Steve Cropley hops aboard the DS3 with its designer, Mark Lloyd
9 December 2009

The Citroen DS3 is due to hit showrooms next March - and Steve Cropley hitched a lift with its designer Mark Lloyd to find out what it's like.

On seeing the DS3 at Paris's Gare du Nord, Cropley notes that the car looks more squat and purposeful than he expected.

See the Citroen DS3 in action in Paris

Out on the road, Lloyd enters into the spirit of Paris driving, aided by the car's lowness and obvious grip on the French capital's slippery cobblestones, and by the shove of the 1.6-litre PSA-BMW turbo engine.

What else impressed Cropley?

"I liked the low-set, Mini-like seats and the smart body-coloured dash, which draws on the new C3's components but manages to differentiate itself with colours and textures.

"Most of all, I was impressed by the car's solidity and build integrity, given that it was still a pre-production model. This DS3 was a solid little thing that seemed immune to the buzzing trim of its ancestors."

Lloyd adds, "The DS3 is a car that expresses our heritage, from its nationality and the way it uses a revered name, to its bold styling, for which Citroen has been known most of its life. To me, heritage builds character. We're going to use it more and more."

The full story is in Autocar magazine, on sale today (Wednesday, 9 December).

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Citroen reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

DS3

The Citroën DS3 is an upmarket, stylish supermini, but does it have what it takes to beat the Mini?

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Comments
16

9 December 2009

Can't help but feel it looks rather bulky for a Mini rival.. I like the front but gets rather too bland and not particularly well-resolved at the back. The test car also looks like it requires larger wheels to fill the arches properly and the blue roof/side mirrors are revolting, not chic at all Steve!

9 December 2009

A hot one of these could be prmising, the interior looks pretty tidy, course people are used to bargain basement with a citroen, so pricing will be the key to its success.

9 December 2009

Strange, I had never really wanted a city car until the Alfa Romeo MiTo came along. Even the Mito's few flaws I experienced when I rented a top end diesel in Italy for a week didn't put me off in the slightest.

And now this offereing from Citroen. I am a far bigger fan of the design of this and the MiTo than the Mini or the 500, (Abarth excluded). For me, the Mini and the Fiat are too retro, whereas this and the Alfa get the balance just right in my opinion.

9 December 2009

Strange how the car looks less exciting when pictured against normal city backgrounds so slightly disappointed . Will reserve judgement till I see one for real.

Cant help but think the designer is Ronnie Corbett though ! Spitting image or what ?

9 December 2009

I was quite looking forward to this car until I saw it has the same interior - albeit with a few more options - as the C3. Somehow it doesn't seem as attractive now. Same thing occurred to me years ago with the Ford Puma, having the same dash as the Fiesta took the specialness out of it.

9 December 2009

[quote Old Toad]Cant help but think the designer is Ronnie Corbett though ! Spitting image or what ?[/quote]

Totally!!

I like the interior and the overall look, but the blue roof/mirrors are awful!

9 December 2009

Dont like the analogue dash, its definately a step in the wrong direction, if I was getting a C3, i'd go for the older model to get the digital dials

9 December 2009

[quote Nikonguy]

Dont like the analogue dash, its definately a step in the wrong direction, if I was getting a C3, i'd go for the older model to get the digital dials

[/quote]

The new C3 has a digital readout (speed) built in to the display as well so no doubt the DS3 does too.

Overall the interior looks great but I'm not so sure about the exterior, too fussy for my taste.

9 December 2009

[quote Lee23404]I'm not so sure about the exterior, too fussy for my taste.[/quote]

It is a very fussy exterior you are right and that tends to date a car quickly. In fact it looks dated fresh out of the box.

I have said it before but the styling still reminds me very much of the old Alfa 145 with the thick central pillar and the wraparound rear glass and the dash is Fiat Coupe with that slash of body colour running the full width.

9 December 2009

Well personally I love the look of the DS3 - both inside & out. I know it's each to their own (to coin an old phrase) - but I will definitely be looking to buy one when I change my current car in early 2011.

Citroen have done a fabulous job on this car. It is totally fresh - as in there isn't anything else on the road quite like it - and it looks much, much smarter than the Mini. As someone else has stated; price will be the key to its success. I have read that Citroen aim to price it a fair bit below the Mini's ridiculously-high price. I hope this is the case. A car this lovely deserves to be a hit - although I (selfishly) wouldn't like to see too many on the road a year from now! Well done Citroen. Nice. Very nice.

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