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How much? £15,900
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1598cc 16v turbocharged 4-cyl, 154bhp @ 6000rpm, 177lb ft @ 1400rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front wheel drive
Performance: 7.3sec 0-62mph, 133mph, 42.2mpg, 155g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 1165kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 3948/1715/1458mm
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CAR's rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Handling

Rated 3 out of 53

Performance

Rated 3 out of 53

Usability

Rated 3 out of 53

Feelgood factor

Rated 4 out of 54

Readers' rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Citroen DS3 DSport THP150 (2010) CAR review

By Ben Oliver

First Drives

26 May 2010 13:30

The French philosopher Roland Barthes wrote when the original Citroen DS was launched in 1955 that the car was now the “exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object.” Believe me: nobody’s going to write that about the new Citroen DS3.

Of all the great French cars, the 2CV might be the Frenchest, for its simplicity and affordability, but the original DS was unquestionably the greatest for its extraordinary styling and technological advancement. And now it’s back. Or the name is, anyway. The Peugeot-Citroen group, rightly if belatedly recognizing that there’s money to be made in premium cars, and danger in the way the premium brands are moving in on its small-car customers, is developing a DS ‘line’; each a premium version of an existing model.

So what is the new Citroen DS3?

This DS3, based on the new C3, is the first; a DS4 and DS5 will follow. Citroen has also rightly recognized that much of the success of the Mini and the Fiat 500 is down to a strong sense of national identity and a link to a cool small car of the past. Unfortunately, the best small French cars were admirable and accessible but seldom aspirational: a new 2CV wouldn’t appeal much to a buyer tempted by an Audi A1.

One CAR colleague says it’s sacrilege. I don’t agree. Citroen owns the DS name and can do what it likes with it; as a means of communicating Frenchness it’s better than a tricolore on the roof and a horn that play La Marseillaise. I’d just question the marketing wisdom of inviting comparisons.

But let’s leave the row over the name aside and examine the car. The DS3 is a three-door, five-seat hatch with a decent-sized boot, Citroen calling attention to the Mini and 500’s failings in these regards. It offers 90 and 110bhp diesels and 95, 120 and 150bhp petrols with five and six-speed manuals, and an auto with the 120. We’ll come back to the tech later, as it’s by far the least interesting aspect of this car.

 

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Citroen DS3 DSport THP150 (2010) CAR review

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clownfish

clownfish says

RE: Citroen DS3 DSport THP150 (2010) CAR review

A lot seems to have been said about the shark-fin b-pillar of the DS3 but here's one thing I don't understand - is it REALLY that groundbreaking?  Honda, with its domestic-model (and available in several Asian markets, too) Airwave, has worn that "shark-fin pillar" look, albeit on the c rather than b-pillar, as far back as 2007 (maybe earlier).

http://www.honda.co.jp/AIRWAVE/styling/index.html for your quick reference.

If anything, my first impression of the raves over the DS3's shark-fin look was "Wot? Citroen - guilty of plagarism?"

17 June 2010 01:54

 

sausageandmash

sausageandmash says

RE: Citroen DS3 DSport THP150 (2010) CAR review

I haven't had a Citroen since they started sticking things together with double sided tape, as it was with my old 1986 CX GTI turbo, which was an amazing beast. I would love an old DS and it's amazing that Citroen have squandered this 'cult status' moniker on such an anonymous, dull looking car.

If they'd built a decent and elegant saloon, like their C6 (but obviously better) then I could understand it. Okay, why not stick it (with good glue I hope) on a smaller, greener car. But I reckon this all typifies Citroens problems - they just don't make desirable enough motors anymore. They don't care and will do anything to sell this car. I can't think of a new French car I would buy now. 

I suppose Citroen indeed want the 'youngsters' to go for this car, though it's not cheap - I haven't seen the free insurance ads - yet.

31 May 2010 18:09

 

markh

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markh says

RE: Citroen DS3 DSport THP150 (2010) CAR review

Spot on Johnny D---BTW Car whats happening with our thumbs up for comments suggestion that you guys were taking to the developers?

28 May 2010 05:13

 

resis

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resis says

RE: Citroen DS3 DSport THP150 (2010) CAR review

 I totally understand why some are saying this is a travesty of the DS moniker - I do know sumfink about the original DS and how it was light years ahead of it's time. However , what do these commenters feel they should do with a new DS? I can't see what innovation could be applied to a new vehicle outside of reinventing the ICE, given the huge raft of legislation governing vehicle design, and the costs of development. Now there's a discussion.......

27 May 2010 17:16

 

JohnnyD

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JohnnyD says

RE: Citroen DS3 DSport THP150 (2010) CAR review

Not sure Citroen should be using the DS moniker but that aside this falls into the Mini & 500 category. You'll buy it because you love it. If you don't, you won't. Trying to make a reasoned rationale for it is pointless.

I really like it. Spec it right and you will have a nice chunky bit of kit.

27 May 2010 17:13

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