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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
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popular DS 3 is third model in premium firm's line-up

PROS

  • Stylish
  • Good to drive
  • Cheap to run
  • Huge capacity for individualisation

CONS

  • More expensive
  • Not very practical
  • Ride quality can be poor

Verdict

Following in the footsteps of the recently revised 4 and 5 hatchbacks, the three-door DS 3 is the latest model to arrive from Citroen’s premium sub-brand. It outsells its more humble Citroen C3 cousin here in the UK, which incidentally is the 3’s biggest market.

Taking on a trio of fashionable superminis - the MINI Hatchback, Audi A1 and Fiat 500 - this is an unashamedly style-centric car with an eye-catching design and myriad personalisation options.

Fundamentally it’s not all that different under the skin to the Citroen version, but that isn’t to say that’s a bad thing. We rate the DS 3 very highly indeed for its low-cost, likeable drive and cleverly integrated fashion statements all over the car.

Striking design

Most noticeable is the revised front end - in particular the new vertical grille design, dubbed “DS Wings” which is surrounded by chrome and includes a double wings motif stretching to the headlights. It’s a design language we’re going to see on all future DS models.

As with the new DS 4 and DS 5, the latest iteration of the firm’s ‘LED Vision’ headlights with scrolling directional indicators are introduced, which combine LED and xenon technology for improved visibility and reduced energy consumption. More importantly, they look fantastic too. There’s a level of attention to detail on display here that takes time to digest, with DS motifs cleverly positioned around the car without being too garish.

Other distinctive design features have remained from the previous Citroen model, including the shark-fin flicks on the B-pillar and the trademark ‘floating roof’. Customers also have a choice of 78 colour schemes and a mind-boggling three million possible design combinations, including dashboard upgrades and alloy wheel designs.

Latest-generation tech and premium appeal

The cabin has been redesigned and features 20 fewer buttons than before, moving many features to the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system for a cleaner interior layout.

You’ll be able to buy the revised hatchback in six trims: Chic, Elegance, Prestige, Prestige Plus, Performance and Performance Black. A small price hike across the range takes into account the range of additional equipment on offer.

As standard all cars will come with Bluetooth, air-con and Active City Brake (a system which helps to prevent low-speed collisions). Other new equipment available in the range includes Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as well as new interior design schemes like a topaz dashboard and the excellent watchstrap leather previously seen in the 4 and 5.

Drivers can also download the MyDS app which will inform you when the car is ready for a service, where it is parked and fuel economy figures; with MirrorLink you can also use the app to send text messages hands-free.

Range of efficient engines

The new DS 3 will be available in the UK with seven engines from launch: five petrols and two diesels.

Kicking off the petrol range is the popular three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech, available with three power outputs and manual or automatic gearboxes.

The two diesel options are likely to be more popular for business drivers - the BlueHDi 100 boasts CO2 emissions as low as 87g/km, so benefit-in-kind tax isn’t going to break the bank.

DS 3 Performance

The DS 3 range has been expanded to include a Performance version which will feature a 1.6-litre petrol engine under the bonnet offering 208bhp and 300Nm of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual with shorter gear ratios, they also come with a limited slip differential, sports suspension lowered by 15mm, wider front and rear tracks and larger Brembo brakes.

Twin tailpipes, carbon side mouldings, a new sill plate and black wheelarch extensions complete the sporty look from the outside. You can even have matt paint on top-spec Performance Black versions.

Could this new supermini be your next new car? Read on for the in-depth DS 3 review to see how it fares in more detail.

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