Hannah Gordon checks out the new and very stylish DS 3 PureTech 130
What is it? The DS 3 has been a huge success for DS and since its launch in 2010 the car has sold over 390,000 units, the biggest market being the UK. The revised DS 3 comes from the new DS brand, one that stands apart from its sister company Citroen, there is in fact no Citroen badging to be found on the DS 3 for the first time.
Who is it aimed at? Predominantly aimed at the female population and first time drivers, the new ambassador for the vehicle is a 94 year old fashion icon going by the name of Iris Apfel so you can kind of see where DS are going with this. The huge array of colour combinations and personalisation again would appeal to the youth of today.
What abou the Styling? The new DS 3 has retained its 3 door shape and the front wings and bonnet have been carried over from the previous model. Changes have been made to the front end of the car with new LED headlights and chrome detailing around a new grille. The DS ‘wings’ can clearly be seen at the front and they sculpture around the front headlights and grille. On the rear the Avant-garde styling continues with the familiar floating roof, shark fin posts and new 3D LED taillights.
Under the bonnet? There are seven engines to choice from, five petrols and two diesels. The DS 3 is available with the new 3 cylinder 1.2 litre turbo petrol engine which was available in the test car and would be the engine of choice. It has an output of 130 bhp, 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 127mph. The petrol engine is quiet around town and super nippy, the pick up through the majority of gears has barely any lag and is a pleasure to drive. The 6-speed gearbox is well matched and whether driving around city or motorway it performs exceptionally.
What about inside? Inside it is well styled and the addition of a 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system means 20 less buttons on the centre console. The touchscreen has Sat Nav, Bluetooth, DAB and Apple Play which enables you to look at messages and send them using Siri, there is also a DS App that you can download for greater connectivity to the car. The seating position within the car is good and the dials and instruments are easy to read. There is plenty of room and the boot is one of the biggest in its class at 285 litres.
On the road? The DS 3 is a good all round car on the road, it handles well especially when you are punching the car around corners at speed, the suspension isn’t too harsh but is definitely not spongy either. The steering lightens up around town which helps it skip through the city with ease and then gets heavier when pushing through the country lanes. There is some intrusion of tyre noise into the cabin especially on motorways and in the Cabrio version noise from other vehicles does penetrate the roof.
And Safety? A Euro NCAP rating of five stars and plenty of airbags means this little car is a safe purchase. Active City Brake is an option but does come as standard on the Prestige models. Hill Start Assist and Electronic Stability Control do come as standard.
What are my options? Plenty of options are available with the DS 3 and these include personalisation options, DS claim there are around 3 million different colour and option choices available so if you like to be different then a DS 3 can definitely give you that. Also available as options is a reversing camera at £200, Nappa Watchstrap leather interior for £1300 and Mirror Screen (Apple and Android connectivity) £100.
Will it break the bank? All engines are Euro 6 compliant, the 1.2 litre turbo petrol emits just 105g/km of CO2 which gives it a tax band B and £20 per year bill. The combined miles per gallon is 62.8, the diesel versions are slightly more economical than this and do emit less CO2.
So the Verdict? This was my first time driving a DS 3 and I was extremely impressed by it. Its a great alternative to the Mini and other superminis mainly because of the drivability, space and the array of engines available. The pick of the bunch is the PureTech petrol engine which is refined, nippy and suits the car and gearbox so well. The interior is easy to use but the Sat Nav does feel a bit dated. The DS 3 also comes in a Cabrio version which retains all the best qualities plus a bit of wind in your hair. Overall the DS 3 should pick up where it left off and remain DS’s best selling car.
DS 3 PureTech 130
Max speed: 127 mph
0-62 mph: 8.9 seconds
Emissions: 105 g/km
Model price range: from £16,895
No of Doors: 3
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 62.8 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 285 litres
Length: 3948 mm
Width: 1715 mm
Height: 1483 mm
Wheelbase: 2452 mm
9th March, 2016