Junkyard Find: 1994 Mitsubishi Diamante Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Station wagons were falling out of favor in a hurry with American car shoppers as the 1990s progressed, especially after the 1991 Ford Explorer and 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee hit showrooms and put the hammer down on the truckification of our roads. Mitsubishi didn't seem to worry about such trends, though, and a longroof version of the Diamante luxury sedan appeared here for the 1993 model year. Here's one of those extremely rare wagons, found in a Northern California car graveyard a couple of months back.

junkyard find 1994 mitsubishi diamante wagon

I visit a lot of junkyards, and this is the first Diamante wagon I'd spotted since I ran across a '95 back in 2015.

Mitsubishi built plenty of Colt wagons for Chrysler, and the North American version of the Delica passenger van was called a wagon by Mitsubishi Motors North America. If you require a properly big station wagon with Mitsubishi badges, though, this is the one.

The sedan version of the Diamante was built in Japan, but the wagons came from Australia.

This one got fairly close to 200,000 miles during its life.

It appears to have been well cared for during its 29-year career. The body and interior look good and the original owner's manual was still in the glovebox.

The top-level Diamante LS sedan got a 202-horse DOHC version of the versatile 6G72 V6 engine, but the ES sedan and wagon got this SOHC 6G72 with 175 horsepower.

Mitsubishi built Diamantes with four-wheel-drive and manual transmissions, but those were never sold here. North American Diamantes all got front-wheel-drive and automatics.

The Diamante sedan was cheaper than the rest of the Japanese luxury sedan competition (including the quite affordable Mazda 929, in its second-to-last model year in 1994). It was the only big Japanese luxury wagon sold here during its time.

The MSRP on this wagon was $25,850, or about $53,773 in 2023 dollars.

Toyota gave up on the Cressida wagon here after 1987, while Nissan stopped selling Maxima wagons the following year. Toyota offered the Camry wagon all the way through 1996, but that car just couldn't measure up to the Diamante wagon's opulence.

It didn't matter. Few Americans bought Diamante sedans, and even fewer went for the Diamante wagon. 1995 was the last year for the Diamante wagon here.

Mitsubishi put AUX jacks on many of its factory radios during the 1990s, thanks to the Mini-Disc boom in Japan during that decade. You can also find AUX jacks on some U.S.-market 1990-1991 Subaru Legacy radios; just about everyone else waited until the mid-to-late 2000s to include this useful feature. Yes, I bought this radio for a car-parts boombox project.

Here's an advertisement from the Diamante wagon's homeland.

[Images: Author]

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2 of 16 comments
  • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Jun 22, 2023

    Mitsu was in full stride at this time. Growing the line above the Galant and giving Toyota and Nissan a run for its money. However, it dithered on its next step (V6 for Galant, replacement for Diamante, God awful styling). Then the Koreans ate their lunch.

  • Fred Fred on Jun 25, 2023

    Who ever thought an equalizer was a good idea for a car must not have driven much.

  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.