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Arnold Clark Armadale Citroen / Ds
Fuel type Petrol
Engine size 1.2
Brenwood Motor Company of Kirkcaldy
Ian Grieve Subaru
Once upon a time, size suggested the price you'd pay for your car. The bigger the model you chose, the pricier it would be. That's no longer necessarily true. Spiralling fuel prices, emissions-based taxation and ever-more congested city streets have left many buyers no option but to choose a very small runabout, but sales of models like the MINI have proved them quite willing to pay premium prices, provided the package on offer is stylish enough. This was an approach perfected by Italian brand Lancia long before the modern era MINI turned up, the Latin maker offering style-conscious European city folk a succession of comfortable, chic and responsible city runabouts wrapped up in cutting edge technology. Cars like this one, the Ypsilon, a Lancia, but not as we know it.
In this case, this model is badged as a Chrysler: in 2011, the Fiat group decided on this approach for the UK market. Elsewhere in Europe at the time, the Ypsilon design was being sold as a Lancia but that brand left the British market in 1994. Rather than re-introducing it, the Italian conglomerate decided it was easier to re-badge the Ypsilon and sell it as a Chrysler, a brand they'd just purchased. Chrysler had an established UK dealer network to sell and maintain the car - and that marque badly needed a small car in its model line-up.
Whatever you call this vehicle, under the skin, it's based on established underpinnings. The Ypsilon platform is borrowed from Fiat's Panda and is a slightly stretched version of that found in the diminutive Fiat 500 city runabout. Chrysler claimed that this platform was big enough to give this Ypsilon the versatility of a Fiesta-sized supermini at the same time as offering the small, urban chuckability of a Ford Ka or a Toyota iQ. And they reckoned that this car had the style and interior class to tempt buyers of the premium, fashion-conscious high cost models we mentioned earlier - cars like the MINI or the Audi A1. Big claims that didn't quite translate into sales reality during this model's time on the UK market that came to an end with Chrysler's exit from the British market in 2015.
Had Chrysler's American engineers developed this model from scratch rather than simply borrowing a Lancia design, it's doubtful whether they would have brought us a better car than this. Or even one as good. Distinctive styling and a frugal TwinAir petrol engine are both big draws for this Ypsilon as a used buy, as are impressively low running costs.
As long as you avoid the bottom end of the range, specification is reasonable and there are plenty of hi-tech options to make downsizing into a car of this kind a relatively painless process. True, there isn't quite the built solidity you'd get in something German but don't let that put you off too much: given the humble underpinnings used, the designers did a fine job here in creating a high quality-feeling product. It won't be one you'll see frequently on British roads but for the select band of UK buyers who opt for one of these, that'll be part of the appeal. If you're after a small car that's just that little bit different, then here's a rather appealing place to start your search.
Borrowing £7,500 on a Hire Purchase agreement over 48 months, a representative APR of 18.5% and a deposit of £0.00,
the amount repayable would be £216.89 a month, with a total cost of credit of £2,910.72 and a total amount
payable of £10,410.72.
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