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Citroen DS3 THP 150 in the test: Citroen lures with a new design

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Citroen DS3 THP 150 in the test
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A little less than a year ago at the first press launch C itroën the really big marketing vortex: Lights out, dramatic music, spot on, curtain up - and then they announce the name of the new small car: DS3. Oops, DS, one thinks and winces. You don't have it smaller? Because what is the first model of a whole family to be adorned with the identifier of the most innovative car in the company's history, completely dispenses with technical extravagance.

Citroën is the name of the DS3 as a city coupé

With the revolutionary DS from 1955 the Citroen DS3 has nothing except the name in common, it is an evolutionary small car: successor to the Citroen C2 and two-door variant of the new Citroen C3 . But because that doesn't sound really sophisticated and doesn't fit the decidedly trendy image, Citroën calls it a city coupé. Which doesn't change the fact that the Citroen DS3 There is one thing above all beneath its unconventional shell: a conventional Citroën C3. Inside, this is evident in the solidly processed and, apart from the cumbersome radio-navigation unit, easy to use cockpit, which only has a few cosmetic changes.

The DS3 combines design and functionality

As different as the siblings look, they show except for the Citroën DS3 height trimmed by 6.6 centimeters but very similar dimensions. The differences in space are therefore correspondingly small. At the front it is comfortably enough for pilots and the like, at the back two adults sit less casually with sufficient knees and slightly less headroom. The width of the rear seat is barely enough for three passengers. Unlike in the Citroën C3 ( The Citroen C3 in the individual test ) there is no panorama windshield for the DS3, instead the black roof lining creates a compact feeling of space. The strong emphasis on the design has no serious consequences for the functionality: 15 liters less minimum volume in the trunk or the cumbersome entry into the rear shouldn't matter to the target group. After all, it should overlap with that of the Mini, which significantly reduces the relevance for bulky goods or family transports. But not the one for customization and frills. The DS3 has no shortage of either.

The DS3 uses the same motors as the Mini

Eleven exterior colors and four shades for the roof add up to 38 possible combinations . There are also color-coordinated dashboard decorations, two-tone light alloy wheels and wheel hub covers available. If you get lost in all the colors, Citroën will help you with a sticker on the ignition key that is painted in the main color. As with the other noble small cars Alfa Romeo Mito , Fiat 500 and Mini are also available for the Citroën with chrome-plated or painted exterior mirror covers and roof stickers - even with matching floor mats, for example in the long-awaited “Zebra” design. Only the 30 guarantee, maintenance and all-inclusive service packages offer more choice. So the DS3 masters the unimportant.

When it comes to drive, it is fraternized with the Mini and uses the same motors. However, the cultivated and easy-revving 1.6-liter turbo in the Citroën has 28 HP less than in the Mini Cooper S. But the 156 HP and 240 Nm ensure energetic pulling power and sporty driving performance; .

The little Citroën turns corners with great enthusiasm

When it comes to the chassis, on the other hand, the DS3 relies on C3 components, so it requires less effort than the Mini: instead of one He uses a simpler twist beam layout at the rear for the complex independent suspension. Dynamized with tighter dampers and thicker stabilizers, the Citroën reduces its ambitions for comfort. Together with the more direct, precise and feedback-intensive power steering, it lends itself to handling that is just a tad away from that of the Mini in terms of agilityis. The little Citroën turns corners with great pleasure, little body roll, long-lasting neutrality and high security. The standard ESP rarely has to intervene - even in its secondary activity as traction control, because the DS3 brings its great power to the road without loss even in tight bends.

The DS3 is the most dynamic Citroën in a long time

While the C3 petrol engine is only available with clumsy and briefly translated five-speed boxes, the Citroën DS3 gets THP 150 a six-speed version - more crisp than smooth, but neatly guided and appropriately graded on short distances Even if the speedometer runs out of scale on the autobahn, the tachometer needle still maintains a respectful distance from the red area. The DS3, which is almost luxuriously equipped as the top version Sport Chic, also holds that in terms of price compared to its main competitor. A stronger Mini Cooper S Clubman, which is comparable in size and space, costs 5,100 euros more even in the fairly bare base - adjusted for equipment it is even 8,000 euros. The DS3 may not have what it takes to become a legend, but it is a pleasant, dynamic and everyday alternative to other noble minis. If Citroën succeeds in making enough profit to continue building the true successor to the DS Citroen C6 , we forgive the DS3 for stealing its name.


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