New Delta can be UKhigh flyer for Chrysler

I had another chance recently to drive a Chrysler Delta model which I sampled briefly prior to it going on sale in the UK.

By Allan McIntyre
Thursday, 2nd February 2012, 7:32 am

As I explained in an earlier article, although the model may have a Chrysler badge it is from the stable of its Italian shareholder company Fiat and sold in other parts of Europe as a Lancia.

Whatever name it goes under there is no doubt that the Delta is something of an eye-catcher.

Its stunning looks are much more impressive in real life than in photographs and the car turned more than a few heads during my time with it.

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The Delta UK line-up offers four trims – S, SE, SR and Limited – with two 1.4-litre petrol engines and two diesels, 1.6-litre and 2-litre.

I sampled the least powerful of the two diesels, but found the 1.6-litre 120bhp MultiJet unit pretty impressive.

In fact, there wasn’t much about this model you could find fault in, with the SR trim pretty lavish.

The high standard spec on the entry-level S offers radio/CD with MP3 compatibility, front foglamps with cornering function, remote keyless entry, manual air-conditioning and power windows front and rear.

The SR came with a lot more and included Blue&Me – handsfree Bluetooth system - Alcantara leather upholstery, cruise control and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The Delta is a compact hatchback with a lot of space inside – but the one problem I found was the lack of foot room.

Some cars don’t have a rest to put your left foot on when you’re sitting cruising on the motorway but the Delta doesn’t even have the space to the left of the clutch and I am sure that would be a bit uncomfortable for drivers on long journeys – it was awkward enough for me.

That apart, the Delta handled well going up and down the six-speed manual gearbox and it was particularly smooth, even over some major potholes.

It pulled well through the gears, accelerating from zero to 62mh in 10.7 seconds and boasting a top speed of 120mph.

You get pretty good economy as well with figures of 48.7mpg urban, 70.6mpg extra urban and 60.1mpg combined.

The car offers front and rear seat passengers lots of room with the rear seat sliding backwards for even more leg room.

Luggage space is good at 465 litres with the seats in forward position and 380 litres when they’re slid back.

Delta prices start at £16,695 for the 1.4 T-Jet 120S, rising to £25,695 while the test car’s price of £21,195 rose to £22,170 with the optional bi-colour paint and rear parking sensors.

With its attractive design and excellent quality build the Delta offers buyers something different and it can be a UK success for Chrysler.