Citroen DS3 Review

Citroen DS3 Nouvelle.

With more charm than the Audi A1 and a whole lot more space than the MINI three-door, the new Citroen DS3 is Citroen’s breakthrough car. Elegant, upmarket design and tech upgrades, plus sporty styling options ensure that this car will be a popular choice for a young, hip crowd. Let’s see what the new DS3 has to offer…


Available as a three-door hatchback or sporty cabriolet, the lack of a five-door option may put some off, but the DS3 is designed for a younger audience. There’s a huge range of customisation options to choose from that could make purchasing a DS3 a time-consuming (yet fun) experience. With a choice of 12 body colours and 6 contrast pack colours, sleek lines and a choice of 6 trim options ensures there is a DS3 model to suit all tastes and budgets.

All six models come with front electric windows, cruise control and LED daytime running lights as standard, with even the base level DS3 Chic offering 17” alloys, leather steering wheel and air-conditioning. Our model of choice, the DS3 Elegance, adds rear parking sensors that make parking in tight spaces a breeze. Other models include the Prestige with its DS LED Vision Xenon headlights, the Ultra Prestige or the top-of-the-range Performance and Performance Black, boasting sports suspension, sports exhaust and leather sports steering wheel.


The new DS3’s boutique-style interior features modern trims and a detailed, glossy black dashboard with a choice of inserts. Attractive dials and a ‘floating’ hood complete the elegant feel of the interior, and all but the base model feature LED interior mood lighting. Tech offerings are equally impressive, with a 7” touchscreen featuring optional Apple CarPlay and Android MirrorLink, which mirrors your smartphone display on the touchscreen, allowing you to play music, access maps or listen to SMS messages.

Prestige models and up benefit from eMyWay sat-nav, but in our opinion using your smartphone works just as well. A six-speaker stereo system is included as standard, with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, DAB radio and stereo remote control included in all but the basic Chic model. Top-spec models feature ‘surround sound’ speakers and a sub-woofer.

Whilst the DS3 feels pretty spacious inside, the rear is slightly cramped, although you can fit three adults at a push – we’d recommend 2+2 for longer journeys in comfort. The lack of a five-door model means this three-door supermini will attract a young, hip crowd, and with expensive models boasting leather seats and plenty of interior customisation options, the DS3 will definitely appeal to its target market.

Storage space includes a (somewhat small) glovebox and a range of cubbies in the centre stack, whilst boot space is impressive for a supermini. A 285-litre capacity boot offers 35% more space than the MINI Hatch 3-door whilst split-folding rear seats enable the boot space to extend to 880 litres – great for spontaneous weekends away or longer road trips.

On the road

It may not be quite as fun to drive as a MINI, but the DS3 definitely offers a more exciting drive than the Audi A1, with great overall balance and stability and comfortable suspension that absorbs bumps when driving in town. Opt for a sportier model with 17” alloys and you’ll experience a bumpier drive, whilst the Performance models provide stiffer suspension overall.

With a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines, you’re spoilt for choice – all engines with the exception of the basic 1.2-litre PureTech 82 are turbocharged. Our engine of choice, the PureTech 110 (1.2-litre) is worth the extra spend, going from 0-62mph almost three seconds faster than the basic PureTech engine, with a self-shifting EAT 6 automatic gearbox.

When it comes to fuel economy, all the 1.2-litre PureTech engines average 60mpg, with CO2 emissions of less than 107g/km. Impressive fuel economy is on offer from the 1.6-litre THP 165 too, averaging 50.4pmg. If you’re after a Diesel, the 1.6-litre BlueHDi100 boasts 83.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 87g/km, but if you’re planning on a lot of motorway driving, it’s worth spending the extra on the BlueHDi 120, which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and fuel economy of 78.5mpg (CO2 emissions of 94g/km).

Insurance groups are fairly high for a supermini, although you’re most likely to notice this if you opt for a sportier engine. Insurance starts at group 10E for the 1.2 PureTech 82 through to 19A for the Pure Tech 100D Style. Diesel insurance groups range from 22D through to 27E for the Ultra Prestige.

The DS3 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to safety either. Gaining a full five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating with a range of security features including Active City Brake technology, which automatically applies the brakes when an impact is anticipated at speeds of below 20mph, and DS-Connect Box, which makes an automatic emergency call in the event of a collision.

Our verdict

The perfect supermini for young couples, commuters or younger families. The new Citroen DS3 is fun to drive and stylish, with plenty of customisation options and tech on offer, as well as a three-year (60,000 mile) warranty. Also on offer is a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and three years’ DS Automobile Roadside Assistance, included as standard.

With competitive resale values predicted, list price ranges from £13,995 for the PureTech 82 manual to £22,495 for the Performance Black.

For more information on the Citroen DS3 or any of our other new cars and vans, why not get in touch with your local Perry’s dealership today!