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4 Star review from Auto Express

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  • 4 Star review from Auto Express

    Verdict
    :star::star::star::star:
    The DS 3 may be six years old, but it doesnít feel remotely dated to drive, while the visual changes freshen up the exterior look and cabin design nicely. Whether you prefer the modern glamour of this or the retro chic of the MINI is subjective, but the DS is more practical and nicer to drive than the Fiat 500. Prestige spec isn't cheap, however, and interior quality is disappointing in places. The diesel is a fine choice, but the more charismatic Puretech petrols would be our pick.

    While DS as a brand may be finding its feet, thereís one car in its range that has a firmly established following already. The DS 3 supermini has been a quiet success story for parent company Citroen, with 390,000 sold globally since 2010. Over 100,000 of those were registered in the UK, and we are now the biggest market for the DS 3 Ė even overtaking France. The numbers are so impressive that weíre getting to sample it on the road even before those in its native land.

    After a quick badge change last year to mark the launch of DS as a separate outfit, this brings the DS 3 into line with the DS 4 and DS 5. The front-end gets the new hexagonal corporate face and LED lights, while at the rear the designers have tweaked the tail-lamps. New alloy wheel designs and extra personalisation options complete the package.



    The updates are largely successful despite its advancing years, and the DS 3 remains a smart and modern design that goes against the Marmite-esque MINI and Fiat 500. That said, thereís 78 different exterior colour combinations, 10 roof decals and over three-million different blends of spec and colour. It allows you to make a DS 3 that is truly unique.




    Inside, visual changes are limited to new upholstery and trim designs, but the most welcome addition is fresher tech Ė in the form of PSAís latest-generation seven-inch touchscreen infotainment and nav system. It brings Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink tech, too.

    The benefit is less clutter; thereís 20 fewer buttons on the centre console and it looks far tidier. The downside is certain functions that could have been operated with a simple prod have now been relegated to a sub-menu in the touchscreen, which still isnít the most responsive around. Still, itís feature-packed and the display is clear, while the smart new instruments and gloss black trim give a touch of class.

    The optional Ďwatch-strapí leather makes it feel truly upmarket, too, so itís a shame that some hard plastic on the lower dash and a flimsy, undamped glovebox lid lets it down. Thereís also not as much oddment stowage as youíll find in a number of mainstream superminis, but given the style-focused brief, thatís forgivable.







    Kit levels are strong, too, with our Prestige-spec car getting sat-nav, LED headlamps, cruise control, parking sensors front-and-rear and Alcantara trim. But given our diesel model costs nearly £20k before options, we wouldnít expect anything less.

    It might lose a point to the MINI in terms of practicality (thereís no five-door option), but the door opening is wide and passengers can clamber into the back easily thanks to a grab handle by the seat. Once back there, head and legroom is adequate for all but the tallest adults, as six-footers will find their head brushing the roofline. The 285-litre boot is 74 litres roomier than a MINI three-door, but the five-door is only seven litres behind. A Skoda Fabia is bigger, but at least the DS 3 is more versatile than a Fiat 500.

    Some manufacturers argue that fashion-oriented small cars donít need to be a dynamic drive, but the DS 3 has always countered that. The chassis, steering and suspension are unchanged from the outgoing DS 3, but thatís no bad thing Ė striking a good balance between ride comfort and agility.








    Tyre roar remains noticeable on rougher roads, but itís not intrusive and no worse than rivals in that regard. The steering is accurate, if a little slow compared to the MINIís ultra-sharp rack, while grip levels are strong and the nose tucks into bends nicely. A MINI is undoubtedly more engaging, but the DS isnít far behind and is more comfortable.

    Our test car came with the most powerful diesel available: the familiar 118bhp 1.6 BlueHDI unit. As before, itís smooth, refined and, thanks to a healthy 285Nm of torque, offers strong in-gear pace. A combined economy figure of 78.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 94g/km are competitive, too. But, as with the MINI, we prefer the more characterful and rev-happy Puretech turbo petrol engine in a car like the DS 3.
    My DS3R3... nearly....
    New? Click HERE for some useful threads.

  • #2
    "while at the rear the designers have tweaked the tail-lamps"
    What are they talking about? Is this about the +3 year old rear LED lights?

    Comment


    • #3
      The top brake light is clear if they mean that.....
      My DS3R3... nearly....
      New? Click HERE for some useful threads.

      Comment


      • #4
        Lol I thought it was probably the 3d type rear lights that have been available since end of 2012/early 2013 too
        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          Well I found this on a Facebook page. But can't seem to find it online or on any new model releases.

          Could just be a concept model. But had carbon fibre trim

          My DS3R3... nearly....
          New? Click HERE for some useful threads.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by WTF View Post
            Well I found this on a Facebook page. But can't seem to find it online or on any new model releases.

            Could just be a concept model. But had carbon fibre trim

            Ooooooh!!!!
            - DS3 DSport Plus - THP 155 - Belle-ile Blue with Perla Nera Black Roof -
            - DS3Club Discord -

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by WTF View Post
              Well I found this on a Facebook page. But can't seem to find it online or on any new model releases.

              Could just be a concept model. But had carbon fibre trim

              Oh gosh they're getting fussy with the design of these now. The 3D thing is simple - why interrupt it with that silly strip through the middle. [emoji51]

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DigitalCal View Post
                Oh gosh they're getting fussy with the design of these now. The 3D thing is simple - why interrupt it with that silly strip through the middle. [emoji51]
                Thats an easy one.... its French - and they can
                Simon

                Peugeot 208 GTi Prestige - Orange Power

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WTF View Post
                  Well I found this on a Facebook page. But can't seem to find it online or on any new model releases.

                  Could just be a concept model. But had carbon fibre trim

                  I like the new design.
                  Simon

                  Peugeot 208 GTi Prestige - Orange Power

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WTF View Post
                    Well I found this on a Facebook page. But can't seem to find it online or on any new model releases.

                    Could just be a concept model. But had carbon fibre trim

                    Think it is from the original DS3R Concept going by this pic:

                    sigpic

                    Current: DS3 Performance Black Edition
                    Previous: DS3 110Hdi Dsport Plus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I knew I'd seen those before. It's from before the "new" rear lights were introduced. So they were just the concept version. This is one of those rare times that a final version looks better than the concept one imo.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yeah I'm glad my 3d lights didn't have that chrome strip in the middle of them
                        sigpic

                        Comment

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