For the Citroën DS3, the company has taken the underpinnings from the regular five-door C3, tweaked the suspension settings and slightly stretched the wheelbase, then plonked a more daring, three-door body on top.
The result is a car that, bizarrely, is longer than the five-door (by just 88mm). It is considerably more lengthy than the Mini (by 249mm) but slightly shorter than the Alfa Romeo Mito (by 115mm).
Externally, the most striking design cues are inset LED strip lights in the front bumper and a ‘reversed’ B-pillar that points up from rear to front. It also falls shy of the roof, allowing buyers to choose between a floating roofline or have the lid disappear altogether by opting for a black finish.
There are three trim levels: entry-level DSign, mid-range DStyle and range-topping DSport, which can be had only in conjunction with the 154bhp petrol and 110bhp diesel engines. It wouldn’t be Citroën without a smattering of special editions, too, which often offer extra value and are worth keeping an eye out for.
Standard equipment on DSport models is relatively generous, but customisation is a core element of the new DS brand. You can spec the roof with colours and graphics, and choose different door mirrors, side strips, wheels and even key fob designs.
LED daytime running lights are among the DS3’s most distinctive details. They only activate when the headlights are switched off.
The nose treatment cleverly incorporates Citroën’s double chevron in the grille, and the DS badge above it. The boot is the only place where you’ll see the Citroën name on this car. And even then, the DS badge sits above it.
Significant modifications have been introduced for the limited-edition DS3 Racing. The ride height is 15mm lower, the tracks have been widened by 30mm and carbon fibre features as part of the body addenda.