Chrysler Delta review
So you want a Lancia? Get down to your local Chrysler showroom and try out the new Delta for size then...
Shane O' Donoghue
Shane O' Donoghue

Published on January 23, 2012

Think of the Chrysler Delta as the luxurious cousin to Alfa's Giulietta. Despite the American badge it's still just as Italian. It's probably the most distinctive car in its class too, and it's surprisingly spacious.

Inside & Out: 3.5/5

The Chrysler Delta is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of car, especially when it comes to its exterior styling. There's nothing else in the class as distinctive, except perhaps for its cousin, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. To our eyes it's cool, if not quite as attractive as the Alfa. It attracts a lot of curious glances.

Inside, it's more conventional. Some switchgear is shared with Alfa Romeo, though the cabin is quite different. Also, because of the longer wheelbase, the Chrysler has more space inside. It's put to good use as well, with rear seats that slide to let you choose between legroom or boot space. The numbers say it's one of the most spacious cars in the class. You'll need to specify the lovely leather seats to make the Delta feel luxurious, especially as the plastics aren't as nice to touch as they are to look at.

Ride & Handling: 3.5/5

Given the 'compact luxury car' remit of the Delta you might expect it to be all soft and squishy on the road, lolling around in the corners, but in fact it's little different to the Giulietta. That means it corners with little body roll, there's loads of grip and an acceptable amount of feedback to the driver. In return it's not quite as cossetting as it might be. We reckon Chrysler should have gone further.

Engine & Transmission: 3/5

Odd-shaped gear knob aside there's little wrong with the Delta's smooth six-speed manual gearbox. We were disappointed though with how noisy the engine is - especially when cold. It does make up for that somewhat by feeling more powerful than its specifications suggest it is. As with most turbodiesels it gives its best low down the rev range and it makes it easy to keep up a good pace, whether you're on the motorway or somewhere more interesting.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: 4/5

All Chrysler Deltas offered for sale in Ireland right now sit in Band B, costing €225 per annum. The model tested is the most economical (actually more so if you go for the auto), but if you're not a high mileage user it may be worth checking out the entry-level version, powered by the excellent turbocharged 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engine. It has more power (though less torque) than the diesel and is quite a bit lighter so it should feel more eager.

For the record, Chrysler is generous with equipment. The SE models come with 16-inch alloys, air conditioning, audio controls on the steering wheel, electric windows all-round, fog lights and six airbags, though SR adds dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, cruise control and a leather/Alcantara interior. The more expensive Delta Limited comes with all the bells and whistles including soft leather on the seats and dashboard, satnav and the two-tone paint job.


Tech Specs

Model tested2011 Chrysler Delta SR 1.6 JTDm 120 (pictures are of Limited version)
Pricing€26,495 as tested (Delta line-up starts at €22,395)
Engine1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmissionsix-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door hatchback
RivalsAlfa Romeo Giulietta, Opel Astra, Ford Focus
CO2 emissions130g/km (Band B, €225)
Combined consumption4.9 litres/100km (57.6mpg)
Top speed193km/h
0-100km/h10.7 seconds
Power120hp at 4,000rpm
Torque300Nm at 1,500rpm