In-depth Reviews

Chrysler Delta hatchback (2011-2013)

"The Delta started life as a Lancia, but now joins the Ypsilion in Chrysler's latest line-up."

Carbuyer Rating

2.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.8 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Stylish looks
  • Strong engines
  • Spacious interior

Cons

  • Poor cabin quality
  • Noisy diesel engines
  • Too expensive compared to rivals

The Delta is a five-door family hatchback similar in size to the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus. Originally released as a Lancia in Europe, the Delta is now sold by Chrysler in the UK making use of the already well-established dealer network. Parent company Fiat supply a range of engines for UK customers including two petrols and a two diesels. Our pick of the range is the 1.6-litre diesel engine as it offers low running costs and a torquey power delivery - it is very noisy though. The smaller 1.4-litre petrols can prove to be quite thirsty but are better suited to shorter journeys. All variants are spacious inside and come with air conditioning and six airbags as standard.

MPG, running costs & CO2

The 1.6 diesel is the cheapest to run

If you buy one of the frugal 1.6-litre M-JET diesel versions the Delta is good for 60mpg and costs £95 to tax - the automatic version is even more efficient. The 1.4 petrol-engined model can only manage 45mpg in standard trim and costs £130 per year in road tax. Upgrading to an Air model adds stop/start, bringing fuel consumption nearer to 50mpg. Chrysler also include five years free servicing with the Delta and there are lots of Chrysler dealerships all over the UK.

Engines, drive & performance

The Delta is best suited to smooth roads

The 1.6-litre diesel model should prove to be the most popular as it feels quicker than it looks on paper whilst also being the cheapest to run. The fastest Delta is the 2.0-litre M-JET diesel model which is capable of 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds. On twisty roads there is lots of body roll in corners and the ride struggles to cope with potholes, the optional £800 adaptive suspension does help however.

Interior & comfort

Noisy on start-up

The 1.6 diesel is incredibly noisy on start-up and on cold mornings is even louder. Inside, the Delta feels cheaply made despite the comfortable leather seats fitted in higher spec models. Both the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus offer quieter cabins, higher quality interiors and better value for money.

Practicality & boot space

An easy car to live with

The Delta's rear seats slide forward and backwards and for a family hatchback of this size, passengers get plenty of legroom. The boot is also a decent size although the bottom lip is quite high which makes lifting heavy shopping bags or children's prams into the boot more tricky.

Reliability & safety

Poor fit and finish compared to main rivals

Because the Delta was originally developed by parent company Fiat, the engines and running gear should prove reliable. The Delta's cabin is disappointing though, almost all interior plastics feel scratchy and flimsy when compared to the Volkswagen Golf. The Delta is yet to be crash tested by Euro NCAP, although the Alfa Romeo Giulietta on which it is heavily based, received a five-star rating in 2010.

Price, value for money & options

Generously equipped but too expensive

Chrysler is marketing the Delta as a stylish and comfortable option that offers something different from the rivals produced by Vauxhall and Volkswagen. Despite being well kitted-out as standard and priced to compete with the class leaders, it's still too expensive and lacks any stand-out features. All models get air conditioning, stability control, six airbags and hill holder - a system that stops the car from rolling backwards when pulling away uphill. Higher spec SR models also receive leather interior, plus cruise control and Bluetooth.

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