2016 DS 3 Puretech 1.2 110 S&S Givenchy Le Makeup review

DS has linked up with fashion and cosmetics firm Givenchy for a special edition DS 3. Has it provided the foundation for success?...

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What Car? team
26 July 2016

2016 DS 3 Puretech 1.2 110 S&S Givenchy Le Makeup review

Citroën’s upmarket DS brand has collaborated with compatriot and luxury haute-couture fashion label Givenchy to give us this DS 3 Le Makeup limited edition.

Only 500 examples will be coming to the UK, with DS taking aim at what it calls “'modern day women'; more than half of DS 3 buyers are female.

The Givenchy Le Makeup is available as either a three-door hatchback or open-top cabriolet, and has a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine fitted to a five-speed manual gearbox. An optional six-speed automatic is also available.

Unique to the DS 3 Givenchy is the Opaline white exterior paint finish, which has a matte-look and a rough, granular texture. It's complemented with limited-edition badges, 17in diamond-cut black alloy wheels, and a contrasting purple roof and door-mirror housings.

The front centre armrest opens to reveal your very own Givenchy makeup collection, which contains lipstick, mascara, face powder and nail polish. To help you apply all this, there are vanity mirrors featuring powerful LED lights.

2016 DS 3 Puretech 1.2 110 S&S Givenchy Le Makeup review

You also get black leather seat trim, along with unique details including a rose-pink panel across the dashboard and Givenchy-branded floor mats.

What is the 2016 DS 3 Givenchy Le Makeup like to drive?

The changes to this DS 3 really are skin deep, meaning it feels exactly the same to drive as the standard DS 3, which leaves you wanting more.

A car such as the DS 3 should be as fun to drive as it is to look at and sit in. It doesn’t quite live up to that billing, though, especially next to much more entertaining rivals such as the Mini hatchback.

2016 DS 3 Puretech 1.2 110 S&S Givenchy Le Makeup review

The DS 3's steering is reasonably accurate and there's plenty of grip available, but there’s a little too much body lean, which makes it less agile than the Mini through corners. The DS 3 doesn't ride that well, either, feeling fidgety over small undulations and thudding over larger ones.

The three-cylinder petrol engine is a hoot, though. It’s eager to rev and offers sprightly performance, with plenty of low-down grunt from around 1500rpm when the turbocharger kicks in. So, even when you don't wish to rev it hard, it has enough oomph to offer relaxed and effortless pace around town or on faster roads.

2016 DS 3 Puretech 1.2 110 S&S Givenchy Le Makeup review

Unfortunately, the peppiness of the engine is rather let down by the sloppy gearchange. The vague shift action occasionally means you end up struggling to find the right gear, while the stiff clutch pedal can be rather tiresome in stop-start traffic.

What is the 2016 DS 3 Givenchy Le Makeup like inside?

As you’d hope, it’s a pleasant place to sit. The dash is modern and well–designed, so all the controls fall within easy reach, and the neat detailing, including the rose-coloured dash panel, only adds to its appeal. There's also a 7.0in colour touchscreen infotainment system. This is positioned usefully high-up on the dashboard, but its menus and functionality are a way off the Mini's excellent BMW-sourced iDrive system.

2016 DS 3 Puretech 1.2 110 S&S Givenchy Le Makeup review

You sit a little high on the driver's seat in the DS 3, even with the seat height adjusted to its lowest position, but otherwise it provides a decent driving position. The steering wheel moves both in and out as well as up and down, which along with reasonable leg and head room should allow most people to get comfortable.

The road ahead is slightly obscured by thick windscreen pillars, and over-the-shoulder vision is hindered due to thick rear pillars and the small side windows in the rear.

2016 DS 3 Puretech 1.2 110 S&S Givenchy Le Makeup review

Storage space is at a premium in the DS 3. The door bins will take a bottle of water, but there are no cupholders; the glovebox is tiny and the cubbyhole under the central armrest is full of all that Givenchy makeup.

Rear passengers will find getting into the back easy enough, with the front seats sliding forward with little effort to reveal a decent opening for access to the rear seats. Once in, there’s limited head room for anyone over six feet tall, and even young teenagers are likely to find their knees hitting the back of the front seats.

The boot is reasonably sized for a car that resides in the small hatchback class, easily managing a large suitcase or your weekly visit to the shops. A high load lip makes life a little tricky if you're lifting in something heavy. There's no dual-height boot floor, either, which means you're left with an awkward step in the extended load deck once you've dropped the 60:40 split-folding rear seatbacks.

2016 DS 3 Puretech 1.2 110 S&S Givenchy Le Makeup review

Should I buy one?

The Givenchy Le Makeup limited edition is based on the standard £16,395 Elegance trim, but adds a few badges, a unique paint finish and a built-in makeup case. That doesn't seem like much when you consider it demands a £3000 premium, especially considering that a well-equipped Mini Cooper or Audi A1 will be far more rewarding to drive, arguably just as fashionable, and will cost a lot less.

So, if you have your heart set on a DS 3, we’d stick to the standard Elegance trim, and perhaps a trip to Paris for a makeover with the £3000 you've saved by doing so.

Matthew Griffiths

What Car? says...

Rated 3 out of 5

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DS 3 Givenchy Le Makeup 1.2 110 Puretech S&S

Engine size 1.2-litre, turbo, petrol

Price from £19,395

Power 109bhp

Torque 151lb ft

0-62mph 9.6sec

Top speed 118mph

Fuel economy (official combined) 65.7mpg

CO2/BIK band 100g/km/17%