The iconic Citroen DS19, with its avant garde styling and advanced technology, was launched in 1955, and six decades later still serves as the inspiration for the DS brand’s 21st century products.
The updated DS3 range consists of five models, including the DS3 Cabrio, which now becomes a DS3 derivative, as opposed to a separate entity. The line-up offers a choice of four engines and two transmissions, together with three levels of standard equipment across all five versions.
Thus, many of the DS3 features previously offered as added-cost options have now been included in the standard specification, greatly simplifying the ordering process, and expressing significant value for money.
The striking shape and powerful design of the DS3 have remained unchanged. The compact three-door, with its ‘floating’ roof, characteristic shark-fin C-pillar and instantly recognisable front-end treatment remains one of the most evocative hatchbacks in a segment characterised by conformity.
Also retained is the DS3’s intelligently packaged interior, which delivers space and comfort for both front and rear occupants. Wide-opening doors ensure convenient access, while stylish finishes and materials ensure an air of contemporary elegance.
The most affordable member of the updated DS3 family is the DS3 PureTech 60 kW Design. Offered with a five-speed manual gearbox only, the Design lives up to the DS reputation for style and individuality.
Featuring 16-inch steel wheels with full-sized wheel covers, shod with 195/55 R16 tyres, the DS3 Design’s exterior is embellished with chrome door handles, exterior mirrors with roof-coloured housings and chromed mounts, and chrome side vanity strips.
Halogen headlights accompanied by LED daytime running lights are standard, as are front fog lights and 3D tail light clusters. The exterior mirrors are electrically adjustable and heated. The DS3 Design can only be ordered with a black roof.
Safety is comprehensively addressed via six airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD), electronic stability programme (ESP) and Isofix child seat tethers.
Unashamedly athletic, the flagship of the updated DS3 range is the DS3 e-THP 120 kW Sport. It combines a more extrovert exterior treatment with an even more comprehensive standard equipment list, while a more powerful drivetrain ensures that the go matches the show. The DS3 Sport is powered by a turbocharged 1 598 cc four-cylinder engine with a rated maximum power output of 120 kW at 6 000 r/min, tighter with maximum torque of 240 Nm at 1 750 r/min. Drive remains to the front wheels, but via a six-speed manual gearbox.
Not surprisingly, the DS3 Sport is the most athletic member of the DS3 range. It sprints from rest to 100 km/h in 8,1 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 218 km/h. Even so, fuel consumption is impressive at 5,6 litres/100 km for the combined cycle, with a CO2 emissions rating of 129 g/km.
The DS3 PuteTech 60 kW trades for N$239 900 while the top of the range being the DS3 e-THP 120 kW SPORT, trades for N$329 900. Prices include a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a four-year/60 000 km service plan and three years of 24-hour AA Roadside Assistance. A five-year/100 000 km warranty extension and FreeDrive (comprising a five-year/100 000 km warranty plus five-year/100 000 km maintenance plan) can be specified at added cost.