I’m looking to buy an '02-'04 Diamante and I’m concerned about the reliability/repairability of the CVT. How many miles should I expect before I run into trouble?
That’s a very open-ended question. Mitsubishi cars do not have the extremely high reliability record of Toyotas, Honda and Mazda. Besides, the transmission is new in the market here, although sold overseas for some years.
US dealers have not learned to rebuild these yet, so any trouble meams a change-out of the whole unit; hopefully under warranty.
So, if you drive gently, maintain the car by the book, and develop a rapport with your dealer, I would say, go ahead.
If, on the other hand you drive aggresively and are forgetful about maintenance you will be setting yorself up for some giant repair bills! Transmission shops have not learned to overhaul these yet, so you are at the mercy of the dealer.
Personally, I would only rcommend this vehicle to my friends who are engineers or car-savvy types.
If you like a smooth transmission, you could say that some things are worth paying for. I had a Saturn Vue, a 2003. I got rid of it because the seats were trying to injure me and I did not like the suspension. The transmission needed two minor fixes for free. You have some miles of warranty to try it out. The transmission will give the engine a break and improve the gas mileage. I got 29 highway MPG on one trip. 4 cylinder 2WD, AC, and electric (mediocre) PS which also helped the gas mileage an insignificant little bit.
No worries! The '02-'04 Diamante used a regular 4-speed automatic, not a CVT.