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2010-04-26 12:21
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Citroen
Model DS3
Engine 1.6 VTi 120; 1.6 THP 150
Power 88/6000 ; 115/6000
Torque 160/4200 ; 240/1400
Transmission five speed manual; six speed manual
Zero To Hundred 8.9 seconds, 7.3
Top Speed 190km/h ; 219km/h
Fuel Consumption 5.9; 6.7
Steering Power steering
Airbags Dual front and side
Service Plan Four year/60 000 km
Warranty Three year/100 000 km
Price R199 000 ; R255 000

Sergio Davids

Citroen's DS3 enjoys a proud heritage dating back to the 1950s with the original DS Coupe. With that in mind, the French manufacturer has moved as far from its DS history as was possible and even calls its posh new DS3 “anti-retro”.

Many drivers don't just see their vehicles as a mode of transportation, but rather an extension of their own style and a mark of their status. Citroen has sought to capitalise on this by offering a staggering array of customisation options on its DS3. Citroen has aimed its DS3 at the Alfa Romeo Mito, Fiat 500 as well as the popular Mini Cooper.

The DS3 features two model derivatives - Sport and Style - with both being powered by a 1.6 petrol engine. The DS3 Sport is powered by the THP 150 engine while the Style variant carries the VTi 120.

The Sport model delivers a 115 kW at 6 000 r/min to power the DS3 to a top speed of 214 km/h. The turbocharged THP 150 engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox. The Sport model's 1.6l enging put outs 240Nm at 1400 r/min. Put your foot down and you are greeted with grunt and plenty of power to nip around. Gear changes are slick while the handling is precise and the steering responsive. The Sport model’s steering feels than the Style variant’s and, as a result, handles superbly on twists and bends.

The more sedate Style is powered by a variant VTi 120 engine producing 88 kW at 6 000 r/min. The Style delivers 160Nm at 4200 r/min and the VTi 120 engine is coupled to a five-speed gearbox.

Fuel consumption for the Style model is rated at 5.9l/100km (urban cycle), while the Sport is slightly heavier on petrol with a figure of 6.7l/100km.

If you’re looking for a small city runabout, then the agile DS3 style is more than up to the task. The Sport is for drivers who are looking for a bit more oomph on the open road with its increased power, tauter steering and sportier feel.

Design elements on the DS3 Sport sees plenty of chrome accents for the front grille, foglights, side mirrors as well as rear chrome highlights.

The overall design of the DS3 is radical and athletic with tons of French flair on display. The front sees a large two piece chrome grille, huge headlights and a vertical line of LED daytime lights. If you’ve opted for the Sport pack, the entire front is accentuated with chrome finishes on the fog lights and bonnet.

From the side, the DS3 is very distinctive with contrasting roof colours and door trimmings. The rear end looks a bit rushed, unfortunately, and appears rather bland even with the Sport model's chrome accents.

There’s evidence of Volkswagen Polo and Fiat Stilo styling at the rear, which seems to suggest the designers spent most of their time on the front and side of the vehicle, or coming up with more interior and exterior options.

The DS3 features two customisation packages – the Techno pack and Design pack.

The Techno pack features a number of technical enhancements such as rear parking sensors, automatic digital air conditioning, and a Bluetooth system with USB socket.

The Design pack is for those who want to set their DS3 apart from the rest with loads of interior and exterior tweaks.

These include 17-inch Bellone alloy wheels (available in black, white or silver diamond-tipped) , Sport Akinen cloth and mistral Alcantara seats (DS3 Style) or leather seats (DS3 Sport), as well as aluminium drilled pedals.

Both the Techno and Design pack come standard on the DS3 Sport and are available as options on the DS3 Style.

Inside the DS3 shows off a fantastic array of styling features, from the sporty steering wheel to the dashboard. The cabin is trimmed in soft-touch materials, except for the replaceable colour-coded bits (the fascia, console and door trim) that have a distinctive plastic look even when disguised in black paintwork. The dash, gear lever, pedals steering can be colour coded and tweaked on a whim to suit your mood.

Overall, the DS3 is fun, stylish and, with the number customisation options, uniquely individual. With loads of customisable exterior and interior options, the DS3 is more of a fashion accessory than a car, but it doesn’t disappoint.

Citroen has sought to overcome any qualms drivers may have regarding reliability by supplying the DS3 with a three-year /100 000 km warranty and a four-year/60 000 km service plan.


1.6 VTi Style – R199 000

Techno pack - R211 000
Design pack  - R209 500

1.6 THP Sport – R255 000

Can Citroen's DS3 take on rivals such a Alfa Romeo's MiTo and the popular Mini? Share your thoughts here!

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