Chrysler Ypsilon

3 Oct, 2011 4:04pm James Disdale

Striking new supermini from Chrysler makes a big impression


Despite Chrysler’s claims, the Ypsilon doesn’t make the grade as a premium supermini. Look past the quirky styling and distinctive interior, and you find a car that struggles to match mainstream rivals in almost every area. Lacklustre driving dynamics, a low-quality cabin and high prices are the biggest issues, while poor refinement adds to the car’s woes. Not even the brilliant TwinAir engine and promise of clever big car options are enough to boost the Ypsilon’s chances of success.
It's renowned for big MPVs in the UK, but now Chrysler is thinking small with its latest model.

The tiny Ypsilon is a rebadged Lancia and promises to provide unrivalled luxury, technology and refinement for a supermini. But it’s the bold styling that will grab your attention first.

With fussy curves, creases and straight lines, the tall and narrow Ypsilon won’t be to everyone’s taste. Two-tone paint is a £600 option, but it fails to improve the looks.

The interior is equally daring, with a central instrument pod and distinctive Castiglio seat trim. It all feels cheap compared to rivals, though, and is quite cramped, too. Our test car also creaked and rattled over bumps.

Still, there’s a decent amount of kit on SE models, including air-con, ambient lighting and a leather steering wheel.

Big car options include xenon lights and a self-parking system, and there’s a familiar line-up of Fiat-sourced petrol and diesel engines. The eager, punchy TwinAir is the best.

Light controls and a high driving position make the Ypsilon great in town, but on the open road, a lack of grip, as well as poor refinement and body control, mean it trails well behind its rivals.

Key specs

* Price: £13,195
* Engine: 900cc 2cyl, turbo
* Power/torque: 84bhp/145Nm
* Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
* 0-62mph: 11.7 seconds
* Top speed: 109mph
* Economy/CO2: 67.3mpg/99g/km
* Equipment: Air-con, ambient cabin lighting, 15-inch alloys, stop-start, LED tail lamps, powered door mirrors, leather steering wheel
* On sale: Now