Tag Archive | "DS3"

The Citroen DS3 – Fun In The Sun

The Citroen DS3 has been with us for a while now and very popular it is too. There’s one thing the French company has done well over the years – with one or two notable exceptions – and that’s car design. The funky and fun DS3 is proof of that and the design has percolated up through the entire DS range.

MB2 The Citroen DS3   Fun In The SunFull marks then for the DS3 hatchback; but our featured car is the cabriolet which has a simple and effective folding roof reminiscent of the less effective Pluriel and, of course, the legendary 2CV, beloved of hippies everywhere. Because of the soft top boot access is tricky. The lid slides neatly upwards and out of the way but the revealed opening is constrained by the design. You have to stoop to see what you’re doing.

Fortunately, the gripes stop there. This is a very good car. The version in the images is the lively DSport THP155 (HP) turbo-petrol model. On paper the rush to 62mph isn’t especially frantic at 8.2 seconds but, through the gears, the performance belies that figure.

Performance is punchy low down and this really excellent engine demands you keep the revs up and avoid the slight initial turbo lag. CO² is commendable at 137g/km and Citroen claim 47mpg. We saw numbers in the high thirties in mixed driving. More economical and less powerful engines are available and less power would not, I suspect, detract from the fun of driving this car. This model though is loaded with goodies and with the extra power would be hard to resist in the showroom.

Space in the front is impressive and three people can get cosy in the back although it would help if they familiar with each other. With the roof up headroom is limited for taller folk but the point of this car is have it open.

Wind noise is minor with the roof up, and with it down, buffeting isn’t too bad up to 70mph, a standard pop-up wind deflector at the top of the windscreen ensuring conversation volumes can remain at normal volume.

The roof can be opened or closed in sixteen seconds and at speeds of up to 75mph, although frankly we preferred to slow right down. It’s good that it worked so quickly because it was opened and closed more than a lift door, thanks to the Great British weather but we were determined to have some fun in sun – however fleetingly.MB3 The Citroen DS3   Fun In The Sun

It’s easy to get comfortable in the supportive driver’s seat and the dashboard is accessible and well laid out. All the connectivity buyers expect these days is on board as are the usual safety kit; ABS, EBA and EBD and airbags all round etc. The dramatic 17” Bellone Black alloys are standard fit on this model. The Cabriolet has poor rear visibility with the roof all the way back but the good news is that parking sensors are standard.

Out on the road it is a blast to drive. Citroen have got the suspension just right; stiff enough for handling, soft enough for comfort. The steering doesn’t impart much feedback but it is accurate. If provoked, the DS3 DSport THP155 will under-steer but in the real world nobody is going to notice this. Overall the DS3 Cabriolet is refined, fully featured and a cracking drive. All this for under £22k.

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Citroën Pass The New Car Test

As motor technology and design have improved during the first ten years of this century, so drivers have become more discerning about the cars they buy. Citroen is a company that has always been at the forefront of interesting design. Aficionados still speak of the now legendary DS model which featured hydro-pneumatic self levelling suspension and also the ubiquitous 2CV, beloved of French families for over forty years.

Recently the company have produced some very good motors but, just lately, there seems to have been a renaissance in the design of their new cars that re-introduces the fabled DS name. This new premium range, which started with the instantly popular Citroen DS3 in 2010, features a new DS logo instead of the more familiar Citroen double chevron. The original logo now appears instead as part of the front grill design. Citroen’s multiple world champion Sebastian Loeb is presently campaigning this supermini at the highest level of the World Rally Championship. Sadly, the version he drives is not offered to the average motorist but there are more powerful models available for the sporting driver!

The company’s featured packed website includes details of their Citroen Select Approved used car scheme. This enables customers to buy thorough the dealer network with confidence, knowing that the chosen vehicle has been thoroughly checked. Each car also comes with a package of additional benefits. In the unlikely event of a problem – in these austere times when everything seems to cost too much – it’s also nice to know that Citroen offer fixed price repairs. Their promise is that the price you are quoted is the price you pay and that their technicians use only genuine Citroen parts.

The DS range has been augmented now with the larger DS4 which incorporates a dramatic four door coupé body on raised suspension.  The DS family resemblance is retained and, to complete the set, April 2012 will see the release of the family sized executive DS5. This car is especially interesting as it offers within the range a hybrid version. This 200bhp car will have a conventional engine coupled with an electric motor delivering performance, four wheel drive and, it appears, a road tax busting 99g/km emission figure. It certainly looks good; so much so that the brutally honest reviewers at Top Gear Magazine, who have always been fans of the DS3, have pronounced the DS5 their ‘family car of the year’. Praise indeed for a company that, in amongst the Euro-design cars, dares to be different.

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