Citroën DS3 hatchback (2009-2016) - Engines, drive & performance
The DS 3 is one of the better premium superminis to drive, but the ride quality and refinement on models with larger wheels could be better
Despite increasingly tough competition from newer rivals, the DS 3 is still a very pleasant and engaging car to drive. While the MINI and Ford Fiesta lead the class when it comes to the ride/handling balance, there’s still a decent compromise here in the DS 3, thanks to its weighty-yet-responsive steering, good grip and well contained body lean. But while the suspension doesn’t disgrace itself, the engine is the highlight.
While the suspension itself is reasonably well resolved, it’s a shame that DS has opted to equip both models with 17-inch wheels as standard. While they fill the wheel arches nicely and look enticing, previous experience leads us to believe the car would have been better served with a 16-inch wheel option. Up until late 2018, 16-inch wheels were available and they offered superior ride quality.
Previously the DS 3 was available with both five and six-speed manual gearboxes but from late 2018 the only transmission is a six-speed automatic. While the gearbox acquits itself well and is a considerable upgrade on DS’s older automatic, there’s no doubt that it has raised the price of the DS 3 and the option of a manual would be welcome.
DS 3 engines
The PureTech 110 is the only engine option now available in the DS and, despite only being a 1.2-litre three-cylinder, it’s an eager performer with a 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 121mph. It’s only offered with a six-speed automatic transmission and it’s a shame there aren't any paddles to let you change gear yourself, as this would make for a better driving experience.