Audi A1 and Citroen DS3 in the driving report

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Audi A1 & Citroen DS3 in the driving report
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In the supermarket, specially stated kilo prices help to be able to better compare the advertised goods with each other - for cars there is no such thing. Why actually? When it comes to the price per kilo, there is between the Audi A1 and Citroën D S3 with 1.6-liter diesel almost equal. In this comparison, extraordinary design and sporty aspirations meet at 3.95 meters for around 17 euros per kilogram.

Citroën DS3 in all sorts of colors

In order to clearly differentiate itself from their other models, the French specially created the DS series, which is continuously being expanded. Visually, the Citroën DS3 with the flat roof with a contrasting color, the B-pillar stylized as a fin and the strong rounded fenders are quite stylistic peculiarities. Large doors make it easier to get in, and the front triangular windows provide all-round visibility.

The Citroën The DS3 cockpit has a more conservative design than the body, only the floating glare protection above the instruments shows a bit of courage. In terms of color, on the other hand, Citoën gives its customers complete freedom; seats and interior trim can be dipped in all sorts of colors from subtle black to bright yellow.

Audi A1 and Citroën DS3 with colorful upholstery

Audi is also diligently swinging the brush on the A1, colorful upholstery and interior elements are good form in this segment. In the Citroën DS3 test car, the seats light up in bright red, which can hardly hide their strange shape. The lateral support and thigh support fit, but the backrest presses uncomfortably between the shoulder blades.

The Citroën DS3 is not easy to operate

In addition, the rough adjustment with fragile levers made of cheap plastic bothers. The rest of the Citroën DS3 is not particularly easy to operate either, as its designers went to work with French nonchalance when it came to ergonomics. If the chic piano lacquer strips and the noble chrome rings are not enough as consolation, the common rail should start under the hood of the Citroën DS3.

If that's 112 hp and above allthe maximum torque of 270 Newton meters invite the 1.2-ton Citroën DS3 to dance, the question of drive alternatives quickly becomes superfluous. The 1.6-liter engine works, as the test drivers stated in the driving report, cultivates and gives the Citroën DS3 very good performance, especially in the practice-relevant elasticity rating - overtaking maneuvers become a minor matter, as do gearshifts.

Sporty handling in the Citroën DS3

The six-speed gearbox works great, the distances are short, the guidance precise. Why did the French wait so long for this, ask the test editors? Now all you have to do is train the steering to achieve comparable precision, because it still lacks feedback. Thanks to the tight chassis tuning, the Citroën DS3 rushes through corners with commitment, the 17-inch wheels (standard with Sport-Chic) also contribute to the sporty handling - and to the moderate ride comfort.

The Audi A1 rolls more smoothly than the Citroën DS3

It is precisely in this discipline that the Citroën DS3 has to be instructed by the German. Also equipped with large wheels, the Audi A1, based on the VW Polo, rolls more smoothly, even swallowing short waves better. In addition, there is a lower level of interior noise. However, the Audi also focuses on driving dynamics, where it can clearly set itself apart from the Citroën DS3 thanks to the more sensitive steering.

The Audi A1 greedily throws itself in bends, if necessary the rear helps with a slight twist. There is no lack of traction even on wet roads, where the electronic differential lock cleverly distributes the maximum torque of 250 Newton meters and the 105 hp TDI engine delivers its power very harmoniously.

Audi A1 with finer material

In general, the Audi A1 is characterized by its balanced character. The switches snap more finely, the materials feel more valuable, the seats fit better, operation is much easier - even in the smallest representative, Audi demonstrates what the brand has been praising for years in the higher segments.

Cheeky surcharge design at Audi

Just as impressive: the cheeky surcharge design. Admittedly, only the Audi A1 offers extras such as xenon lights or an elaborate infotainment system, and it also consumes half a liter less at 5.7 L /100 km.
With all the built-in extras expensive over 29,000 euros, it is still worth doing the math: one kilo of Audi A1 costs over 19 euros adjusted for equipment. The Citroën DS3 comes to around 17 euros - and also proves to be a thoroughly successful small car.


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