Better known on the continent as the Lancia Delta the Chrysler Delta is essentially a car based on a mix of the Alfa-Romeo Giulietta
and the Fiat Bravo. Fiat had considered re-launching the Lancia into the UK, but decided after its strategic alliance with Chrysler in 2009, that it would be better to launch under the Chrysler badge. Chrysler's current portfolio errs on the side of larger MPV size cars such as the Grand Voyager, so the Delta and its sister the Ypsilon are a real move away from the Chrysler tradition.
The Fiat Bravo in itself was not a bad car but is now over five years old and was not considered to be one of the greatest in its league. However the design and engineering that has been invested into the Delta has created a unique car – there really is nothing else quite like it on the road.
Bang for your buck
There are four engines in the Chrysler Delta range; two diesels and two petrols. A powerful MultiAir and the lively TurboJet are both 1.4 litre petrol engines providing a nippy and pretty economical drive. The TurboJet can reach 0-60mph in a little less than ten seconds and feels engaging to drive. However go for the MultiAir if you can for that extra bit of power, it reaches 0-60mph in just over nine seconds and provides a great driving experience. The diesel models come with either a 2.0 litre or 1.6 litre second generation MultiJet engine, all versions have six speed gearboxes.
With four trims available, Limited, SR, SE and S, equipment levels are reassuringly high across the board. A base level S model provides remote keyless entry, power windows, radio/CD and MP3 compatibility whilst in the top Limited model has leather upholstery, a navigation system and Blue&Me™ as some of the features included. Emissions and fuel economy are impressive across the range.
Employing techniques normally found in MPVs Chrysler has built the rear bench so that it can slide forwards and backwards meaning owners can choose to increase their boot space when necessary. The boot is still roomy with over 380 litres of space when the seats are back and more than 465 litres when they are forward. Reclining rear seats offer additional comfort to passengers.
Safety, as ever, is a high priority and the new Chrysler Delta has been awarded the five star rating in the EuroNCAP crash safety tests. All versions include features such as six airbags, three-point safety belts, Daytime Running Lights and ABS braking. It seems clear that Chrysler is going after buyers who potentially need to downscale in size but who do not want to compromise on build quality.
What you'll pay
A new Chrysler Delta with all the kit is actually pretty good value for money and the predicted residuals look strong as well. Included in the price is five years free servicing and you should also be able to negotiate a good discount from dealers. List price for the 1.4 petrol MultiAir starts at around £18,000 and ranges right up in excess of £25,000 for the Limited MultiJet 2.0 litre diesel.
A new Chrysler Delta comes with a free 5 year servicing package so if you are looking to purchase a used Chrysler Delta you should be able to pick up the tail end of that offer. Otherwise it may be worth looking to take or extend a warranty. Search online and around your local area to find a high quality specialist to employ for repairs and upkeep. With a somewhat disappointing interior, the only part of the car where build quality does not seem to be as good, you may find wear and tear a potential problem with the dials and plastics in a second hand Chrysler Delta.
How it drives
Once out on the road the Chrysler is pretty refined and comfortable with solid handling and a comfortable ride. The Delta has a surprisingly agile feel which is thanks to the Torque Transfer Control system which aids the car in cornering leading to less steering input being needed by you. Wind and road noise are also well contained giving a smooth driving experience.