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In-depth reviews

Chrysler Delta (2012-2015) review

The Chrysler Delta is a stylish alternative to the likes of the Ford Focus, and offers a good range of engines and low running costs

Overall Auto Express Rating

1.0 out of 5

  • Unique styling, efficient engines, spacious interior
  • Expensive to buy, firm ride, rear seats don't fold flat

The Chrysler Delta is a rebadged Lancia, which is said to promise style and luxury. It's priced to compete with cars like the Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus and SEAT Leon, and offers lots of design flair and a spacious interior. It comes with an impressive range of engines and offers good economy, too. But it's not luxurious enough to distance itself from the better-looking Alfa Romeo Giulietta and it's expensive, too.

Engines, performance and drive

The Delta is available with a choice of 1.4-litre petrol or 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel engines. All deliver a decent amount of torque, which is good news if you do a lot of motorway miles. The 138bhp petrol engine is capable of going from 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds. The 1.6-litre diesel is noisy on start-up, but feels quicker than it is on paper, but the fastest version is the 2.0-litre Multijet diesel, which is capable of going from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds. Wind and road noise is well isolated from the cabin but the ride is just too firm. Potholes and rough tarmac send vibrations into the cabin in a way that they wouldn’t in a VW Golf - adaptive dampers help cure the problem, but they’re a costly option.

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

The most efficient version of the Chrysler Delta is the 1.6 Multijet, which has fuel economy of 60.0mpg and CO2 emissions of 122g/km. The automatic version is even more efficient. The bigger diesel manages to return 55.0mpg and emits 135g/km of CO2. The 1.4-litre petrol is capable of 45.0mpg and 146g/km, but opting for the MultiAir version will improve these figures for lower road tax and a more respectable 50.0mpg.

Interior, design and technology

The Delta is designed as a stylish and fashionable alternative to more mainstream family hatchbacks. And the distinctive grille, narrow tail-lights and flowing lines mean it certainly grabs attention. On the inside, the soft-touch dash is offset by chrome trim and a stylish design. But there are a few shiny plastics and the fit and finish is questionable. There are four trim levels: S, SE, SR and Limited. All come with air-con, all-round electric windows, heated mirrors, keyless entry and fog lamps with cornering function as standard. Middle-of-the-range SR models get 17-inch alloy wheels, sumptuous leather seats and ambient lighting.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

The Delta has 465 litres of boot space or 1,190 with the rear seats folded. This is more than the Ford Focus and VW Golf, and just less than the Vauxhall Astra. That said, the boot lip is quite high, which makes lifting heavier items a bit tricky, and folding the rear seats leaves a big step. In most versions, the rear seats slide backwards and forwards for more legroom or boot space as required - in fact, the Delta offers more legroom than any other car in its class, so getting comfortable should be easy. The rear seats recline by up to 25 degrees. There isn't a lot of storage space around the cabin, but there is some room under the boot floor.

Reliability and Safety

The Lancia Delta received a five-star crash test rating when it was tested in 2008. Euro NCAP gave it three stars for child occupant and just two our of four for pedestrian protection. The Chrysler Delta comes fitted with six airbags, ESP and hill-hold assist as standard. It only arrived in the UK earlier this year so we don't yet know much about its reliability. But Fiat - which supplies the engines - came last in the 2012 Driver Power survey, which doesn't bode particularly well.

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