Currently reading: DS 3 set for Geneva motor show debut
Dramatic redesign for second-generation supermini as Peugeot Citroen premium brand DS looks to cement its premium credentials
Jim Holder
2 mins read
7 January 2016

Citroën’s aspiring premium brand DS faces its toughest test yet in its bid to establish itself as a standalone marque when it launches the new DS 3 supermini this spring.

Read our DS 3 review

The DS 3 has been crucial to the brand to date, accounting for 48% of DS’s 118,500 global sales in 2014. Its success is attributed to its styling and appealing dynamics, which gave DS a surprise Mini rival.

DS boss Yves Bonnefont has set his team the task of building cars that are avant-garde in design, have cutting-edge technology and which offer refinement and dynamism. While the new DS 3, which is set to be revealed at Geneva, is said to embody these qualities, it will not have the advantage of an all-new platform, as parent company PSA develops its new small car underpinnings for 2018.

The strategy for the new DS 3 is thought to be an ambitious redesign. The exterior is said to have evolved, taking styling cues from the DS Divine 2020 concept. It is expected to keep the distinctive C-pillars and proportions of today’s car but will get fresh light treatments and sharper, more squaredoff lines. The grille will evolve closer to that of the DS 4.

Inside, the car is said to have moved up in terms of quality. Higher trim levels with more standard kit are expected in a bid to establish a high-tech reputation, including PSA’s touchscreen infotainment system and MirrorLink. The powertrains will be derived from today’s units, which insiders believe match the class best for performance, refinement and real-world fuel economy.

The DS 3 will be offered as a flagship 207bhp 1.6-litre DS Performance model, as well as a DS Performance Black edition. There will be also be 81, 108 and 128bhp 1.2-litre petrol engines and a 163bhp 1.6. Diesels will be the familiar 1.6 BlueHDi engine with a choice of 99 and 118bhp outputs.

Read our DS 3 Performance review

Engineers and designers are said to have been pushed to deliver a more rounded package for the second-gen car, recognising that its appeal must evolve if it is to drive sales. Bosses are also said to want to end the heavy discounts at which the DS 3 has been sold until now, even at the expense of sales volume, in order to shore up profits. DS 3 sales peaked at almost 80,000 in 2011 but have held steady at 70,000 a year since.

An SUV version is due in around 2019, although it is expected to have a more exaggerated design as it looks to take on the Nissan Juke.


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7 January 2016
Loved the look of the DS3 and even went as far as a test drive in the THP variety, much better ride and far more practical than the MINI, almost convinced me but I knew the new model was due sometime this year so left it, that and you couldn’t specify DAB, criminal, especially as it’s standard in the Fiesta and either standard or an option in just about everything else, let’s hope that’s sorted this time. Also, it sounds like they’re sticking with the 4 cylinder 1.6 engine for THP version they shared with BMW, thought they might go with BMW again and get the latest 1.5T 3 cylinder. Otherwise I wish Citroen well as they do some great cars, just wish they’d dump the not so great ones!

7 January 2016
Absolutely stunning! But alas, my prospects of winning the lottery are much better than this to come true – and I don't even play the lottery!

DS have made it clear that there will be no new model in Europe before 2018. Similarly, mid-life refreshes for the formerly Chevron-adorned DS 4 and 5 have been minimal and only affected front grille and bumper. Judging from a leaked side shot courtesy of Citroen Japan, there is no reason to hope for more for this DS 3.
Besides, the front-wing kink seen on present DSs (but also on Citroens such as C4 or C-Elysée) is no longer part of the marque's identity, as illustrated on style manifesto Divine DS.

Nice one Jim, and 2 weeks ago it would have ended up at the top of my Christmas list, but sadly this is just not going to happen.

7 January 2016
If I understand you correctly, you believe that this "ambitious redesign" will be no more than a DS4/5 style facelift of the existing DS3, and not a full rebody, albeit on the existing platform? If you're right, that will be disappointing, as the DS3 is now getting a bit long in the tooth.

7 January 2016
I couldn't agree more as it will be celebrating its 6th birthday this month, and I want DS to do well. But as far as DS have communicated, this will only be a light refresh like those seen last year for DS 4 & 5.

There has been absolutely no spyshots whatsoever so far, which in itself is highly unusual, so nothing is known for sure. But information from the production lines shows that the next new model will be a little SUV based on the next generation of platform, not due before 2018 (if we're lucky, it could be unveiled in late 2017). It is not even clear that the DS 3 will be replaced as it is, since the number of models is due to be limited to 6, according to the current "Back In The Race" plan. This could change if Tavares present a more ambitious expansion plan in April, as most now expect, but this wouldn't bear fruits for another few years.

The Mini and Fiat 500 have shown that age needn't be an issue, and Audi's second A3 soldiered on for a whole 9 years before being replaced. But I'm not sure the DS 3 can pull it off...

7 January 2016
The DS3 does now have DAB standard on most of its models, not sure how long thats been the case though. I'm hoping that a new or revised model will have more room/adjustability for the driving position, which would transform the car for me.

7 January 2016
It was about 8 months ago I tested one and the only option in the brochure was a add on Pioneer unit which was also for sale in Argos! I found the seats most excellent by the way!

7 January 2016
Glasshouse on the artists impression is identical to the current, which suggests a facelift, but the copied marketing speak in the article suggests otherwise. I guess we'll have to wait until Geneva.

I enjoyed our DS3, bone-shaking ride aside. Well-equipped, good fun and (to my eyes) great looking. We just outgrew it.

7 January 2016
Nothing too wrong with the current DS3, apart from the horrendous gearchange on the 5 speed models.
I hope they remedy that. But seriously, 5 speeds in 2015??

7 January 2016
DS3 and 4 are the most GIRLY cars I can think of (apart from VW Beetle and Z3 and even Audi TT) . OK yes I live in Russia and sales of DS do extremely well but I had it confirmed from one of their top execs at a party I attended recently that not less than 72% are bought by WOMEN and not the exec types. Working wife mainly.
It is just too "pretty" for a man to have one of these - unless of course....

7 January 2016
5wheels wrote:

DS3 and 4 are the most GIRLY cars I can think of (apart from VW Beetle and Z3 and even Audi TT) . OK yes I live in Russia and sales of DS do extremely well but I had it confirmed from one of their top execs at a party I attended recently that not less than 72% are bought by WOMEN and not the exec types. Working wife mainly.
It is just too "pretty" for a man to have one of these - unless of course....

What a bizarre opinion.


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