It might take all day to make a decision but it will be time well spent.
Although the options and general mix'n'match choices can be a bit bewildering, bordering on the overwhelming, the OTR price structure for the Citroen DS3 couldn't be simpler.
The Citroen DS3 DSign has just one engine choice and that is the VTi 95hp, petrol unit and costs £11,700. The DStyle comes with a choice of a VTi 120hp and the Hdi 90hp diesel unit. Either way, it bears a price tag of £13,700 while the DStyle 99g carries the same HDi 90hp engine but produces just 99g/km CO2. It is also £13,700. Likewise, the Citroen DS3 DSport cost the same £15,900 whether the THP150hp engine or the Hdi 110hp unit is specified - easy!
These last two engines are the only ones to be mated to the very slick 6-speed manual gearbox as opposed to the 5-speed 'box that the others have. Automatic transmission is not an option.
I have mentioned several times that the main rival to the Citroen DS3 is the BMW MINI. Curious then, that the three petrol engines have been co-developed with the german manufacturer. The Hdi units are Citroen's own.
Clearly the Citroen DS3's 1.6 Hdi 90hp engine is the most frugal as well as being the cleanest with a combined fuel consumpton of 74.3mpg. However, the same sized unit but with higher emissions of 104g/km, isn't too far off that mark.
Of the petrol units, the 1.6 THP 150hp is the only one with turbo-charging. It was also in the test car where it produces 155PS at 6,000 and 240Nm of torque at the low, low engine speed of 1,400rpm. That is well below most diesels and so surprising that I thought that it must be a misprint, but no, that is correct.
What that means is that there is plenty of oomph from almost standstill, which goes some way to explaining the 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds and at the top end, a maximum of 133mph.
The Citroen DS3's fuel consumption is pretty good, with returns of 30.1mpg for the urban cycle, 55.4mpg for the extra-urban and a respectable 42.2mpg for the combined with CO2 escaping from the twin exhausts at the rate of 155g/km.
The low, wide stance of the Citroen DS3 does more than hint at stable, agile handling and the enthusiastic driver is not disappointed. Everything lives up to the sporty nature - it is taut and positive. This is especially so of the steering, which is as direct as a bicycle, so it goes where you point it, when you point it and that inspires confidence.
There is so much more to the Citroen DS3 than I have room for but interested parties should book themselves a day off for a visit to their nearest Citroen showroom. It might take all day to make a decision but it will be time well spent.7 July 2010
Citroen DS3 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Citroen DS3 1.6 THP 150 DSport|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.3 seconds|
|Top Speed||133 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||55.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 07/07/10)||£15,900|