From £10,6954
Looks alone can't carry the baby Chrysler any more, and against more advanced rivals it's beginning to feel aged

Our Verdict

Chrysler Ypsilon

The Chrysler Ypsilon is a compact, economical five-door hatchback with cute looks and lots of equipment

What is it?

Currently the top-spec version of Chrysler's Ypsilon supermini, and a potential rival to the likes of other style-led runabouts like the Fiat 500. We like the Ypsilon's quirky styling, and the fact that it seems to arrive with plenty of kit as standard means it can also offer good value for money.

That could soon change for the better, too, because there's talk that Chrysler may soon drop the price of the Ypsilon substantially. For the moment, though, this Ypsilon S-Series costs £12,795 in standard form and comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, twin chromed tail pipes, a Bose stereo, air conditioning, start-stop system and Bluetooth connectivity. The only option fitted to our test car was two-tone matt paint, which took the total price to £13,495.

The Ypsilon's exterior styling still looks relatively fresh, but the cabin has fallen far behind class leaders. There are far too many cheap-feeling plastic surfaces inside, and while the centralised instrument cluster may allow Chrylser to swap easily between left and right-hand drive it means the driver has to take their eye off the road to check the speedo. 

Other elements are well placed, and the Ypsilon's high gear lever still does it credit. Our car came powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 68bhp and 75lb ft of torque, coupled to a five-speed manual gearbox. It's curently the most powerful petrol option you can buy in the Ypsilon.

What's it like?

Ok, but not great and nowhere near the class best. The Ypsilon's 1.2-litre engine quickly runs out of steam and has to be worked hard to perform. Even above 2000rpm there's always the feeling of not having enough power. It is rather composed, however, and there's only a small amount of noise intrusion into the cabin at motorway speeds.

The car's shift indicator appears to work against drivers, telling you to change down well before you've reached a decent speed and thereby leaving you bogged down in the rev range where there's little power. Chrysler says the car can reach 60mph in 12.9 seconds and has a top speed of 101mph, but in reality it feels too slow.

What we did enjoy was the Ypsilon's steering, which for the most part is quick and accurate. A selectable City mode quickly loosens up the wheel for driving in urban areas, and in these situations the Chrysler feels rather nimble. On the road and in normal mode, it's relatively well-weighted, though with no feedback through the wheel.

We also liked the way the Ypsilon dealt with the sub-urban potholes and road imperfections of rural Bedfordshire. The ride is quite soft, and although there's plenty of body roll the Ypsilon remains quite composed.

For the most part it's also quite a comfortable drive, but while the front seats are supportive and roomy there's little space on the back bench for adults. Best to keep to short journeys if you'll be using the Ypsilon to transport more than two or three adults.

Should I buy one?

Probably not, because the fact is there are better, cheaper rivals out there. If you're convinced enough to try the Chrysler S-series as a daily runabout you'll find it to be a capable companion provided you don't need masses of space. It's a relatively likeable hatch, but we'd wait for the rumoured price cut before considering parting with any cash.

Chrysler Ypsilon 1.2 S-series

Price £12,795 (£13,495 with options ) 0-60mph 12.9sec Top speed 101mph Economy 55.4mpg combined CO2 118g/km Kerbweight 965kg Engine 1242cc, four-cylinders in-line, petrol Power 68bhp at 5500rpm Torque 75lb ft at 3000rpm Gearbox 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
15

27 May 2014
Is this the only car currently on sale that provides the passenger with a speedometer in preference to the driver?

27 May 2014
MG 3 should wipe the floor with this, more space, power, cheaper price and insurance.
Looks are subjective, however i like the styling of both of these superminis, a bit different in the MG's case, and very different in the Chryslers.

27 May 2014
Why isn't this being sold as a Lancia in the UK? It's a better badge with greater appeal than Chrysler.

27 May 2014
Explained rather well in the previous article about it:

"The Chrysler Ypsilon is the smallest of the new breed of Italian-built Lancias, uniquely badged as Chryslers for the UK because Fiat would rather not confuse, upset or frighten us by re-launching Lancia here having killed it off years ago"

27 May 2014
Because the marketing people are incredibly stupid - don't understand cars, don't understand the brands and don't care.

27 May 2014
Chris576 wrote:

Because the marketing people are incredibly stupid - don't understand cars, don't understand the brands and don't care.

...or because to the man/woman in the street the name Lancia means absolutely nothing.

27 May 2014
It must be only a matter of time before a successor appears in the form of a 5 door Fiat 500, which has to be a good thing.

TUK

27 May 2014
The speedo placement wouldn't be so bad if they had swapped the dials for the RHD market. I see the occasional Ypsilon on the road and it is very eye-catching and stylish (in a good way). I have been tempted to buy one used as they are very good value for money and are a little different from the mainstream. Regarding cabin quality, I have seen one in a showroom and thought it OK, not great, but certainly better than the latest Renault Clio which had dreadful black gloss plastic everywhere.

PS Autocar... why are the pictures 3 years old... I thought you were reviewing the latest S-Series?

MrJ

27 May 2014
So sad that a marque that once had the Delta Integrale as a star ends up like this. As for confusing the public, if a product is good enough, then a brand can come back from the dead, just as Skoda has.

27 May 2014
Ugliest interior I have ever seen.

There are 2 "r"s in "currently".

MrJ wrote:

then a brand can come back from the dead, just as Skoda has.

It was never dead.

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