Categorized | Car Reviews

The Citroen DS3 – What’s Not To Like?

Is this the best looking small car on the market? It’s certainly up against some stiff opposition these days as the market is crowded with a terrific selection of superminis in the same price bracket.

The Citroen DS3 offers a fresh and funky design, but the key to this car is the level of personalisation offered. With over thirty colour combinations and a big box of options we calculate, expounding the figures mathematically, that there would ultimately be – well, let’s see, wheels times upholstery choices and paintwork selection comes to…erm, a lot of variety. Remember the days of mad homemade customisation with hideous flaming decals and the like? Well now you can have it all sorted discreetly and tastefully in the factory using only the very latest new parts. Individual design flair without the all the work.

There are some fantastic new cars on offer in this sector. Ford’s evergreen Fiesta and Renault’s Clio sell consistently and evidence the fact that drivers are looking increasingly for individuality coupled with green and efficient credentials, in preference to power and performance. Citroen have wisely avoided falling too obviously into the hot hatch camp by taking on the familiar Renaultsport or Cupra offerings but this doesn’t mean that performance options aren’t available.

There is the limited edition DS3 Racing. This is a harder edged version based on the standard Citroen DS3 Dsport which itself can boast a not insignificant 155bhp. Not as challenging to drive as Renault’s Clio Cup, the Racing takes a less aggressive approach to steering, throttle response and ride quality delivering a more fluent feel on the road. With a car that seems so desirable there has always got to be a downside and in this case it’s the words ‘limited edition’. You’ll be lucky to get one!

One area where Citroen have excelled recently is the interior of their cars. The DS3 has an imaginatively styled dashboard which can be customised in one of six colours to match your overall styling choices. Quality trim and solid switchgear add to the premium feel. Needless to say the car features all the expected safety equipment and it comes as no surprise to learn that Euro NCAP awarded the full five stars for safety. There is no doubt that the French company has pulled out all the stops on this car and the other models in this premium range.

The thing about car design is that tastes change. If you look at any vehicle from, say, the 1980s or 90s you will be forgiven for wondering what on earth we were thinking about. Thankfully, the technology that allows manufacturers to build cars in ways once unheard of means that styling we would once have described as ‘futuristic’ is here with us now and constantly evolving.

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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