Citroen has kicked off the new year with a special edition DS3. The DStyle Red and DSport Red follow the usual special edition recipe: new colours, more kit, and less cash. But would you put up with that bright splash of red to score better value for money?
That depends... What's so special about the 2013 Citroen DS3 Red?
There's the lipstick around the grille up front, a red-painted roof, door mirrors and wheel-centre caps. Inside, you can hardly miss the eye-searing dashboard, and red door handle surrounds. That's as far as the red makeover goes (mercifully), but Citroen has dabbled with the options list too.
As standard on the DStyle, you get the 'Connect Signature' pack, with goodies like Bluetooth and USB compatibility, plus an uprated hi-fi with extra speakers. Yes, Citroen's unashamedly chasing the youth market here.
DSport models swap 16-inch wheels for 17s, and gain the 'City Signature pack', adding automatic headlights and wipers, rear parking sensors, heated and folding door mirrors, and interior mood lighting. Yet more joy for the teens: more gadgets, easier to park, and you can set the mood inside...
But will young drivers actually be able to afford the DS3 Red?
Although DS3 Reds work out at around £500 cheaper than a specced-up normal DS3, it's still a £15,655 entry point for the DStyle 1.6-litre petrol, and £15,855 for the 1.6 diesel.
DSport versions get the pokier engines: a 155bhp petrol and 115bhp diesel, with prices of £17,780 and £18,060 respectively. There's no red version of the 200bhp DS3 Racing hot hatch, though.
Is the DS3 Red special edition, well, special enough?
It might look like nothing more than a dash of red, but it does fit in with what buyers want from DS3s. Citroen says that the vast majority of DS3s sold are individually customised by the driver with factory-fit accessories, and it's the mid- and high-spec models that outsell the entry-level cars.
It's not just Citroen playing at this personalisation lark: think how many striped and sporty Mini Coopers you see on the roads compared with the steel-wheeled, poverty-spec Mini Firsts.
Don't forget in the UK the DS3 outsells its cheaper sister, the C3 five-door - despite the DS3's extra cost and reduced practicality.
You might be fed up with car makers offering endless niches and design possibilities, but when it comes to buying cars, more and more buyers vindicate the rule-benders by choosing what's sexy over what's sensible.
>> Would you opt for a special edition car if it offered better value for money? Or are standard cars the better long-term bet? Click 'Add your comment' to sound off below