Chrysler Delta (2011–2014)
Chrysler Delta goes on sale in the UK
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 that uses Fiat’s ground-breaking MultiAir technology. These are supplemented by a pair of potent yet economical diesels, in 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre capacities, which benefit from second generation MultiJet technology. All models feature six-speed gearboxes with a semi-automatic version available on the 1.6 SE MultiJet.
Standard equipment is satisfyingly high. Even the range-starting S model offers a radio/CD with MP3 compatibility, front foglamps with cornering function, remote keyless entry, manual air-conditioning and power windows front and rear. And the range-topping Limited model comes with Blue&Me™, a Navigation system, headlamps with dusk sensors, reclining rear seats and leather upholstery.
Safety comes as standard throughout the Delta range, so all models are equipped with Daytime Running Lights (DRL), six airbags, three-point safety belts for all five seats, ABS anti-lock braking with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Holder and Anti Slip Regulation traction control. It also incorporates Linearisation Torque Feedback (LTF), Torque Transfer Control (TTC) and Drive Steering Torque (DST), all of which are designed to improve handling.
In size terms, with its 2700mm wheelbase and 4520mm overall length it sits at the larger end of the C segment. But inside it has the kind of room you’re more likely to find in a D or even E segment model.
Chrysler has employed techniques usually found in MPVs to make this space as flexible as possible. Unusually for this sector, the rear bench slides backwards and forwards (not on Limited versions). It means owners can choose to increase boot space, if for example they have small children in the rear seats, or give rear seat passengers limousine levels of leg room.
With the back seats in their forward position the Delta still offers rear passengers a remarkable 930mm of leg room. With the rear seats in their most forward position, the boot offers 465 litres. And even when the backrest is as far back as it’ll go there’s still a healthy 380 litres. The boot also features a small space under the floor. This provides a hidden compartment for valuables and means that when the seats are folded down, the 1190 litres of space has a continuous flat floor.
The rear seats don’t just slide, they recline 25 degrees backwards too, offering passengers impressive comfort options. This is further emphasised by the quality of the fabrics used inside, which present owners with the sort of high-class materials and build quality they’ll be more used to in much more expensive models. This should appeal to buyers who are downsizing, one of Chrysler’s target markets.
Materials such as leather and Alcantara are used extensively, while on lower trim levels the dashboard is covered with Benova, a soft premium textile. This is the first time Benova has been used on such an accessible vehicle; until now it’s been reserved for prestige brands. On Limited versions the dashboard is covered in Poltrona Frau Leather.
The range-starting S model has premium fabric covered seats while in SE variants they’re cloaked in Carbony 3D fabric. This high-tech cloth has a three dimensional effect and features contrasting Alcantara inserts. The SR has Alcanatara with leather inserts, while the top of the range Limited comes with full leather trimmed seats finished with classic piping round the edge for an authentic executive feel.
The dashboard has been designed to feel substantial without being too imposing. Centre console buttons are illuminated by a white light for quick and easy identification. Elsewhere, elements of the cabin are aimed at the driver−such as the centre console, steering wheel and instrument surrounds that are highlighted by a metallic-effect Satin Silver paint.
The sophisticated feel of the Delta’s cabin is reinforced by thoughtful detailing throughout. Chrome finishes are used on the door handles, radio, climate control knobs and dashboard. The front seats on SE, SR and Limited models have the new Chrysler logo on the head restraints. The glovebox and grab handles both have the slow sprung return you associate with refined cars. And the roof is lined with a new polyester-based material that reduces cabin noise on the move.
It’s not just in comfort terms that the Chrysler Delta has been designed to excel. It’s also had safety engineered into it from the ground up. The result is that it’s won a European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP) five star crash safety rating. This is thanks to six airbags fitted as standard (front, window and curtain bags on both sides), and five three-point safety belts, with load limiters and pretensioners fitted to the front seats.
In addition to that, the Delta is packed with standard equipment to make driving as safe possible. It comes with ABS anti-lock braking and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) to ensure maximum stopping power is deployed in an emergency situation. Powerful disc brakes are used front and rear, and in an emergency stop the hazard lights are automatically switched on.
To enable drivers to make the most of their Chrysler Delta, it’s been fitted with some pioneering electronic systems to make life at the wheel more enjoyable yet even safer. Prime among these is the Absolute Handling System. This is an amalgamation of various existing technologies such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Holder to ensure perfect hill starts every time, Anti Slip Regulation (ASR) which uses brake and engine control to optimise traction at any time, and MSR which cuts in to ensure engine torque isn’t interrupted if a swift down change is needed during a climb.
Where the Absolute Handling System really stands out from the crowd is by encompassing Linearisation Torque Feedback (LTF), Torque Transfer Control (TTC) and Drive Steering Torque (DST) in its suite of skills.
The new DST is an electronic steering system that suggests the moves drivers should carry out to maximise road holding and therefore security. It does this through generating torque at the steering wheel courtesy of a continuous interaction between the electric power steering and the Absolute Handling System which controls the car’s dynamics. The DST means that if the car begins to oversteer, the most appropriate manoeuvre to maintain control is ‘suggested’ to the driver.