Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Small but Very Smart

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Small but Very Smart

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Crouch

BACK in 2011, Chrysler decided on a shortcut to credibility in the small car sector by borrowing and re-badging Lancia's stylish little Ypsilon, a car that in Europe, had proved equally popular with both Citycar and Supermini buyers. A combination of unique looks, hi-tech options and the choice of clever TwinAir petrol engine technology established it as a surprisingly appealing package and it makes an interesting used buy if you want a stylish little runabout.

The designers behind this Ypsilon tried to create a product sitting between the Ford Ka-like Citycar and Ford Fiestalike Supermini sectors in terms of size, passenger accommodation and bootspace.

It was priced though, at the higher Supermini end of the spectrum, justification for which was provided by what Chrysler called 'segment-leading luxury' and 'eye-catching design'.

At first glance, you'd probably think that this model was a sporty three-door, but closer inspection reveals rear door handles concealed in the C-pillar.

Use them and you'll find in a cabin that, thanks to the tall shape of this design, is fine for adult headspace but (as you might expect given a total vehicle length of just 3.8m) a little tight on legroom, despite the use of 'slim seat' technology for the chairs up-front in a bit to try and improve the lot of those behind.

Plusher Ypsilons rather hopefully provide seat belts for three at the back, but you'll only really want to use all of them if you've a trio of kids to transport.

Behind in the boot, the extra 3.5 inches in wheelbase length that this Chrysler enjoys in excess of its Fiat 500 donor design makes all the difference, luggage capacity rising from the 185-litres you'd get in the Fiat to a much more useful 245-litres, though that is still 40-50-litres less than you'd get in a Fiesta or a Corsa.

As usual, you can push forward a set of split-folding rear seats (divided 50/50 in the base model but 60/40 otherwise) if that's not enough.

Take a seat up-front and inevitably, the first thing you notice is the unusual situation of the instruments on top of the centre console, rather than straight in front of you. …

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