Monday, 24 August 2009


Driving the DS3 is like having the wheels at your fingertips…so says Vincent Besson, Director of Products and Markets Strategy at PSA. Well it had better be, considering who it is going up against. King MINI is still the handling champion of his class despite being trounced by new kid on the block Alfa MiTo in the IN4RIDE shootout.

Citroën is hoping that new customers will open their hearts and wallets to welcome the DS3 as a true and genuine rival to these two. First unveiled as the C-Cactus concept car the DS3 represents a new line of upmarket models for the Citroën brand. It is based on the next-generation C3 and will be followed by a DS4 (based on the C4) and a DS5 (based on the Concept Sport Lounge).

Compact is the word when it comes to the DS3. Exterior dimensions are 3.95 m long, 1.71 m wide and 1.46 high which puts it squarely within the realm of its existing rivals.

Buyers will be able to choose from a variety of interior options including colours, fabrics and equipment. Gadgets for the expected techno-savvy target market are a MyWay satellite navigation system, an MP3/WMA compatible CD player and Bluetooth connectivity.

Power will come from an initial five engines; three petrols and two diesels. In a disturbingly growing industry trend I think some of the engines are to be shared with MINI. The THP (turbocharged) petrols produce 71kW (95hp), 89kW (122hp) and 112kW (152hp). The diesels on the other hand are good for 67kW and 82kW respectively, but the torque figures there should dwarf those of the petrols.

We are waiting for Citroën South Africa to let us know if the DS3 is coming into the country next year or not. The Frankfurt Motor Show will allow us to see it more closely.