We’ve always been big fans of the Citroen DS range here at Average Joes, and the recent facelift, unveiled in Pairs, has seen the DS3 get a suitably fashionable new face as well as confirming the DS Automobiles brand has its own unique identity. Unveiled with much ceremony within the hallowed halls of the Louvre, the new DS3 stands apart from the market segment in which it typically sits, with a truly fashionable look, many customisable cosmetics and a premium visage.

The 2016 DS3 Range

The Facelift

We called this unveiling a facelift, and that’s very much what it appears to be. Still available as a hatchback and cabrio, the front is where the real difference is to be seen. The DS3 now features a trademark DS grille, with the prominent DS branding front and centre. Around this the prominent features of the LED lights and DS Wings with the addition of chrome finishings, seemingly lower the nose, combining to give it a set of evil eyes.

The facelift to the DS3 is not just limited to the front face of the car, and although the rear and the sides remain remarkably similar, barring 3D effect tai-lights and some new touches to that floating roof design, the inside of the car has received more attention. Speaking of the roof, there are a few new options available to that design, allowing you to tweak the personalised elements yet further.

DS3 Dash

Tech Step Forward

On the inside, technology updates feature heavily with a wholly upgraded information and entertainment system. Working with their target market in mind, the ability to connect your smartphone has increased, allowing you to pair up to the seven-inch touchscreen display which replaces the old button system of the old DS3. This switch over allows the inside of the dash of the DS3 to mirror its external visage, with a more smooth, clean look befitting of the Parisian boutique aspirations of the DS brand.

Additional touches include Apple’s CarPlay and Microsoft MirrorLink connectivity – allowing a user to mirror their phone’s screen onto the display and use it just the same. Alongside the mirroring, your personal assistant in Siri has made her way through too, allowing you to compose and hear messages whilst on the move as well as giving Siri her usual commands.

There’s also a My DS app, which comes on iOS and Android, containing a wide array of functions. There’s the parked car location (because who hasn’t forgotten where they left their car from once?), navigation, access to DS documentation and also reminds you when your services are due. It extends the car owner experience beyond getting from point A to point B, and in a welcome way.

DS3 Cabrio Roof

Substance

The new DS3 and DS3 Cabrio are very much all about style over substance. However, the canvas upon which car has been painted bears up well to scrutiny. There are seven engines available here in the UK, including 2 BlueHDi diesels, 2 THP 4-cylinder petrol engines and three PureTech 3-cylinder engines. The number of different engines available matches up to the number of customisation options in its extravagance. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there.

DS Front Profile

Sporty substance

The DS3 Performance was also unveiled, a shiny new hot hatch that sits aside the DS3 range. It is, again, a bit of an update on the older DS3 Racing. Whilst we don’t have all the interesting stats on this, the sporting hatchback has upped the ante with a 152kW, 300NM 1.6 THP turbo petrol engine with a six speed gearbox as well as a Torsen limited slip differential. The DS3 Performance also sits lower on the road, by 15mm in fact, with front and rear tracks having been widened matched with updated 323nn front and 249mm back brake discs.

Whilst at first the DS3 Performance seems to sit apart from the core design ethos of DS Automobiles, upon closer inspection it merely builds upon it. Whilst it is indeed a hot hatch, it is not one you would expect to see any boy racers in – it is a car with more luxurious features and design. It caters to a slightly more niche market, where power and performance should not limit the luxury and comfort on offer.

Verdict

Its a little bit more of everything we loved about the DS Automobile brand, updating the old DS3. They’ve really begun to hone their identity and place in the market, and are looking to carry that forward with the new DS3 offerings, as well as those newer models yet to be released. The price difference is hardly staggering, with the entry level car being price around £13,500, especially given all the new available options mean you could create a truly unique car – something over 3,000,000 different combinations could be achieved. So, if you want a fine city car that, whilst drives well, delivers more in terms of appearance, uniqueness and premium luxury, then maybe DS Automobiles and the DS3 are for you?

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