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.

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I have to say I think this is one ugly looking car! I know many don't think so. They should of styled the front like the grand voyager.

Sorry AE, but this car is worth more than a 2 star rating. As readers have mentioned before your magazine is losing credibility and is clearly biased towards certain marques especially Ford and BMW. Btw, I think the Ford Fiesta is a 2 star car!

How have Chrysler managed to make this car even more ugly than the Lancia version.
What a bunch of muppets!

but it seems the reviewer in the Telegraph drove a very different car from the one you have given two stars to. All a matter of opinion i suppose

Toy collector obviously needs to go to specsavers as the car is the same as the lancia even down to the Chrysler style grill which lancia are now sporting. AE produce another waste of time review.

I've always liked the Ypsilon. I saw this latest model in Budapest last month and in all-white it looked good, so that would save you £600 for the two-tone. This and the Delta give Chrysler dealers something to sell that might be bought by the average motorist who wants something different. Looking through Chrysler's website, I noticed that their finance deals are tagged "Chrysler Horizons" which recollect a model from their less than glorious past in the UK. Hopefully this time, with Fiat's money and Lancia's model range, Chrysler get it right.

If this car were to have had a Ford badge on it,it would have been the best small car since time began !

This review is an example of the biased and unfair reporting that Auto Express is now infamous for.
Had this car had a Ford, BMW or Jaguar Badge it would have been the greatest thing since sliced bread.
These A E reviews have now become totally useless to prospective customers as is the magazine which is why I have cancelled my subscription.

Auto Express reviews cars on their own individual merits. We have no bias for or against any specific brands, as evidenced by our recent New Car Awards, where 14 different companies won prizes.

The Ypsilon was driven alongside its class rivals by our vastly experienced Deputy Road Test Editor, who assesses and rates hundreds of cars a year.

It's expensive, inferior on the road and cannot compete in terms of build quality. We stand by our review.

Graham Hope,
Deputy Editor, Auto Express

You can't blame AE for telling it like it is - and IT IS catastrophically ugly. I like the way the tv ads have this model rotating as though it's floating through space, and even then I still can't find one angle that this thing looks good from. Don't shoot the journalists, take aim on the soon-to-be-fired person that signed this off for production!

it's obviously Lancia's design work on it, unique and frighfully fugly.

WTF would Chrysler want to rebadge a dreadful Lanica range is beyond comprehension? Are they planning on shooting themselves and killing themselves off the British market? Upmarket? The build quality is not better than the Fiat 500 and at this price you will be mug to buy one. I would rather buy the Audi A1 at this price.

i agree with huge amounts of comments about AE. The magazine is not worth wasting your money on anymore, i bought it for nearly 15 years. i stopped buying it because at least if i look on the internet at some of its biased reviews and also some of the horrendous headlines othat entice you in just to be rendered images, it hasnt cost me a penny.

Well, why is it then, Evo rated this Chrysler Ypsilon 3.5 Stars?? Actually it's not expensive because the base model 1.2 starts from around £10,000!! You say 'inferior on the road' but that's not what Evo and Autocar reports. 'Build Quality'?? No not really, if anything Lancia uses better materials, fabrics, wheels, engines etc etc... again, better than any Ford and most other rivals in this price category. Remember Lancia is a 'near premium' marque in case you forgot. You can stand by your review but I and many others don't agree and will be single minded and not manipulated by it.

I agree with those that feel AE has become biased towards certain marques, regardless of their denial. I am also starting to find the mag rather boring as they just bulk it up, week after week with stuff that has been included many times before. There has also been an infiltration of "Clarkson" type arrogance by the reporters. It's typical, something gets really good over a period of years and then gets ruined by over confidence. I was even more infuriated by Dan Strong's bad manners some years ago, when I reported that I had video spy shots of a camouflaged car, that I had chased around the country lanes, outside York. I was completely ignored, and ignored yet again after I complained!! NOT GOOD!! I also am thinking of ending my subscription and moving to a monthly instead.

Can everyone stop going on about Auto Express.
They are there to review the cars you don't have.
If you have this car and want to give your opinion, use the Driver Survey to review, otherwise stop it.
The Car.
Build quality is an issue. I've seen this and compared to any major brands this is a major issue.
Korean companies are better built than this car.
Gutless engines are a problem.
Just cannot understand, why didnt they just call it Lancia (in right hand drive)?
Silly really. Lancia is a good name. I can see why they gave the Chevy name, as Chevy's in the UK are rubbish.

Sorry Chevy, I meant Chrysler. But both brands need improving none the less

Build Quality isn't an issue actually, it's based Im guessing on the Fiat 500 widely acknowledged as a very well built car! It's also a 5NCAP safety rated car. Youre just using old cliches of 70's & 80's Lancia's. As a Europhile who travels extensively throughout Europe I can assure Lancia is a very well respected and popular Marque particularly in France, Poland, Portugal, Holland, Hungary, Ukraine etc..Why is it the UK hasn't caught on? Btw, I've driven both Punto and Picanto and there's no difference in build quality, infact the Fiat uses superior soft touch plastics. Gutless engines? really? what about Multiair (engine of the year 2010) then? What about Multijet diesels?

This car is all wrong!
Pretentious in one word. It even does not look luxurious or pretty on the photos. Probably it would look more decent in all black.
I would rather go for a Panda than that!

Under that yank badge it is a Lancia. Nuff said.

it looks not 2 bad car it has it own idenaty. the only thing i not like about the car is the cener consel speed o on the far left closer 2 the passenger and not pointing 2 the driver. i drove a van with the same idear and i hated it as it was taking my eyes more off the road.they say as it not a big supermini car production makes the car worse i hear about fiesta and yaris owners not happy with there cars on how the car is put together.

Cheers for the comment.
Hey AE got any positions?

What a rubbish review of a genuinely new car, which yes might not be to everyones taste, but does it really drive that bad to give it 2 stars? I dont think so. Typical of a UK based Car Magazine bashing an Italian Marque (since its a lancia after all). I'm not surprised at all but as usual im disappointed. To think people pay money to read that crap too!!

mierda en el papel.

I deliver cars for a living, and I've had a 60 mile drive in one of these sorry looking spastics. They're already nicknamed the Epileptic at the dealership I delivered this thing to.

AE are right - it's a pretentious pile of crap. It drives like a third rate Korean and it really is cheap and nasty inside - Lancia have done well to achieve the Chrysler feel of crapness inside. If you're hoping to find the plushness of a 20 year old Thema, don't waste your time.

If you've got 13 grand and want to buy something daft looking, buy a Juke instead - at least that's a proper car underneath. Or an Audi A1 which is nicely finished and drives like a 15 grand car.

You really have no style common peasant, this Chrysler Ypsilon looks miles more interesting, than most of the opposition! Quite frankly, it doesn't matter what you say because this car will please the connoisseur of Design like myself who appreciate good Design, unlike the piles of junk that are a common sight and best sellers on UK roads! As a general rule, Mediocrity always outsells the best! Chrysler and Lancia is an elite marque not for peasants like you! Btw, EVO that's right EVO! quotes about this Chrysler that it 'is fun to drive and funky looking'. Guess who designed the Audi A1 then? that's right! an Italian Walter De Silva! 'Juke' are you kidding???? It's hideous!! disgusting!! Just as I suspected, you really have no taste!


I now have you down as a TROLL! I cannot believe that anyone would spend time defending such a car as this. It has no saving graces and at £13,000 is daylight robery! It's ugly, badly made and IS gutless! It will never sell in the UK and I don't think it will sell in Chrysler form in Europe either!

Obviously, not having left school that long ago, you need a lesson in Lancia cars. Have you any idea why they are not sold in the UK? Lancia pulled out after the debacle that was the Lancia Beta! It rusted almost before new owners left the forecourt! The Fiat stable have improved but will never reach the quality of almost any Japanese marquee!

Residuals are going to be terrible! Pay £13,000 for this car today and throw it away in three years! It will be worth almost nothing. Buy a Focus (I am not a fan) and after three years you will at least get half back, model dependant. Buy ANY Chrysler and you would be lucky to get your deposit back!

Just one final thing… Evo is NOT the Holy Grail! When upmarket magazines review cars, they have a duty to be a little avant-garde. The review of the Chrsler was one such case. The thinking is it makes them look “Funky”. Rather like the Tony Christi record “Amerillo”. It only became a hit second time around cos some “cool” dudes said it was good. All the kids wanted to look cool!

Oh and this comment? “Mediocrity always outsells the best! Chrysler and Lancia is an elite marque not for peasants like you! “ shows you already feel you have lost your argument!

Please don't patronize me, can I have an opinion?? Who are you? a motoring hack on something? You won nothing, because in philosophy there is no right and wrong! Cars are totally objective nowadays. I bet you work for AE, so tell me why does Lancia sell well in the rest of Europe?? You say it has 'no saving graces' well, I think it shows you already have a preconception about car, face it you hate this car! '£13,000' actually as I mentioned before the entry model 1.2 starts at around £10,500 now that's great value for a near premium marque! you say 'it's ugly' I say it's brave, different, unusual and stands out from the crowd. 'badly made' youre talking rubbish there because it has 5Ncap safety rating. 'gutless' yeah right engine of year award 2010 & 2011!!! Multiair!! Again youre talking rubbish. Actually idiot in the rest of Europe it's badged as a Lancia Ypsilon not Chrysler. Actually it will sell well in Europe not all countries but the main markets for Lancia I already mentioned above. 'Residuals' this time youre correct mmm.... I think Chrysler can improve on that, it will take time for the image improve. 'Mediocrity always outsells the best' well, isn't that true?? Ford's, Vauxhall's, McDonald's, X Factor!! bestsellers aren't they? Oh I forgot, EVO is best car mag right now. At least they like Lancia's and are just in their verdicts.

JTravolta- you're either a metal case, an excitable schhochild, a hysterical Woman or perhaps an unholy mix of all three. Your long and hysterical post says to me that you have yet to lose your virginity - I would concentrate on achieving that goal first.

The Lachryslia Epileptic is a heap of crap designed by halfwit Italian chancers for easily fooled idiots like you. I'm assuming you've actually driven one of these miserable turds?

When are you taking delivery?

Would you be so kind as to furnish us all with total Lancia sales for the last 12 months? It's just that I've not seen one in France or Germany for a very long time. Ta!
Apologies for the typos in the above post Darling. Must rush!

Im buying one!

This car for the price and badge is unbeatable!! For £10,500 plus, what more could you ask for!! Remember you can change the badges to Lancia ones if you so desire! Ask yourselves, what would you rather have? A Lancia/ Chrysler badge or a crappy run of the mill, mundane Ford, Kia, Toyota, Vauxhall,Skoda etc etc.. badge? Exactly!!

Kevin Kevin Kevin, you poor Lamb. You're clearly as stupid as your name suggests. It's 'you're' by the way, as in 'you are'.

Chrysler Fiat are relying on fools like you - did I say you're stupid? I did? Okay.

For £10'500 I'll buy a used Golf and have something you clearly lack - self respect.You'll be driving around in a car everyone will think is your Mum's. Luv & kisses!

HB (Mrs)

beta was no worse than most other basic cars at the time.

This one restores the balance!
Drove the 2 pot multi air today and what a surprise! Better than my alfa mito 1.4 veloce too. A well built and finished mini with excellent handling and as quick any nut case should wish for at the price.

This is the car for the times, performance, economy when needed, quiet yet as small as a 4 seater can be with a decent boot and low drag shape.

In the today's vernacular, get real you lot and look further than your navels before writing!

This a great car after I have a test drive the 0.9 twinair auto SE. It is very practical to have 5 doors build with super-mini. the rear passengers seats are roomy and foot space is generous. The back seats canbe folded to increase boots space to allow two golf bages! With offer at the moment VAT free is a fair price to purchase. The car looks great with other competing brand. The acceration is reponsive, drive is fun and great. Parking is no problem with small parking space. I would personally consider to buy it!

Not able to comment upon this vehicle's abilities or even its appearance until I actually see one. However this is yet another silly name for the English speaking world in the furrow of the Renault Wind and V.W. Up!

In Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World", all babies were manufactured in test tubes and pre-programmed with appropriate abilities for their station in life. Thus "Epsilom (i.e. Ypsilom) semi-morons" were destined for a life of back breaking labour. Not really a very good association!

Im looking to test drive a ypsilom. and yes i have a real lancia. i was also brought up with them as my father run a crash repair business that worked for a lancia dealership in the 70s / 80s. he used to ziebart betas as they arrived stopping the rust setting in, and who's to say they were the only ones with rust problems. All the big car firms had rust issues, only Lancia's put there hands up.It seems that some on this site have a very narrow view, taking the British way of condemming it before it has a chance to prove it self. I will be looking at the diesel engine which has more than proved it self as a great engine. as it goes in more than Fiats, (vauxhall) for one use it. Also as its based on a 500 pan that cant be bad either, or Ford wouldnt use it for the new KA which i have driven and as well as the corsa with the derv init. So try something different you might just like it. At the moment i have a new shape Ibiza, and yes i know its a VW underneath but it has the badge that most wont go for. Stand out from the rest . DEan

For a lot less you could get the new Panda which is fantastic value in comparison. Unlike the new Delta, the Ypsilon doesn't appear to offer anything that would attract me away from the competition.

I attended event at Millbrook Proving Ground recently and was able to drive a large number of cars, big, small, expensive, not expensive (no cheap cars any more, of course). I really wanted to like the Ypsilon - for being different and interesting and not another fiesta, corsa etc. What a disappointment. Worst drive I had all day. It gave me no confidence on windy hilly parts of Millbrook and screamed in pain, getting up steep hils. I'd driven Seat Mii before (great) and the Fiat 500 straight after. The Fiat was a brilliant drive. Much better roadholding, much more practical inside, much lighter inside.

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