Citroen DS3 wins Fifth Gear award

The victory comes a week after the supermini picked up the Small Car of the Year and overall Car of the Year titles in Top Gear magazine’s 2010 awards.

The double victory justifies Citroen’s decision to revive the DS Line name in the shape of the small car.

Citroen added more premium materials and a huge range of body, roof and mirror colours to the DS3 in an effort to challenge the likes of Mini in the more upmarket supermini segment.

Fifth Gear described the DS3 as being ‘a brilliant little package’, adding: "It’s sharp looking on the outside, beautifully styled on the inside and comes with a great range of fast, but frugal engines."

In the true tradition of French hot hatches, the DS3 also impressed on the track. The judges said: "What surprised us the most is just how good it is to drive. On the road the DS3 feels great, and on the track Tiff [Needell] twice drove it to victory against more expensive and more powerful competition. It simply doesn’t put a foot wrong."

Not surprisingly, the 207bhp racing version, the DS3 Racing, will be released in 2011, with a World Rally version set to follow.

Meanwhile, Citroen will turn its attention on the launch of the second in the DS Line, the DS4 hatchback, which is a larger model than the DS3 and goes up against the likes of the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra in the extremely competitive segment.

The final confirmed model in the DS Line, the DS5, will be unveiled in 2011, but Citroen has not ruled out other models after the huge success of the DS3 in both awards and sales figures.