Autopoint Articles

 

Autopoint Articles


WHAT'S IN A NAME ? CHRYSLER DELTA and YPSILON By Brian Foley

The Chrysler name is associated with large American cars and 4x4 vehicles, and in Europe with the Americanised Chrysler 300C. Since the takever by Fiat, the Italian influence is very evident in two smaller Chrysler models, the compact Delta 5-door hatchback and the Ypsilon city car. There is lots of Fiat and Lancia DNA in both the Delta and Ypsilon, lost in perception due to 'badge engineering' - similar to the heyday of BMC when models were given different names, badges and front grilles but the Austin, Morris, Riley, Wolseley and MG versions were virtually the same in every other respect. And talking about respect, the Lancia name was one of the most respected in the realm of performance cars. For Fiat to throw this great tradition out the window and abandon the Lancia name for Chrysler in various Euro zones has to be a highly questionable marketing decision.

So, what's in a name? Ask that of designer influenced people who pay big money for designer label clobber and wouldn't be seen in equally good High Street gear. In the automotive context, price is the priority and especially in these difficult times. If a dealer offers an attractive trade-in deal on a Delta or Ypsilon, who cares whether its a Chrysler, a Fiat or a Lancia, or any other brand for that matter.Only note of caution is that residual values (ie trade-in or re-sale) will not be as high as commanded by the top selling brands. Delta and Ypsilon buyers can dare to be different depending on a deal or no deal.

The Delta is a compact 5-door hatchback with smart lines, good interior space and comfort. The 1.4 Multair model has good performance with excellent petrol economy, listed for under €23K. It drives well and the extra cost options includes self-parking for those who are not good at reversing and other difficult parking manoeuvres. Other engine options are 1.6 petrol and 2.0 diesel.

The Ypsilon is a bit on the wacky side, style wise, but different and quite sporty. Size wise, it's very much on the small side, ideal for city driving and surprisingly good on the open road. The 1.2S is a zippy little number for around €14.5K. Other models are 0.9 litre Twin-Cylinder for pricey €18K OTR whilst the 1.3 diesel is listed at under €16.5.

Talking of names, Delta and Ypsilon are letters in the Greek alphabet. Prices are listed in Euros NOT Dracmas.