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In-depth reviews

DS 3 hatchback (2016-2019)

"The DS 3 stands out in the upmarket supermini market thanks to its practicality, style, fun-to-drive character and well built interior"

Carbuyer Rating

2.9 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Stylish inside and out
  • Quite cheap to run
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • Quite expensive to buy
  • MINI is more fun to drive
  • Only available as three-door

With a significant set of revisions, the Citroen DS 3 morphed into the DS 3, becoming the first model in the standalone DS brand. It’s positioned as a chic, fashion-conscious and more upmarket brand than Citroen that culminates in the DS 7 Crossback – France's first luxury SUV.

The name has heritage; the original Citroen DS was a beautiful and technically advanced car launched in the 1950s, and the brand is designed to capture some of that magic.

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The DS 3 is a small hatchback positioned as an alternative to upmarket supermini rivals such as the MINI Hatchback, but its glamorous looks inevitably pitch it against other fashion-led models like the Fiat 500 and Alfa Romeo MiTo. It also competes with the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo for buyers’ attention – and wallets.

The DS 3, like the Citroen version before it, sells in big numbers, and a range of options makes it tempting for many buyers. Interior and exterior customisation appeal to those who want to make their DS 3 reflect their personality.

The DS 3 is more than a pretty face, though. It’s more practical than the Fiat 500, although like that model, it’s hobbled slightly by a three-door-only bodystyle.

The DS 3 range has been slimmed down considerably for the 2019 model year but the models still offered represent good value, and you can have a well equipped DS 3 for less than £20,000. The entry-level Connected Chic model packs cruise control, air-conditioning and a touchscreen infotainment system, sat nav and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The range is topped by the DS 3 Performance Line, which while offering no increase in performance over the Connected Chic model does look the part with both exterior and interior upgrades. There are also two special-edition models, called Cafe Racer and Forever, which add a few design and interior trim tweaks.

Just one engine is now offered in the DS 3 – the three-cylinder 1.2-litre 109bhp PureTech petrol – and it can only be had with a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s claimed to return 44.8mpg, and has CO2 emissions of 114g/km, which places it in the 26% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax bracket.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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