The Chrysler Delta: It will definitely grow on you  9 years ago
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The Chrysler Delta: It will definitely grow on you

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This week, JOE's Oisin Collins was behind the wheel of an American motor in the form of the Chrysler Delta. Here's how he got on.

Us blokes tend to judge cars like we judge women. Once it looks good, you couldn’t care less what the ride comfort is like – the same goes for the car. And we all know it’s easier to ‘depart’ from an ex-girlfriend/wife than it is to sell a car. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to buy a motor that you will love until its dying days and not just one that looks good all dolled up on the forecourt.

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On first impressions, the Chrysler Delta is a bit of a Marmite car. For some people it oozes style and a certain uniqueness that you’d expect from an Italian designed car. For others, i.e. me, it looks like the car was styled in Italy, by a group of play-school kids.

Okay, so it isn’t exactly aimed specifically at the Irish market, but I still can’t see it doing too well over here. The raised sloping-rear of the car, which looks more suited to the sports version of the Popemobile, is sure to have half the parish talking about ‘Mr European over there’.

The front of the car isn’t much better either. The long sloping nose makes it a tad difficult to judge where the heck the front of the car is. You can just keep edging up towards a wall or another car until you hear a loud bang, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

The interior of the car, at first glance, looks pretty impressive. Everywhere you look there’s big, bulky, expensive looking buttons and knobs and even a full leather cockpit. However, when you actually start looking past the air of luxury and back into reality you’ll notice that the buttons and knobs feel a touch cheap and the leather is no thicker than a sheet of paper.

Looks can be deceiving

As I said, it’s a bit of a Marmite car.

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However, as I write this I can’t help but try and compare the Delta with another car that’s out there on the market. The only problem is that that’s a hard task. The Delta isn’t a saloon and it would be a hard push to call it a hatch back or an estate. It’s fairly unique in that sense, and that’s why some blokes will love the Delta.

It is different...

You’ll be driving around in something that’s unlike anything else. When a patrol of VW Golf’s and Ford Focus’ pass you by, you’ll be able to say ‘well at least I’m different’, but in a good way. Although the Delta might not be every bloke’s cup of tea, it certainly is the alternative to the flat-grilled muscle car wannabe feel that all the other manufacturers are producing these days.

Mechanically, the car is okay. There are better gearboxes and slightly smoother suspensions out there, but you will find that the Delta grows on you. Once you actually take time out of your day to sit down with the manual (I can hear the boos and hissing already) you figure out the little hints and tricks that make the Delta much more enjoyable.

Other things like the cruise control, radio and navigation are easy enough to use (once you read the book that shan’t be named) and you really do get a sense of importance driving around in a Chrysler. Sure, it’s a Chrysler after all. It just reeks of posh like a bottle of good cologne, but not like David Beckham.

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The 2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel version (which was the one I tested) has a six-speed manual gearbox and produces 165hp at 4,000rpm. It has a max speed of 214 km/h (according to the stats) and 0-100 km/h takes only 8.5 seconds, which it actually does. If you yourself are looking to get this particular model you’ll have to fork over €30,995. Or, if you don’t mind losing some of the mod con’s then prices start at only €22,895.

Will the Americans love its oversized body and all the randomly shaped, randomly placed cubby holds? Yes. Will the Europeans love its unique shape and it’s fuel efficiency (only €225 for tax)? Of course. But will the Irish like it?

Not at first, but it will grow on us.

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