Review: Chrysler Delta (2011 – 2014)
Rebadged Lancia with unique styling. Uses proven Fiat engines including impressive 1.4 MultiAir. Good ride quality.
Odd looks led to slow UK sales and the model being dropped in the UK after just three years.
Recently Added To This Review
Prices starting at just £16,695 OTR. There are four trim levels: S, SE, SR and Limited. There are four engines too, starting with a lively petrol 1.4-litre TurboJet and a more powerful 140bhp 1.4-litre... Read more
Chrysler Delta (2011 – 2014): At A Glance
The Chrysler Delta is essentially a rebadged Lancia Delta - itself a car based on the Fiat Bravo and Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Fiat now owns Chrysler - hence the Lanicia connection - and the Delta was launched alongside the equally unusual Ypsilon.
It may be new to us in the UK but the Delta has actually been sold on the continent since 2008. Fiat was considering re-launching Lancia back in the UK market after a prolonged absence, but changed tack when it bought Chrysler in 2009. So the result is that we get rebadged Lancias as part of Chrysler, a brand usually associated with big wafty saloons like the 300C.
To make things even more confusing, the Delta is actually based on the Fiat Bravo - not a bad hatchback but hardly class leading, especially considering it is now five years old. Not that you'd be able to tell from the outside. The Delta is unique. There's nothing like it on the road and it's certainly a car that stirs a reaction in people. Obviously style is a personal opinion, but whether you like it or not, it's great to see something so different.
There's a lot to like inside with a spacious interior including rear seats that slide forward to increase boot space when needed. On top models they even recline. You can see the Bravo roots in terms of layout with a pretty much identical design, but Chrysler has given the Delta plenty of chrome and silver finish to make it more sophisticated. The quality is good and it's pretty refined too.
The engines are all proven Fiat units and the line-up includes two 1.4-litre petrols - one a T-Jet and the other a more powerful MultiAir. The latter has 140PS and is the pick of the range if you don't intend on doing huge miles. It's nippy, fun and pretty economical too. There are also two MultiJet diesels with a 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre in the range.
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Chrysler Delta (2011 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?
Inside, the Delta can't hide its Fiat Bravo roots very easily. There are plenty of familiar Fiat bits and it has a pretty much identical layout. There are some neat touches, such as the rocker switches that sit either side of the main stereo control panel, although the fact that half of them are just for show doesn't look great. One gripe is the steering wheel, as the silver plastic 'arms' (around the multifunction buttons) have an edge that protrudes and digs into your hands.
Apart from that there's much to like about the Chrysler interior. It's comfortable with supportive seats while the quality of the finish is good with decent materials used. Chrysler has aimed for a sophisticated look with chrome trim on switches and handles plus there's a new polyester-based material in the headlining to reduce noise on the move. True, it's not the most modern of designs but the Delta makes up for that when it comes to space.
Up front it's roomy yet the driver still gets that 'cockpit' feel while in the back there are MPV-style sliding seats so you can increase boot space if you need to while still being able to use all the seats. Even taller passengers will find plenty of head and legroom here and it feels like a much bigger car. On the top Limited versions, the rear seats even recline to give a limousine-like feel. The boot is good too with 465 litres of carrying space (with the rear seats slid all the way forward) plus a hidden underfloor compartment. The only downside is a rather high boot lip
It's fairly well equipped as standard although you'll need to go for an SR model if you want the Blue & Me Bluetooth system with a USB for connecting your iPod or iPhone. Standard S models only come with steel wheels too which is a little disappointing.
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What's the Chrysler Delta (2011 – 2014) like to drive?
On the road the Delta is comfortable and pretty refined with a good ride and composed handling. Unfortunately the numb and artificial steering lets it down plus the springy clutch isn't pleasant, but overall it's still an enjoyable drive. Cornering is helped by a Torque Transfer Control system which works by slightly braking an inside wheel through bends, simulating what a limited slip differential does. It makes the Delta agile and means less steering input is needed. You'll notice it on twisting roads where it works really well and it's also useful in roundabouts.
There's good news when it comes to engines as the Delta uses proven Fiat engines. There are two diesels in the form of the 1.6 MultiJet with 120PS and the 2.0 MultiJet with 165PS both of which are strong yet efficient. The petrol range is limited to just two engines and both are 1.4-litre units - the good news is that both are very impressive.
The 1.4 T-Jet with 120PS is the entry-level engine and only comes in basic S trim yet it's still sprightly and will go from 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds. However the real star of the range is the excellent 1.4 MultiAir engine. Like the T-Jet it's fitted with a turbocharger to enhance performance and improve economy, so it's akin to a standard 1.8-litre engine.
This gives it 140PS along with a 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds. It may be a small engine but it offers great performance as it's happy to be revved with a buzzy and eager nature. True it gets a touch noisy when you work it hard but it's a sporty rather than coarse sound, while at low revs it's quiet and relaxed. The 230Nm of torque peaks at just 1750rpm so it pulls well too, especially in third gear.
There's no perceptible moment when the turbo kicks in, instead it just feels sprightly across the rev range. It's simply great fun while the six-speed gearbox has a nice positive shift. It's also pretty economical with an official figure of 49.6mpg and emissions of 146g/km, putting it in VED band F.
|1.4 MultiAir||50 mpg||9.2 s||132 g/km|
|1.4 T-Jet||45 mpg||9.8 s||146 g/km|
|1.6 M-Jet||60–61 mpg||10.7 s||120–122 g/km|
|2.0 M-Jet||55 mpg||8.5 s||135 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Chrysler Delta (2011 – 2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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