Top Gear reveals Car of the Year 2010

Succeeding the vastly different 458 Italia to take the award, the £12,000 small car beat competition from other supercars from Bugatti, Pagini and Koenigsegg to take the top award.

It is perhaps a sign of the times that a small, affordable supermini was named the best car of 2010, but Top Gear believes the DS3 is a worthy winner.

"The TopGear Car of the Year is a small, thoughtful, affordable, stylish, fun little hatchback," it said, "DS3 has pulled off that heady mix of ability, excitement and affordability that’s impossible to ignore."

Based on the Citroen C3, but adding a range of new customisable options such as roof and mirror colours and interior trims, the DS3 is a more upmarket car trading on the revived DS Line name from Citroen’s past.

It was released earlier this year as a more spacious rival to the likes of the Mini and Fiat 500, and instantly impressed, even appearing ahead of the iPad in Stuff magazine’s prestigious ‘Cool List’.

Linda Jackson, Citroën UK’s Managing Director, commented: "Considering the fierce competition, it is a fantastic achievement for DS3 to win the top accolade. DS3 has enjoyed a fantastic first year, winning the hearts and minds of both public and press."

Top Gear isn’t totally moving away from high performance cars however, because the DS3 also spawned a fiery DS3 Racing offering a shocking black and orange colour scheme and 204bhp from the 1.6-litre engine.

The Citroen DS3 was awarded the ‘Small Car of the Year’ title by Top Gear magazine before going on to win the main award. The Citroen DS3 and C3 were also shortlisted for the European Car of the Year award, finishing fifth overall in the voting.