The way the DS3 delivers its power is one of its strengths, thanks to potent, free-revving petrol engines and strong diesels. Petrol fans can choose from 80 and 109bhp 1.2-litre units, a 118bhp 1.6 (which comes with an automatic gearbox) and the turbocharged 161bhp THP model. Two 1.6-litre diesels are also available, in either 91 or 118bhp form.
Citroën DS3 Hatchback ride & handling
The DS3 is based on the C3 supermini, but it turns in to bends quicker and doesn't bob up and down like a nodding dog every time you touch the brakes. Go for the THP model and there's also decent body control through corners; lesser versions are slacker and can feel nervous on the motorway. Whichever version you choose, the ride is jiggly and the steering doesn't offer you much sense of how hard the front tyres are gripping.
Citroën DS3 Hatchback refinement
The turbocharged 1.6 THP engine is smooth and quiet, whereas the lower-powered 1.6 emits a constant drone on the motorway because it has a short top gear. Versions with a manual gearbox also have a vague clutch action. Road noise is an issue if you have a car with 17-inch wheels, although every DS3 keeps wind noise to an acceptable level.