2016 DS 3 Hatchback Review

2016 DS DS3

Are you on the market for a customisable supermini, but looking for something different to the Mini or Fiat 500? Say hello to the DS3.

Review

What is it?

In a bid to stand out from the competition, Citroen has launched a new brand called DS and revised some its premium models with a new ‘DS’ badge. The three-door DS3 is the smallest of in the DS range and is a strong option for those shopping for a premium supermini. As part of the rebranding, the DS3 has undergone a subtle makeover and gets more efficient engines, new interior trim and a serving of new tech. What’s more, the DS3 is highly customisable like its biggest rivals, the Mini Hatch and Audi A1, with over 75 colour combinations and 10 roof designs to choose from. The DS3 has been selling strong in the UK market of late, but can it emulate that success in Ireland in the run up to Christmas?

What is it like?

As you’d expect from a car with Citroen underpinnings, the DS3 oozes French flair. It features a restyled front grille on the outside, where you’ll also notice a DS badge, new ‘LED Vision’ headlights and flowing LED indicators for a futuristic look. Our test car, finished in ‘Whisper Purple Metallic’ is certainly easy on the eye, and is one of the range-topping Prestige models which gains larger 17-inch alloy wheels and Alacantara upholstery inside for a premium-feel. 

There are just two different DS3 models to choose from; Elegance and Prestige, keeping choice simple, and on the engine front there is either a 1.2-litre petrol engine or 1.6-litre diesel engine to choose from, both varying in power output. We drove the most powerful 1.6HDi diesel and found it to be a competent performer in and out of town, with plenty of torque in stop start traffic, while it’s competent at motorway speeds thanks to its six speed manual gearbox.  

Inside the DS3 feels sophisticated, with a black glossy finish throughout the cabin, and nice features like a flat bottomed steering wheel, racing-style pedals and body-hugging front sports seats. We love how clutter-free the DS3 now feels from the driver’s seat, with virtually no buttons on the centre console, the majority of elements are controlled through the touch screen display in the centre console, which can take some getting used to. At night time it feels ultramodern inside, with brightly lit dash displays and colourful lighting in the foot wells as you step inside through the large front doors.

While the DS3 is quite comfortable out on the road, it is harder and quite noisy on the road especially with larger wheels fitted, but that lends it a sporty feel and handling noticeably strong in tight turns.

Carzone verdict: 4/5

With prices starting from €21,345, the DS3 isn’t among the most affordable superminis on the market, but it is one of the most luxurious options in the class and right on par with the new Mini 3-Door in terms of price. Buyers who love tocustomise will have great fun buying a new DS3, as everything from the roof colour to the interior trims can be tailored in different colours and styles.

We found the 1.6 diesel DS3 to be incredibly efficient too, consistently achieving 100 kilometres of driving on 4.5 litres of fuel, while road tax is similarly low at €180 for the year. It will take some time for Irish buyers to learn what DS is and become accustomed to the brand, but for that very reason, the DS3 attracts attention and stands out from the crowd. If that’s your thing, then it’s definitely one to consider.

Test Car Details:

Model driven: DS3

Prices from: €21,345

Price as tested: €28,295

Annual Road Tax: €180

Engine: 1560cc four-cylinder diesel

Transmission: Six Speed Manual

Body style: 3-Door Hatchback

Top Speed: 190 km/h

0-100km/h: 9.0 seconds

Boot Space: 285 litres

Fuel Economy: 4.5 litres per 100km