The new Chrysler Delta, which is now on sale in the UK, is all about adding value to people's lives. It offers family saloon space in a compact hatchback body. It introduces executive car equipment to a wide market. It features sophisticated technologies that are entirely new to this size of car. With its sophisticated appearance, sumptuous interior and four state-of-the-art engines, the Delta is an accomplished re-entry into the C segment for Chrysler. On sale here now, it provides the sort of interior space expected from a far larger vehicle. Yet a host of all-new electronic driver aids ensures that the Delta is satisfying to drive as well as being very comfortable for both front and rear seat passengers.
Along with its smaller sister, the new Chrysler Ypsilon, Delta marks the resurgence of Chrysler Group LLC, which was formed in 2009 as a strategic alliance with Fiat. Chrysler's portfolio contains some of Europe's most recognizable vehicles, including the 300C saloon and top-selling Grand Voyager MPV. Now with the help of Fiat's experience and knowledge in the small and medium-sized car sectors, Chrysler can infuse compact, more environmentally friendly models with the luxurious character traits of its bigger cars.
Chrysler brand director Nigel Land says: "People know us for large vehicles such as the Grand Voyager and 300C. We are transferring the values that lie behind those cars to the B and C segments. We are not going for high volumes. We want to be the choice for people who are seeking a credible alternative to traditional segment offerings.
"The Delta will bring D-segment standards of space and quality to the C-segment. This is just the start of our journey as we re-launch the Chrysler brand in the UK. We are now starting to sell cars that are relevant to a more mainstream market. They'll have all the quality features you would expect from a large Chrysler, integrated into very stylish European designed interiors."
The Delta has already made a promising start, with CAP predicting strong residual values. Part of this is down to the expectation that buyers will welcome some of the features it introduces to the family hatchback sector. The rear seat slides for maximum versatility and when it's in its rear position there is a class-leading 1010mm of leg room in the back. Passengers can recline the seat back up to 25 degrees for extra comfort. And there are a host of 'large car' technologies available, such as Magic Parking, Lane Departure Control and Blue&Me™.
The theme of versatility imbues the entire Chrysler Delta range. 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 fog lamps 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 Linearization Torque Feedback (LTF), Torque Transfer Control (TTC) and Drive Steering Torque (DST), all of which are designed to improve handling.
Drivers looking to make their mark without spending a small fortune will appreciate the new Chrysler Delta. Handsome, dynamic and sophisticated, the striking modern design ensures it stands proud of more conservative rivals, and yet is very competitively positioned.
At the front, high tech projector style headlamps are instantly recognisable because they feature bright LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) as standard equipment. Front fog lamps with cornering function also come with every model and sit either side of a front air intake designed to give the Delta a sporty look. Combined with Chrysler's newly styled shield grille and neatly sculpted bonnet, it makes for a stylish alternative to the mainstream.
With a high waistline rising to the rear, the Delta has an equally sporty stance from the side, helped by the standard rear spoiler that blends into the rear window. A sophisticated appearance at the back is set off by a rear window that has no surrounds and is flanked by curved, vertical LED tail lights.