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Car reviews - Citroen - DS3 - DSport 3-dr hatch


Distinctive French "anti retro" small-hatch is stylish inside and out

18 Feb 2011

WHILE all manufacturers strive to differentiate their brand values, Citroen is perhaps trying harder than most mainstream brands.

When Peugeot completed its takeover of Citroen in 1975 to form PSA, there was a seemingly irresistible temptation to use as much Peugeot componentry as possible in the chevron-badged cars. While Citroën still had the standout advantage of the unique hydropneumatic suspension, this technology was too expensive to use in all but the premium models.

Beneath the skin, Citroens were mostly Peugeots by another name. Any sense of modern Citroens having descended from one of the cars of the 20th Century, the radical DS, was becoming remote by about 1990.

While sales have been strong (although less so in Australia in the recent past), PSA executives came to see a need to differentiate Citroens further from Peugeots and to remind prospective buyers of the marque’s history. Thus the decision was taken to create a range of premium models spun off the most popular lines.

This is the DS series, of which the DS3 is the first example. The ‘DS’ is self-explanatory in this context, while the ‘3’ reveals that this car is a development of the latest Citroen C3. But is it a mere marketing ploy or does the DS3 stand apart from the light car which shares its underpinnings?

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Model release date: 1 September 2010 to 1 April 2015

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