By: Dave Abrahams
Johannesburg - Citroen SA is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the iconic DS19 with a refreshed, upgraded DS3 range including, for the first time, high-efficiency PureTech engines.
The simplified line-up includes the Cabrio (no longer a stand-alone model) and offers a choice of four engines, two transmissions and three trim levels across five derivatives. A number of features that were previously extra-cost options are now standard issue, which probably won't make your new DS3 any cheaper but will simplify the ordering process.
You get to choose from seven colours - with either a black or white roof - while the only extra-cost options are metallic paint, a service plan upgrade and a warranty extension. Other than that, what you see is what you get.
And before you ask, Citroen has resisted the temptation to tinker with the styling just to make the previous model look dated; the floating roof, shark-fin C pillar and 'little big mouth' front end are unchanged, as is the colour-coded, neatly laid-out interior.
And what you get starts with the PureTech Design, with a naturally-aspirated version of PSA's 1.2-litre petrol three, rated for 60kW at 5750 revs and 118Nm at 2750rpm, and a five-speed manual 'box. The maker quotes 0-100km/h in 12.3 seconds 174km/h flat out and a nominal combined-cycle fuel consumption of 4.7 litres per 100km.
It rolls on 16-inch steel rims shod with 195/55 rubber and plastic covers, the exterior metalwork is chromed and the side mirrors are black to match the roof, which comes in black only. Halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights are standard, as are front foglights and 3D tail light clusters.
Inside you get a mix of fabric and alcantara synthetic suede trim, a dark, soft-touch dashboard, height and reach adjustment on the steering column and height adjustment on both front seats.
You get manual air-con, cruise control, remote central locking and Bluetooth-connected six-speaker audio with USB and auxiliary inputs.
e-THP PURETECH STYLE
The Style adds a turbo to the 1200cc triple, boosting it to a claimed 81kW at 5500 revs and 205Nm, from just 1500rpm. That'll take it to 100km/h in 10.6 seconds and on to 190km/h at a nominal cost of 4.5 litres per 100km.
Look for black 17-inch alloys with 205/45 takkies, tinted rear side windows, rear parking sensors and either black or white roof paint.
Other than a gloss-black dashboard, automatic headlights and automatic windscreen wipers, the cabin is the same as the Design.
The Cabrio Style is exactly that - a DS3 Style with an electrically-operated folding roof in black fabric, while the VTi 88kW Style Automatic uses the extra grunt of a naturally-aspirated 1598cc petrol four to push a four-speed auto transmission.
The result is 0-100 in a quoted 10.9 seconds and 190km/h flat out, while sipping unleaded at 6.6 litres per 100km.
PUTTING ON THE BLITZ
The e-THP 120 kW Sport comes with a 1.6-litre turbopetrol four for which Citroen claims 120kW at 6000 revs and 240Nm at 1750rpm, driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. The 0-100 sprint is disposed of in 8.1 seconds, terminal velocity is 218km/h and nominal fuel-consumption 5.6 litres per 100km.
It's blinged-up with LED Vision headlights - which combine Xenon and LED modules - perforated leather upholstery, auto air-con, an upgraded audio system and eMyWay satnav as standard issue.
PureTech 60kW Design - R239 900
e-THP PureTech 81kW Style - R279 900
VTi 88kW Style AT - R294 900
Cabrio e-THP Puretech 81kW Style - R304 900
e-THP 120kW Sport - R329 900
These include a three-year or 100 000km warranty, a four-year or 60 000km service plan and three years of 24-hour AA Roadside Assistance.