Chrysler Ypsilon 0.9

TwinAir Limited

Chrysler Ypsilon, front
Chrysler Ypsilon
Chrysler Ypsilon, side
Chrysler Ypsilon, rear
Chrysler Ypsilon, interior
Chrysler Ypsilon, rear seats
Chrysler Ypsilon, boot

THE Chrysler Ypsilon may be a small car - but it has a big personality.

Striking styling makes a startling first impression thanks to a large chrome grille, muscular stance and the optional two-tone paint job.

It looks like a three-door model but in fact has five with the rear door handles cleverly disguised.

This is a supermini determined to stand out from the crowd and an unusual interior design also helps to set it apart.

The speedometer is positioned away from the driver in a pod that also contains the rev counter and a digital display.

This sits above a console containing the audio system and air conditioning controls with the high-set gearstick located handily just beneath.

There are also steering wheel-mounted controls for the radio/CD and mobile phone system.

I'm not sure making the driver look that far to find the speedo is a good thing, but it is certainly different.

The air conditioning looks natty with buttons and displays clearly marked making it a cinch to use. Changing temperature requires a bit of patience though as the response is not as quick as you would expect.

There's leather upholstery helping the overall upmarket impression although it is slightly spoiled by the hard plastics used.

Up front there's plenty of headroom as the Ypsilon is quite tall but space for the driver's left foot when not changing the five-speed manual gearbox is cramped - and the coupe-style design means headroom for rear passengers is a bit tight.

The 245-litre boot is reasonably roomy for a supermini and the rear seats split 60/40. Unfortunately they don't fold flat so creating a step in the floor.

The two-cylinder TwinAir petrol engine has the happy knack of sounding like a super car when worked hard.

It is excellent when it comes to fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions are low thanks in part to a stop/start ignition system that switches the engine off when you are stationary, automatically re-starting when you dip the clutch.

The ride is reasonable and the handling quite sharp although this is more a city runabout than rally monster or motorway cruiser.

The styling both inside and out should appeal to the younger generation, but the price-tag of almost £15,000 on the Ypsilon I drove is a bit steep for a first-time buyer.

The entry-level 1.2-litre model is attractively priced, however, and is the better bet when it comes to value for money.

The Ypsilon Limited edition may be a bit pricey but it doesn't skimp on equipment with electric windows, keyless entry, ambient lighting, front fog lights, 15-inch alloys, spoiler, Dualdrive power steering with City button, height-adjustable steering wheel and driver's seat, plus powered and heated door mirrors all enhancing the package.

Safety kit includes automatic hazard warning light activation, electronic wizardry for the brakes and lots of airbags.

But at the end of the day it won't be the gadget geeks this supermini will appeal to - but rather those who want something that looks anything but run of the mill.


Chrysler Ypsilon 0.9 TwinAir Limited

Price: £14,495

Mechanical: 85bhp, 875cc, 2cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 11.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 67.3

Insurance Group: 7

C02 emissions: 99g/km

Bik rating: 10%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles