The DS brand has been discussed before here on MotorMartin, indeed the history behind the marque was highlighted in Citroën DS to DS Automobiles: All I Need, where the journey from the launch of the original all the way back in October 1955 to the current range was looked into. Likewise, when MotorMartin had the opportunity to review the DS4 Prestige THP 210 S&S 6-speed manual last summer, I came away very impressed with both the styling and engine, providing as they did, an enthusiastic and life affirming drive and one which the DS3, no matter how accomplished, will surely find hard to beat.
There’s certainly no denying that the DS3 PureTech 130 S&S 6-speed Manual is a handsome looking car, particularly in the Sport Red and Opal White combination of the model on test which when combined with the 17 inch grey diamond-cut ‘Aphrodite’ alloy wheels, provides you with a truly unique exterior worthy of The DS badge. The chrome protection strips low down on the waist of the car break up the red and match the solidity of the chrome door handles above. And that additional rise of the bodywork around the rear of the driver and passenger windows is as brave as it is significant, showcasing to all the boldness of design that DS is rightly famous for. The rear windows also make a statement as they wrap seemingly around the back of the car, almost melting into the rear window and let’s not forget the front of this DS3 with it’s signature chrome grill, losing the Citroën signature, those gorgeous daytime running lights and headlamps. Superb work DS.
The surprises don’t stop when you step inside the vehicle either, with your eyes immediately being drawn to the confident chrome DS badge on the flat bottomed steering wheel and the centrally mounted 7 inch touchscreen. A system which enables easy access to functions such as satellite navigation, the sound system, smartphone connectivity, the car’s driving settings and Mirror Screen and for maximum ease of use and safety, it works with the steering wheel mounted controls allowing you to adjust the cruise control or speed limiter and control the audio system. A further striking element to the dashboard are the three heating and climate controls with the central temperature gauge highlighted with fantastic graphics on a bright white background. It’s a touch that shows how the designers are constantly trying to provide the driver and passengers with something different, something new and in my eyes, it works superbly.
Comfort is a given bearing in mind where DS have come from with their history of providing a relaxing yet compliant ride in their cars and the DS3 is certainly no different as the the seats are fantastically supportive and comfortable, the leather and craftsmanship evident to all with DS themselves proudly reminding us that: The leathers we use go through an extensive process to look, smell and feel just right. That sort of attention to detail appears throughout New DS 3 and DS 3 Cabrio. It guarantees even our most compact car meets the exacting standards of comfort and refinement we demand of every DS.
And they’re certainly not wrong. The interior is a sumptuous place to while away the time with more than enough adjustment to get comfortable. This is a car that you’d be happy to travel further afield in as the technology present leaves you wanting for nothing and the ride quality is sublime a combination that DS call Dynamic Hypercomfort. Très bon indeed.
On the move, the PureTech 130 S&S engine presents the driver with a willing companion, delivering 130bhp at 5500rpm whilst producing 170 ft/lb at 1750rpm and CO2 figures of an impressively low 105 g/kg. Add this to the revvy nature of the engine and the DS3 offers a surprisingly vivid ride far beyond what you may have been expecting, DS have managed to engineer a spirited character into their different models and this particular DS3 is certainly no different. But you don’t have to allow the engine to rev out through every one of it’s six gears, although stirring the excellent 6-speed gearbox is immense fun, as the flexibility of the 1199cc unit is clear from the off. Town work and commuting is simply a pleasure, accentuated by the light steering and clutch and the uncanny ability of the DS to follow your instructions to the letter. Want to place the car exactly on the correct line through a set of corners before lining up an overtake, or take a leisurely spin out to the coast with the family? The DS3 is more than capable of both.
It’s the small details though that stay in the mind longest, those little things that show the level of care and attention to detail that have been lavished upon this ‘3’, the smallest of the DS range. The solid chrome door handles create a strong first impression as they’re the part of the car that you touch a few times every day and as such, help you to bond with the car and then there’s the subtle DS badges hidden away within the rear light clusters. Staying at the rear of the car, take a look at those large rear lights, when lit they create an inverse 3D effect, drawing you into the lights themselves, lights that appear to go on forever and that subtle roof spoiler, jewel like front lenses, near vertical daytime running lights. I could go on.
Starting at £18,595 for the Chic BlueHDi 100 S&S manual and rising to £25,295 for the range topping Performance Black
THP 210 S&S 6-speed manual, you’re paying for a quality car designed and built with an attention to detail that is to be admired and applauded. Fast when you need it to be, frugal, comfortable, very well equipped and finished.
I’d buy one and so should you.
Where will you go?