DS 3 facelift: luxury hatchback gets new look and technology

Prices and on-sale date of the new DS3 premium hatchback have been announced

Orders for the facelifted DS 3 hatchback have opened ahead of the car's official on-sale date of 5 February. The car has been revised to bring its look into line with the rest of the premium French brand's range – the DS 4 and DS 5 – and keep pace with its rivals, notably the MINI hatchback. Prices for the DS 3 hatchback start at £13,995, while the DS 3 Cabrio is priced from £16,295.

2016 DS 3 design

Previously known as the Citroen DS3, before the brand was spun off from its parent in 2014, the DS 3 continued to feature Citroen 'double chevron' badging until now, so the most noticeable change effected by the facelift is a DS-badged hexagonal grille replacing the old Citroen design.

Higher-spec models now get smarter xenon headlights with built-in LEDs, boasting three jewel-like LED clusters for a distinctive look (above). LED indicators and foglamps complete the front-end redesign, while from the side, only new alloy wheel designs give the game away.

At the back, there’s just been some subtle reprofiling of the lights – you’d struggle to tell the updated car from the outgoing version from this angle. Personalisation has always been a hallmark of DS cars and the latest DS 3 offers a choice of 10 roof decals. Buyers of the open-top DS 3 Cabrio version can pick one of four roof finishes and DS says there are no less than three million possible colour and trim combinations.

Interior

Inside, plenty more has changed, with new trims and the ‘watch-strap’ seat leather (below) from the DS 4 and DS 5 featuring. The major controls are unchanged, but extra dashboard colour combinations continue the personalisation theme, plus the DS 3’s in-car technology has been brought right up to date.

There’s now a seven-inch touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink smartphone connectivity, while a new ‘DS Connect Box’ option includes an SOS & Assistance Pack and a remote tracking system. Some of the latest safety technology, such as Active City Braking, is now available, too.

Equipment & specification

At launch, the new DS 3 will be available in a choice of three trim levels: Chic, Elegance and Prestige, while a Performance model will also be offered. The Performance joins the Ultra Prestige and Performance Black editions in the Exclusive Collection – the selection of trim levels at the top of the range.

Entry-level Chic comes with alloy wheels, air-conditioning and a seven-inch colour touchscreen as standard, while the Cabrio in this trim also gets rear parking sensors, a rear spoiler and tinted rear windows.

Step up a level to Elegance and you'll benefit from a different design of 16-inch alloy wheel and LED front foglights, while you also get sports seats upholstered in 'Dinamica' cloth trim. The Elegance also comes with automatic air-conditioning, rear parking sensors and the DS Connect Box emergency assistance system. This allows the car to contact the emergency services if it detects a collision.

Top-spec Prestige models come with 17-inch alloys, sat nav and front parking sensors, as well as Alcantara upholstery. If you go for the Ultra Prestige model, however, your car will come with the 'watchstrap' leather upholstery.

Engines & running costs

There's nothing different about the DS 3's standard engine range: buyers still have a choice of the 1.2-litre PureTech three-cylinder turbocharged petrol in several power outputs, plus two four-cylinder THP turbocharged petrols and two BlueHDi diesels.

Petrolheads will welcome the return of a high-performance DS 3, though. It’s now called the DS Performance, but this is essentially the same car as the limited-edition DS 3 Racing that was sold previously. It’s available as a hatchback or convertible, powered by a 1.6-litre THP turbocharged petrol engine paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. DS hasn’t released exact performance figures yet, but the Performance will make 207bhp and emit 125g/km of CO2.

The cheapest engine in the range to run will be the 99bhp BlueHDi diesel, which emits just 87g/km of CO2 in the hatchback. This means it's exempt from road tax and owners will only be liable for 16% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) comapany car tax.

At the other end of the scale, the most expensive models to run will be the 163bhp 1.6-litre petrol and the aforementioned 207bhp Performance model. These emit 129 and 125g/km respectively, resulting in an annual tax bill of £110. As yet, there's been no official word on fuel economy figures, but don't expect these to change much compared to the outgoing model.

Prices & release date

Buyers can order a new DS 3 now, with prices for the hatchback starting at £13,995. Cabrio models are priced from £16,295 and top out at £24,795. The most expensive hardtop hatchback, however, costs from £22,495. First deliveries of the new car will take place in the spring.

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