In-depth Reviews

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

Carbuyer Rating

2.9 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.6 out of 5

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.

Most Popular

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?
Hero image
News
11 Aug 2022

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
MG HS
Deals
12 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Kia Niro EV review
Kia Niro EV front 3/4 tracking
In-depth reviews
16 Aug 2022

Kia Niro EV review

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022