The DS3 is a Citroen supermini and the first instalment in the manufacturer’s DS sub-range.
The DS brand name first appeared in the 1950s on one of the most iconic cars of the 20th century, and it’s a big ask but if Citroen can replicate even a fraction of the furore that surrounded the original DS, it will be on to a winner.
Beneath the avant-garde exterior of the DS3 is the chassis from the C3 supermini. The car has been set-up to achieve Citroen’s trademark ride comfort but also high levels of manoeuvrability with a 10.3m turning circle.
Providing the motive force are 90bhp and 110bhp 1.6-litre HDi diesels with the petrol side of the equation accounted for by VTi variable valve timing units with 95bhp and 120bhp.
Wow, the DS3 is quite a sight. The basic shape of the car is traditional supermini with gentle curves marking its extremities and the wheels pushed out to the corners producing a squat, purposeful stance. The real drama, however, is in the detail. From that ‘shark fin’ B-pillar and the contrasting roof panel to the vertical strips of LED running lights that flank the front grille and the distinct sill line connecting the wheelarches, the DS3 is ferociously unconventional. It has the look of a concept car but Citroen has built it and you can buy it.
There’s room for five adults with legroom in the rear. In the tail, the boot is 285-litres, large for the supermini class, and 60:40 split rear seats can extend that capacity.
The engines in the DS3 are familiar Citroen units and are known to be economical for their size and type. The HDi diesels are the ones that drivers intent on saving fuel will gravitate towards and both feature DPFS particulate filters to further clean up their acts.
The DS3 is also equipped with a gearshift indicator that prompts drivers to change gear at the opportune moment for greater efficiency.
By looking to its past and the unparalleled reputation it once had for forward thinking, Citroen makes inroads at the trendy end of the small car market.
This is a welcome return to Citroen doing what it does best.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Citroen DS3
PRICES: £12,405-£17,695 - on the road
INSURANCE GROUPS: 13-22 [1-50 groupings scale]
CO2 EMISSIONS: 99-160g/km
PERFORMANCE: [1.4] 0-60mph 10.6s / Max Speed 114mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: [1.4] (urban) 37.2mpg / (extra urban) 58.9mpg / (combined) 48.7mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front, side and curtain airbags, ABS, ESP
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height 3950/1710/1460mm