The new DS 3 has been revealed and will go on sale in the UK on 5 February.
What is it?
The new DS 3 was formerly known as the Citroën DS3 until the French manufacturer decided to spin off DS as a separate car brand.
As a result, this new car, available as either a hatchback or a cabriolet, has made a step upmarket as part of the DS brand’s push into the premium sector to rival the likes of Audi and BMW.
The DS 3 is based on the same underpinnings as its predecessor, but it is a much-changed car, boasting a glitzy new design both inside and out, enhanced connectivity and revised engine and transmission options.
The front of the car wears the new DS corporate look, with chrome ‘wings’ that extend from a deep-set grille to the swept-back LED headlights. Further back, the 3 retains some of the original car’s distinctive design features, including the floating roof and the shark fin C-pillars.
The boot volume is unchanged from the previous car: 285 litres in the hatchback and 245 litres in the cabriolet. As with the previous DS 3, the potential for personalisation is vast: more than three million combinations of roof, body, rear view mirror housings, dashboard and gear knob variations can be selected. On offer will be 78 body/roof colour combinations for the hatchback and four variations of fabric roof for the cabriolet.
What engines can I choose from?
A total of seven engines will be offered. The petrol options comprise three Puretech three-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrols with 81, 108 and 128bhp, and two THP 1.6 four-cylinder units with 163bhp and 205bhp. There are also a brace of BlueHDi diesels with 99 and 118bhp outputs respectively.
Transmission choices are either a six-speed manual or a new automatic gearbox. The PureTech 130 engine is available in the DS 3 for the first time. It produces maximum power of 128bhp at 5500rpm and peak torque of 170lb ft from 1750rpm. Combined fuel consumption for this engine is 62.8mpg and it produces a competitively low 105g/km of CO2.
The cleanest variant is the DS 3 BlueHDi 100, which produces 99bhp and emits 87g/km of CO2.
Topping the range for keen drivers is the DS 3 Performance, a sporty variant powered by a 1.6 petrol engine that produces 205bhp, 221lb ft and emits 125g/km of CO2.
This version gets tweaks to the six-speed manual transmission and suspension, and a limited-slip differential to enhance its performance, as well as a raft of styling tweaks to the exterior and interior.
How much equipment does it come with?
Inside there are new trims and interior design schemes, but the biggest news here is an upgrade in technology. The 3 gets a new 7in colour touchscreen, which provides simpler access to all vehicle functions. There’s a simplified central fascia, with 20 fewer buttons. The system has Mirror Screen functionality, meaning compatible apps on a smartphone can be operated via the touchscreen.
New driver assistance systems include front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and, for cars equipped with a manual gearbox, hill start assist. The five-seat DS 3 is available as a hatchback or cabriolet, with the latter featuring a retractable fabric roof that can be opened and closed at speeds of up to 70mph.
How much does it cost?
The entry-level DS 3 starts at £13,995 for the hatchback in Chic spec, equipped with the Puretech three-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol engine. Five other spec-levels are available: Elegance, priced from £16,395; Prestige, from £19,795; Ultra Prestige, from £20,795; Performance, from £20,495 and Performance Black, which starts at £22,495. Add £2300 to these prices for DS 3 Cabrio equivalent models.
The current DS 3 range starts at just over £13,000. Citroën sources suggest the price hike reflects the higher kit levels and technology.
The range-topping Performance Black spec is new to the DS 3 range, and is marked out by its matte-black paintwork and gold highlights.
Britain is the largest global market for the DS brand, and as such the company is putting a major push behind the new car here.
How good are its rivals?
The previous DS 3, under its former Citroën badge, earned a three-star rating on What Car?, but since then premium hatchbacks have become far more advanced. Key rivals include the Audi A1 and Mini One - both of which receive four-star ratings.
priced from £16,395,