Review: Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015)


Rebadged Chrysler version of the Lancia Ypsilon. 'Classy' interior. Soft ride.

Quirky and oddball looks won't be liked by everyone.

Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015): At A Glance

American brand Chrysler is now operated by the Fiat group, and, thanks to an empire that covers numerous platforms and models, it has the ‘oomph’ behind it to launch two new models in the UK: the Ypsilon and the Delta.

Regular visitors to the continent will probably recognise these two models because they’re both sold with the Lancia badge in Europe. Lancia pulled out of the UK in the 90s thanks to a poor reputation for the integrity of its vehicles, and so rather than resurrect the name it has rebadged some of its models as Chryslers.

The Ypsilon is a small hatch based on the same platform as the Fiat 500, with which it shares the TwinAir, 1.2-litre FIRE and 1.3-litre MultiJet engines, the former two of which are petrol and the latter diesel.

Chrysler aims to sell the Ypsilon as a luxury small car, and so there are some nifty optional extra features which don’t usually appear on such small cars, including an automatic parking system, cruise control, Blue&Me Bluetooth and a powerful suuround sound system. There are even leather seats on top level models.

The curious styling will certainly turn heads, although the onlookers will probably stare in confusion as much as admiration – there’s nothing else styled quite like it on sale today, with the exception of its big brother, the Delta.

Despite the small dimensions, the Ypsilon features five doors. Customisation options are numerous, and buyers can even specify bi-colour paintwork if the striking styling isn’t enough on its own. Prices start at £10,640.

What does a Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015) cost?

Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3842 mm
Width 1874 mm
Height 1520 mm
Wheelbase 2390 mm

Full specifications

Chrysler wants the Ypsilon to be seen as a premium alternative for those who want a small hatchback, but while its cabin sports a few nice details it’s a stretch to call it ‘premium.’ It’s neither particularly plush nor very well put together and misses a few important details that make a car truly stand out as special.

The instrument binnacle is mounted in the centre of the dashboard – a fairly novel approach – but it’s the wrong way around, with the speed read out over by the passenger and the less important rev counter near the driver. That’s quite possibly a hangover from the cars’ left-hand drive origins and it would have been nice to see it swapped for the UK market.

One thing in the Ypsilon’s favour is the five-door layout. It might not look as though it has five doors, though, because the designer has cleverly hidden the rear door handles in the black window surround. The five-door layout means access to the back seats is easy, but the actual space on offer isn’t brilliant – it’ll do for children though.

Standard equipment isn’t all that generous, but all the essentials are there – electric windows, stop/start and MP3 compatibility – but to get air con you need a mid-range model, while only top Limited models get alloy wheels unless you pick out the striking Red&Black edition, which has a unique interior too. As is the fashion with small hatchbacks these days, there are plenty of customisation options including two-colour paint, different alloy wheel designs and various interior trims. 

Child seats that fit a Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015) like to drive?

The Ypsilon is based on a stretched version of the Fiat 500 platform, so there are plenty of similarities, both in engine options and in the way it drives. The same 1.2-litre four cylinder and 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol engines as fitted to the 500 are available in the Ypsilon, as is the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel.  

The TwinAir has the most character – it buzzes along, eager to rev and is a great smile raiser. It falls into VED band A thanks to emissions of 99g/km, though the official fuel economy figure of 67.3mpg is optimistic unless you drive like a saint, something particularly hard to do when the two-cylinder buzz kicks in.

The 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel are perfectly fine, too, although the petrol is getting on a little bit now and so isn’t as efficient or as clean as more modern petrol engines, with emissions of 118g/km and official claimed economy of 55.4 mpg. The MultiJet diesel offers 99g/km emissions and official economy of 74.3mpg.

Regardless of engine choice you get a very town-focussed car. Suspension is fairly soft, offering a decent amount of comfort over potholes, but with the downside of noticeable body roll in the bends. On top of that it’s quite easy to scuff the nose of the Ypsilon on speed humps unless you approach them very slowly.

Steering is very light and doesn’t offer much feedback, but it’s not any the worse for it. Pressing the ‘City’ button on the dash makes the electric power steering offer more assistance than usual. It makes the steering so light you can park using just your finger to steer. It makes life easier when you find a tight space.

That’s just as well because rear visibility isn’t all that great – it’s tricky to see what’s at the rear corners and directly behind the car because the rear window is small and isn’t the ideal shape – so avoid spaces with bollards behind them until you get used to the cars length. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
0.9 TwinAir 67–69 mpg 11.9 s 97–99 g/km
0.9 TwinAir Automatic 67 mpg 11.9 s 97 g/km
1.2 54–55 mpg 13.4–14.5 s 115–120 g/km
1.3 Multijet 74 mpg 11.4 s 99 g/km

Real MPG average for a Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015)

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.

Average performance


Real MPG

36–65 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

What have we been asked about the Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Is stop start a disaster waiting to happen?

My first experience of a stop/start car was in a hired Ypsilon Lancia. Whilst it worked well, do you think that this is another motoring disaster waiting to happen as with the dual flywheel? It seems to me that the miniscule savings in fuel will be greatly outweighed by the very significant replacement costs of the starter, starter ring, electronics, etc.
Not hearing of much trouble with them so far. Was a bit with MINIs, but that seems to be all.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Chrysler Ypsilon (2012 – 2015)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Compact size, Easy to park, Economical and City car.

Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.

What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 50%
  • 4 star 50%
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

See all owners' reviews