What's the used Citroën DS3 like?
The Citroen DS3 is based on the C3 supermini, but it turns into 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. However, lesser models are slacker and can feel nervous on the motorway. Whichever version you choose, the ride is quite skittish, and the steering short of feel.
The 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. The clutch action is rather vague, too, and road noise is an issue if you have a car with 17-inch wheels. Every version of the DS3 keeps wind noise at an acceptable level.
The DS3 has a decent 285-litre boot and a reasonably roomy cabin. There's plenty of space in the front and enough in the back for a couple of adults, even if rear legroom is a bit tight. Citroen's claim that the DS3 is a full five-seater seems rather optimistic.
You sit a long way back from the windscreen, so it can feel like you're driving a small MPV. The pedals are offset, too, which makes the driving position feel slightly awkward. However, the dashboard layout is pretty user-friendly - only the steering column-mounted controls for the stereo and cruise control let the side down, because they're hidden behind the wheel.