreign cars like Civics, Sentras, Corollas, Galants, Sonatas, Optimas, Proteges, etc. But for around $7,000, you could only get these cars with power nothing, and they would have 80,000 to 150,000 miles plus on them with tons of dings and dents.
I wanted a car I could get good gas mileage with, and then I saw this Diamante in a magazine for only $7500. I called, and I thought that it would have very high miles, and when I called the dealership, the woman said this car only has 67,000 miles on it. I thought well okay, I could get a small car, save money on gas, pay more for the smaller car, with less options, a car that I don't even quite care for, and which has higher miles on it, or get a car I really like that is cheaper, lower miles, very reliable, has more options, but doesn't get as good gas mileage. I am smart, and I know that in the long run I would save more money with the more fuel efficient car, but I knew I would only be keeping this car a couple of years, and I rather have a car that I actually like to look at and and enjoy driving (you only live once, so why not). So I went to go see it, fell in love with it, and walked away with it for $7200 in February of 2006.
My own personal Diamante is Versailles Green Metallic in color, and has a tan leather interior. Mine came with a power moonroof, power seats, power locks, power windows, power antenna, powered and heated mirrors, digital climate control, 16" alloy wheels, 3.5 Liter V-6, 4-wheel disc brakes, leather, 6 speaker CD player with a 10 disc CD changer in the trunk, fog lights, security system, etc. The car was immaculate with no accidents, one owner, and no rust.
The interior is great. The wood grain looks very real, and has not peeled or chipped at all. I love the two tone interior with the black and the tan, with little splashes of chrome on the door handles. Although the leather is starting to show its age in the front seats, but what do you expect with a 10 year old car.
The Diamante is very roomy and fits 4 very comfortably, and fits 5 snugly. I really like how the windows have no frames around them - makes the doors feel light, but yet sturdy when you close them.
The car does lack interior lights.
The gauges are nice, except I wish mine would have come with the electroluminescent gauges that turn all black when the car is off, and when lit come out with a very intense white.
The digital climate control is very cool, kind of looks like a mini GPS screen or something from far away. The climate control is very easy to use, despite all of the buttons.
The six speaker audio system sounds great, although I blew the bottom door speakers right away when I got the car, and just replaced them with some Pioneers.
The 10 disc CD changer is the best thing on this car. I love that fact that I don't have to fumble around with CD's in the car, and keep bringing different ones in and out of the car all the time. Instead I just change them out every few weeks.
I like that the stereo has an anti theft thing on it that requires a code if ever the stereo is taken out or the battery is disconnected or dies. But it is rather frustrating the times when the battery has died and I didn't have the code number in the car. It would inconvenience me until I had time to retrieve the code from my house and put it in.
This is also the first car I have ever had that didn't have things jingling around loose or cheaply put together in the inside to drive me nuts.
The ride is very comfortable and quiet. I love the giant armrest in the backseat, but I found out that with some of the Diamantes, that this armrest could also be turned into a child seat. I wish I had that, since I just had a baby 2 weeks ago.
As for the outside of the Diamante, I love the lines on this car. To me it looks like a BMW up front if you squint your eyes because of the round headlights and the grille. Otherwise the rest of the car looks like an Lincoln LS. The 16" wheels are really nice, but are expensive when buying tires.
I have had problems with the brakes and warping, just like all the other Diamante owners. I have replaced the rotors with new ones and installed ceramic brake pads, and now the brakes work great and are very quiet.
I did replace the headlights and fog lights with 8500k lights and white LED license plate lights, trying to really give the car that high class look.
The Diamante runs very smoothly, and has been extremely reliable for the past 20,000 miles. The only things I had to replace were the battery, tires, front brake pads and rotors, and recharge the air conditioning, but these are all pretty standard maintenance, and nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing power has broken.
The biggest complaint and only complaint I have is the gas mileage, but what do you expect with a upscale mid size car with a big V-6. On average I get around 16 to 18 MPG. I do drive some good amount of stop and go driving, and do have a bit of a lead foot, but even when I try not to, I still get the same amount. When I have driven up north or to Chicago, I have gotten pretty good gas mileage from around 24 to 26 MPG. Once I got 29 MPG and just recently I got 30 MPG. But that is straight driving with no stops. I keep the air pressure in the tires at 32, replaced air filter, put in gas treatments, 1/2 the time I put in premium gas like it recommends, etc. And yet I still keep getting around 16 to 18 MPG. But I kind of expected that when I bought the car, but I thought it would be more like 18 to 22 MPG or something like that.
The Diamante drives pretty well in the snow since I got rid of the Michelins that were on it and put on some expensive Fusion VR1 tires. Now I blast through anything with minimal slipping. I have had no repairs on the engine at all, which I am so thankful for because this is the first car I have ever bought that didn't need $1,000 in repairs in just the first year.
All in all, this is a great car. I would and I do recommend the Diamante to everyone and anyone looking for reliable transportation at a very reasonable price. Yes, the owners of Diamantes that paid $35,000 for their Diamante got ripped off with the terrible depreciation. But the person that buys a Diamante used really comes out the winner. But if you see a used one with minimal miles for inexpensive, seriously pick it up. You will not regret it. There really is not too many upscale mid-size foreign cars that you can get for under $10,000 with under 100,000 miles with every feature known to man on it.
I highly recommend the Diamante, and if you treat it good, it will treat you good right back.