By: Jason Woosey
Paris - The Citroen DS brand's boutique hatch has been given its first major makeover since it first saw light of day in 2010.
Described by its maker as a “hip and stylish Parisian supermini” the DS3 hatch and cabrio models have been perked up with a redesigned face, modernised cabin tech and, most importantly, some enticing new engines.
Topping the pile is a new Performance model fitted with a 153kW, 300Nm version of PSA's familiar 1.6-litre THP turbopetrol engine and sporting 15mm-lower suspension. It's mated to a close-ratio six speed manual gearbox and to keep that power in check, the hottest DS3 is fitted with a Torsen limited slip differential.
Also joining the European line-up is the 96kW, 230Nm PureTech 130 three-cylinder turbopetrol motor, likewise mated to a six-speed manual, while its detuned sister, the 81kW PureTech 110, can be had with the brand new EAT6 automatic transmission.
The familiar normally aspirated 60kW three-pot soldiers on at the bottom of the range, while two four-cylinder HDi turbodiesels add to the economical mix but let's not get carried away here as the SA line-up has yet to be confirmed.
NEW LOOK, MODERN TECH
While the side and rear sections of the DS3 remain unaltered, it's impossible not to tell it apart at the redesigned front end, where the car sports a large grille surrounded by a chrome garnish with so-called “DS Wings” poking their way towards the fenders.
As with most of its 'funky hatch' rivals, the DS3 was always known for the vast array of personalisation options it offered its customers and the new one builds on that by offering a total of 78 body/roof colour combinations, new alloy wheel designs as well as four fabric roof options in the case of the Cabrio model.
You can also let your imagination run wild in the cabin, of course, and even more so now with the added array of trims and interior design schemes.
Yet if you're too drawn into your smartphone to notice any of that, you will at least appreciate the new seven-inch colour touch-screen with Mirror Screen functionality, which essentially brings all the personalised features of your Apple or Android device to the car's command centre. Just watch the road too, please.
As an added bonus, you can also download a free “MyDS” app that will not only help you locate the car if you forget where it's parked but also allow you to track the car's fuel economy and service schedule.