Citroen DS3 Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

The Citroen DS3 is an upmarket supermini with a cute look and a smart interior – an attractive package. It first hit UK roads in 2010, was rebadged as the DS 3 in 2016, and ended production in 2019. The DS3 and DS 3 are the same under the bonnet but have now been replaced by the DS 3 Crossback SUV, which is a different car altogether. The standard DS3 we’re looking at here is a five-seat hatchback available in petrol or diesel and is perfect for someone looking for retro style and easy driving. It is one of Citroen’s more expensive small models, but it won’t set you back as much as some other upmarket city cars, making it well worth considering.

Read on or check out our model page to find out why the Citroen DS3 could be the right car for you.

What we think about the Citroen DS3

The Citroen DS3 is a desirable small car with plenty of space for passengers and a sense of style.

Pros

+

Buckets of chic retro charm

+

Easy to drive and park

+

Space for adults in the back

Cons

Reasonably high insurance group for its size

Lag between hitting the accelerator and engine response

The Citroen DS3 DSign seats five and has three doors. Its 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine does a reasonably efficient 40 mpg, and is controlled by a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s also available with automatic transmission, and with a diesel engine. Other trims include DStyle and DSport and offer a wider range of add-on features.

Driving performance of the Citroen Ds3

Our Driving Rating7 / 10

The Citroen DS3 has a sporty driving feel and is nippy in town. It cruises well on the motorway, which means it’s a good car for everyday driving as well as longer trips. Well-calibrated suspension makes it easy to steer around corners, as well as comfy to travel in. It’s nice and easy to park, too, thanks to its small size and turning circle. Some models have a short delay between hitting the accelerator and the engine responding, though, which can be frustrating if you’re in a hurry.

Safety and reliability of the Citroen Ds3

Our Safety Rating7 / 10

When it was last tested in 2009, the Citroen DS3 achieved the maximum Euro NCAP safety rating of five stars, and it only gained more safety features in the following years. Seatbelt reminders, rear Isofix points for attaching car seats and six airbags are standard for all trims and years. More recent models also have electronic stability control, anti-skid brakes and active city braking to reduce the risk of low-speed conditions in town. Citroen has issued a few recalls for the DS3, so be sure to check that these have been acted on for any model you’re considering.

Under the bonnet of the Citroen Ds3

Our Engine Rating6 / 10

There’s a few different engine options available for the DS3, so you can pick one to suit your needs. It’s available with automatic or six-speed manual transmission, with petrol engines in 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre and 1.6-litre turbo sizes. There’s also a 1.6-litre diesel, which can achieve 99 bhp, or 118 bhp if you go for a turbo model. The diesel engines tend to be more efficient for motorway driving, but the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol is the most efficient, hitting 204 bhp. The 1.2-litre petrol engine offers up 110 bhp, with a top speed of 118 mph and a 0-60 time of 9.5 seconds.

What you'll find in the Citroen Ds3

Our Design Rating8 / 10

The DS3 has a cute yet assertive look and a squat profile that makes it seem ready to pounce. New buyers were offered the option to customise the look with coloured panels and patterned decals, so there are some individually styled DS3s on the road. Luckily, those decals are fairly easy to change if you’re not a fan or fancy switching it up. Pre-2016, the DS3 came in four trims – DSign, DStyle, DSport and DSPort Plus. These were renamed when it was rebadged as the DS 3 in 2016, but look fairly similar. There’s also a two-door Citroen DS3 Cabriolet model with a roll-back fabric roof.

Comfort and interiors in the Citroen Ds3

Our Comfort Rating8 / 10

The backseat of the DS3 offers enough room for two adults to sit comfortably, though a third in the middle seat would be a fairly tight squeeze. There’s a good amount of boot space, and the rear seats split 60/40 and fold flat – perfect if you’re in need of more carrying capacity. Inside, it’s fashionable and comfortable with a stylish dashboard, but only one cup holder. New buyers were given the option to customise the dashboard controls and some of the materials used for the interior, so (as with the exterior) different models may have their own individual quirks.

Yellow Citroen DS3

What features you'll find in the Citroen Ds3

Our Features Rating9 / 10

You’ll find that the DS3 is well supplied with useful features and gadgets. The 2014 model has climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and navigation all as standard. The DSport trim for the same year added a reverse parking camera, heated door mirrors (useful on frosty mornings) and automatic headlamps and wipers. There are several different limited edition DS3s on the road, too, often offering slightly better value for money when it comes to features. There aren’t many downsides to this interior, but a lack of controls on the DS3’s steering wheel means the driver has to fiddle with the central controls, which can be frustrating.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Citroen Ds3

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

All engine sizes and fuel types of the Citroen DS3 are fairly efficient. With a 1.6-litre petrol engine and manual gearbox, you can expect around 40 mpg and emissions of 129 g/km of carbon dioxide, while the diesels and smaller petrols are more efficient. The lower-powered diesel is cheapest at the pump, doing 80 mpg with emissions of just 87 g/km. The 1.2-litre petrol can do around 700 miles between refills – expect this to be a bit lower for bigger engines. Figures given here are for combined motorway/city driving, but the DS3 is notably more efficient on the motorway.

Running costs of the Citroen Ds3

Our Cost Rating6 / 10

The DS3 is good value for money at the dealer, but more expensive to insure than you’d expect for a small Citroen thanks to its place in groups 15-22 (depending on age and engine size). Citroen’s servicing is usually reasonably priced and the DS3 is fairly reliable, meaning you shouldn’t end up paying over the odds to keep it on the road. There are known issues with the Bluetooth connectivity on some models and Citroen has issued a few recalls, so be sure to check the service history and the infotainment system before you buy.

Our verdict of the Citroen Ds3

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

The Citroen DS3 is a cute yet capable city car that's just on the edge of premium quality and price. It's spacious and stylish, and every model is a little different.