Driven: Citroen DS3 DSport Review

DRIVEN: Citroen DS3 DSport Review

Up for review we have the Citroen DS3 DSport, looking as fresh as the day it was released in 2010. Let’s see what we think of the latest, sportiest revision.

What is it about?

The Citroen DS3 DSport is the trend setting modern day performance hatchback. The DS3, from the off, is all about personalisation and making the car as unqiue as the individuals that drive them. You can pick from 10 vibrant colours, 4 floating roof colours, metal or painted wheels, a large variaty of roof graphics, 6 different colours of dashboard, and even the key has a personalised disc intergrated into it. With that many options we are unlikely to see two alike.

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The DSport model means that this version also packs the punch to make this car as equally exciting to drive as it is to look at.

How does it drive?

Citroen are great at making sporty small cars and the DS3 DSport is no different. The Citroen has a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that puts out 155bhp, 240Nm of torque, will do 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds, and has a top speed of 133mph. So it’s fair to say that this Citroen isn’t a slouch. The DSport uses a six speed manual gearbox which feels slick to operate; the close ratio gearbox and punch from the turbocharged engine makes the car feel a lot faster than it looks on paper.

Citroen DS3 DSport Review

The driving experience is excellent, driven leisurely the car is very light, manageable, and really easy to get used to. But when you choose to have a little more fun with the car, the experience transforms into a hot hatch harmony. The power delivery gives a forceful feeling when you have your foot to the floor, you also get the occasional touch of torque-steer through the steering column at times, I like this as it reminds you that the car has a wild side and you can’t take the power it has for granted.

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Throwing the car into the corners is where the Citroen shines. The DS3 has a huge amount of grip at all four corners. The DSport comes with 17” alloy wheels dressed with Bridgestone Potenza 205/45 tyres that work really well with the car to deliver a high level of performance without ruining the ride quality. The tyre coupled with the firm Pseudo MacPherson suspension setup gives you a consistent sporty feel, which is key to any hot hatch driving experience.

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The more practical elements of driving the DS3 included cruise control and a speed limit system, these aids really make the driving experience a lot easier. On the motorway the cruise control was smooth and easy to operate, and I found the speed limit option beneficial when driving through areas I was less familiar with and concreting on where I was driving rather than the speed limit, it’s a great little licence saver.

What’s it like inside?

The DS3 has the most impressive interior you can get in a hot hatch in this bracket. The design is funky and innovative throughout. The model on test came in the perfect configuration, it was fitted with sporty black leather racing seats, carbon fibre effect dashboard, climate control, 8” multimedia screen and sat nav, a very sporty premium feel flat bottomed steering wheel, and an integrated air freshener in the dashboard, brilliant!

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The technology in the car is very good for the class. The 8” display is controlled by the buttons underneath the screen, and the multimedia interface is very pretty to look at, not to mention well designed. I did except the display to be touch screen, but you soon get used using the buttons. The climate control is easy to use and works well, and the automatic lights and wipers take care of themselves when things change outside of the car.

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The Experience

The experience of owning the Citroen DS3 DSport is unbelievably refreshing. Everything about the car seems more interesting and thought provoking than the competition. The driving experience is nothing but energising to, the performance is very good and the fuel economy is really high as well. What a great balance.

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I felt happy to be in and around this car, it’s exciting to look at, sit in, or even clean. There is nothing dull about the DS3.


Citroen sell the car as being “Anti-Retro”, which is true in every way, while other manufactures are looking to the past to create modern cars, Citroen are looking to the future. The DS3 DSport is forward thinking and enjoyable, and there is a unique specification for everyone. Citroen have definitely done themselves proud.

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Video Highlights


Citroen DS3 DSport
  • Price: £19,865
  • Engine: 1.6-Litre turbocharged
  • Power: 155bhp
  • Torque: 240Nm
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
  • 0-62mph: 7.3 Seconds
  • Top speed: 133mph
  • Weight: 1,233kg
  • Economy combined: 47.1mpg
  • CO2: 135g/km

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Author: Paul Hadley