Chrysler’s new city slicker promises fun, cutting edge technology and style; we find out if this funky looking car is as much fun to drive as it looks?
What is it? The Ypsilon is a Lancia in other markets. Style conscious Italian women have long had a soft spot for Lancias and this car is pure Italian through and through.
Who is it aimed at? A little luxury goes a long way and the level of equipment offered on the Ypsilon is particularly good. Extras include automated parking and Blue&Me-TomTom LIVE phone and navigation system with traffic updates. So from down-sizers looking for an economical but comfortable small car, to those aiming to move up to a more luxurious model that is still affordable to buy and run the Ypsilon offers a versatile package.
Styling? The cute curvy, almost coupe-like shape lines, are pure retro and combined with the in-your-face grille this is a car that guarantees you’ll stand out from the supermini crowd. With the appearance of a sporty three door it’s actually a five-door thanks to hidden rear door handles.
Under the Bonnet? There is a choice of three engines, a 1.3 MultiJet II turbo-diesel engine, a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 900 cc two-cylinder. Our test car was powered by the 51kW (69hp) 1.2-litre petrol engine.
What’s it like inside? Inside it feels instantly like a fun size luxury car, headroom is good, the seating position is high and the seats comfortable. All the main instruments are all housed in a centre console and everything is within easy grasp. Space wise it is surprisingly spacious and while smaller than many rivals it still manages a load capacity of 246 litres and an excellent 820 litres with all the seats down.
On the Road? The Ypsilon is fun to drive, it handles well and the ride is comfortable. The steering is a little light and it is car that is definitely more suited to urban environments as it feels a little over stretched on motorways but overall it feels good on the road. A very luxurious addition to such a small car is the innovative Magic Parking system that allows the car park itself!. By pushing a button on the dashboard the system is activated. Using radar sensors that are mounted in the front bumpers combined with wheel speed sensors to measure the length of empty parking spaces the car can actually select a suitable parking spot! When it determines that the space is empty and that there is a decent amount of free space available at either end of the car there is a beeping noise and a message on the dash. No matter how doubtful you may be a first with the notion of a car parking itself the results are genuinely impressive and the system works amazingly well!
And Safety? The Ypsilon features a wealth of safety equipment as standard across the entire range. Inside, there are up to six airbags (two each on the front, window and side) and front seat belts with double pretensioners and load limiters. There are three-point seat belts across the rear passenger accommodation and ISOFIX attachments, which allow child seats to be securely fitted, are standard.
Options?. There are three trim levels to choose from; S, SE and Limited. The entry level S is well equipped and comes with remote central locking, electric front windows, a height-adjustable steering wheel, a height adjustable driver’s seat, six airbags and a rear spoiler all as standard. The SE model adds air conditioning, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, front foglamps with cornering illumination, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, a height adjustable passenger seat and Blue&Me connectivity. The top of the range Limited model includes leather trim, dual zone climate control, electric rear windows, cruise control and 16-inch alloy wheels.
How about Fuel Economy? Low emissions and excellent economy means the Ypsilon proves very cheap to run. Equipped with a host of aids to reduce costs; Start&Stop, for example, ensures no fuel is being wasted when the car is idle while the Gear Shift Indicator signals whether you are in the correct gear. The Ypsilon returns an economy average of 4.9 litres per 100 km (57.6mpg).
Okay so the verdict? The Ypsilon is not the cheapest supermini around; prices start at €14,245 for the 1.2 S, rising to the €18,745 for the top-of-the-range TwinAir Limited. It is fun to drive, cheap to run and while it comes very well equipped it is little over-priced. Rivals offer better value.
Why you’ll buy one? High equipment levels; great fuel efficiency.
Why you won’t? The radical styling may not be appreciated by all; more expensive than rivals.
Toyota Yaris 1.33 Dual VT-i 5Dr Sol €19,725
VW POLO 1.2 5DR Comfortline €16,425
Ford Fiesta 1.23 5dr Titanium €17,591
Mazda2 1.3 sport 5dr €16,895
Chrysler Ypsilon 1.2 Limited
Engine: 1242cc putting out 51kW @ 5500 rpm and 102Nm @ 3000 rpm
Max speed: 163 km/h
0-100km/h: 14.5 seconds
Emissions (motor tax): 115g/km (€160)
Starting price: €14,245
Model price range: €14,245 – €18,745 (Test car €19,945*)
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: Not Tested
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle) 4.9 l/100km (57.6 mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up (seats down): 245 (820)
Car Seats: Two isofix points in the back and easy to access due to the five doors
*Options including two tone-paint, full-length double electric sunroof, Park Magic and upgraded alloy wheels
5th June, 2012