HARD to pronounce and hard to find, the Chrysler Ypsilon is nevertheless an easy supermini with which to live.
Developed from the slightly smaller Fiat 500 platform, the Ypsilon is longer with more room in the back seats and a bigger boot as well.
In Europe it wears a Lancia badge but here it forms part of the Chrysler stable and both brands are now part of the recently expanded Fiat group.
The Ypsilon has a distinctive front end and is taller than the stablemate from Fiat and I think its more suitable as a family car than the 500.
With bigger doors and more room it will also appeal to those who appreciate easy access and once inside you have very comfortable, easily adjusted and supporting seats.
It's a jazzy interior too, with bright colours, shiny surfaces and some eye-catching dials and controls as well as reasonably good oddments space throughout.
I don't think there is anything on the UK market quite like the Ypsilon whether you are in or outside it.
There is a distinct premium feel to it which is not to be found in the Fiat 500.
I liked the relationship of the steering wheel, high set gearchange and handbrake and they all worked well and smoothly.
The secondary controls were usefully placed and easy to use and the instruments display was good apart from one or two reflections hiding some faces in sunlight.
Other pluse points were the air conditioning and quick dropping front windows and visibility was good with powerful lights and efficient wipers.
The room is very good in the front, slightly less so behind, but head space is particularly high all round.
The comfort of the seats extends to the absorbent suspension and the way it soaked up bumps and potholes although it could be heard working away underneath as noise damping is not a strength of the Ypsilon.
The 1.3-litre engine is a strong performer once underway. It pulls well through the five-gears and was long-legged for motorways so I was not surprised at the fuel economy I obtained over 50mpg overall but still well off the claimed 74mpg.
The inclusion of stop/start system to save fuel when stationary and a gear-shift indicator do help you stretch out the economy but to reach the indicated 74mpg you would have to drive in an impractical manner on the road. Nevertheless, over 50mpg is good and attainable.
It is fairly brisk through the gears, handles well, holds onto the road and has no real vices. Go into a corner quickly and lifting off merely makes the nose tighten to the inside without drama.
As an alternative to the run of mill superminis, the Ypsilon stands out both visually and dynamically, and it will not break the bank either.
It is possibly the best kept secret in the current Fiat group line up.