From £15,2157

Price, fuel economy, range and depreciation

PSA needed to enrich the 3’s equipment tally in the face of competition from a Mini that’s no longer quite as poorly provided for as standard as it once was.

Entry-level 3s now get alloy wheels, air conditioning and DS’s new 7.0in colour touchscreen infotainment system as standard.

The 3 has strong residuals initially but is likely to fade over the 3’s lifecycle, but the Mini, doesn’t fair all that much better

Our upper-middle-trimmed Prestige test car came with parking sensors all round, satellite navigation and 17in alloy wheels as standard and would have had part-Alcantara seats for no extra cost, too. That’s no mean tally.

If we were specifying our own DS 3, we would opt for the zesty PureTech 110 engine, auto gearbox and Prestige trim, which will also help in the second-hand car market stakes. To finish the 3 off we would also tick the option boxes on the watchstrap leather seats (£1300), a Topaz dashboard (£150) and Sport Red paint (£495).

The bad news is that the residual values of the 3 are a far cry from what they once were, and they are beginning to pull the rug out from underneath the case for paying a premium for the car at all – which may be a concern for private buyers and a reason, perhaps, to test your chances of scoring a discount.

Despite costing almost £2000 more than an equivalent Audi A1, our 3 test car is likely to be worth in excess of £600 less after three years and 36,000 miles of typical ownership, according to valuation expert CAP.

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