With the Ypsilon, designed by Momo, Lancia has an extroverted city runabout on offer. The little Italian is easy to maneuver through narrow alleyways -- and is now a real looker, too. Our car tester Mathis Kurat took a closer look at it.
Mathis Kurat, car tester
His first impression was quite good, though he would have preferred tauter steering. The steering can be made even softer by pressing the "city" button.
The two-tone paint job gives the Ypsilon a sporty, elegant appearance. The radiator grill provides an optical accent. The body of the car is matte black above and red below. The Momo design is the secret of the sporty look. The rear has two chrome-plated, fake exhaust pipes and gracefully swooping rear lights. Opinion on the Ypsilon's design varies.
Mathis reminds us that this is a compact. But the materials used and the optional extras make the car feel as if it were in a higher class of vehicle. Our tester is full of praise for Momo's designers and Lancia's builders.
Mathis says the controls here in the middle take some getting used to. A driver is used to having information on his speed, the engine's RPMs, and the like, right in front of him. The Ypsilon and some other cars shift these gauges to the center. But he doesn't have to like it.
Mathis takes the car onto a rural highway, where the Ypsilon performs well despite its soft steering. It's a lot of fun to drive on curvy country roads. The engine seems powerful and accelerates the Lancia rapidly. And the transmission is impressive, too.
With its 1.3-liter multi-jet diesel engine, the Ypsilon consumes only 3.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Its top speed is 183 kilometers an hour. The generous outfitting of the Ypsilon S is reflected in the price. If you want to save money, you're better off with the gasoline model.