It has been almost eight years since the emancipation papers for DS’s breakaway from parent company Citroën were signed but, with the ink well and truly dried, the still relatively unknown French premium brand is pushing to be seen as an independent car maker.
A reason many might still see the firm, which boasts a young four-car line-up, as a wing of its Stellantis stablemate is the DS 3, the once Citroën-badged supermini.
Yet supermini is not what the 3 of today resembles. Instead, at 4118mm long and 1800mm wide, the compact crossover is now fighting with the likes of the Audi Q2, rather than the Vauxhall Corsa – something that DS hopes will help push it into the mainstream. With the latest facelift, the brand has also dropped the 3’s 'Crossback'' nameplate, which previously differentiated the supermini - retired in 2019 - from this jacked-up version, which is the sole body type offered.
Premium is still the name of the game here for DS, with the refreshed 3 bringing with it a variety of new kit – most of which has already been seen on the larger DS 4. This includes a thicker, more refined button-clad steering wheel (which still gives a hint of feel) and a 10.3in infotainment screen that uses the firm’s new smartphone-like Iris system. Infuriating dash-mounted touch buttons return for many of the car’s controls, bar climate, which is still only accessible through the infotainment screen – bafflingly so because a rarely used physical ‘climate off’ touch button remains.