Bonnie and Clyde: The 2011 Chrysler Delta Review
Unusual pairings have always been a topic of interest – think Beauty and the Beast. Chrysler and Fiat are another case of strange bedfellows, hoping to add validity to their marriage with the release of the 2011 Chrysler Delta. Known as the Lancia to the rest of the world, the 5-door hatchback is recognised as the Delta in the UK only and as such, gets a market specific line up of Fiat derived engines. The roster includes two versions of the 1.4-litre petrol engine as well as 1.6 and 1.6-litre diesels. All the engines are relatively fresh designs, but the 1.4-litre MultiAir and its diesel sibling the 2.0-litre MultiJet truly shine. All offerings are paired with the 6-speed manual with the exception of the 1.6 SE MultiJet diesel, which gets the option of coupling with the semi-automatic.
Visually, the 2011 Chrysler Delta definitely stands out from the crowd – whether that’s a positive or negative attribute is a subject to debate. The hatchback possess a distinct look that is either hated or loved with its long platform (4520mm), high waistline and rounded rear end adorned with vertical LED lamps. Thanks to its long wheelbase and high roofline, the interior is spacious and handy. Driver and passengers alike are both provided with class leading legroom and plenty of seat adjustments. If you opt for the Limited model, all of this goodness gets wrapped in soft stitched leather. This level of comfort leads to a sense of opulence that sets the Delta apart from some of the more stark offerings in the class.
With all of the luxury and technology packed into the 2011 Chrysler Delta, its starting price of £16,695 is quite a bargain. If you go for the entry level S model you still get a radio/CD with MP3, front fog lamps, remote keyless entry, daytime running lights, six airbags, and electronic brake force distribution (EBD). While this might sound generous, it isn’t competitive when compared to other vehicles in the class. However, some buyers may be willing to give up some of the frills in exchange for the Delta’s shapely appearance, luxury and spaciousness.
If the 2011 Chrysler Delta and its overwhelming luxury makes you feel like you’ve “made it” and you decide to upgrade to a Mercedes SLS within a couple of years, rest assured the Chrysler holds a good resale value. The Delta will also help you save for that gull-wing coupe by saving money at the pump, especially if you choose the 165bhp 2.0-litre diesel with its return of 55.4mpg on combined cycle. You will be doing the environment a favour too since only 135 g/km of CO2 are emitted from the tailpipe.
With the Delta, Chrysler and its assistant Fiat, hope to draw attention to the American brand and re-establish presence in the UK. The 2011 Chrysler Delta is up against stiff competition in the C-Segment including the VW Golf which is its perennial favourite. The good news for Chrysler is that the Lancia’s loyal following in the UK have been pining for its return. With its unique looks and dedicated fan base, the Delta might just stand a fighting chance.
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What do you think of the 2011 Chrysler Delta?