Citroen DS3 1.6 HDI 110 diesel review

We road test Citroen's most powerful diesel DS3 hatchback, with 110bhp and 199lb ft for £15,900

Evo rating
Price
from £15,900
  • Fun, funky and frugal
  • Dynamics fall short of rivals

What is it? Citroen’s funky DS3 small car (and arch Mini Cooper rival) in diesel form. This is the DSport 1.6 HDI 110, which costs £15,900. Technical highlights The engine combines strong low-rev performance – 110bhp at 3600rpm and 199lb ft at 2000rpm, enough for a sub-10.0sec 0-60mph time – with a claimed 62.8mpg (combined cycle) and 118g/km of CO2 emissions, which sees annual road tax costing just £20. The rest of the car is the usual DS3 DSport fare, which is to say there’s plenty of kit inside, with a cracking six-speaker MP3 and aux-compatible stereo as standard and a neat sat-nav/phone/entertainment setup on the options list. What’s it like to drive? Good fun, and not too dissimilar to the turbocharged petrol DS3 (tested here against its key rivals). So it’s a softer and less agile alternative to hot Clios and Mini Coopers, but it’s very well balanced, and while light steering, gearchanges and pedals don’t suggest an intoxicating driving experience, they all match each other perfectly and allow you and the DS3 to flow smoothly and very briskly along twisty roads. The diesel engine does add weight to the front of the car, with understeer more evident as a result, but it makes up for this with useful amounts of low-down grunt, so you drive the diesel DS3 in a slightly different manner to its petrol sibling. In fact there’s a shedload of torque available nigh on instantly, though it wanes quicker than you’d like, so you’ll change gear a lot more than in the petrol DS3 1.6 THPHow does it compare? The DS3’s a pretty compelling package, and with lots of space inside, plenty of kit and attractive styling (plus endless customisation options, some illustrated on the right), it’s easy to see why it’s selling so well.  A similarly powered Mini Cooper D boasts better dynamics and costs less money (£15,160/110bhp/177lb ft), though it will be pricier than the DS3 once you’ve ticked the usual options boxes, while a Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.6 TDCi (£14,345/94bhp/150lb ft) is much more commonplace and conventional but is also sharper to drive. Anything else I need to know? Sacrifice 20bhp, 30lb ft of torque and a sixth gear and you get the DS3 1.6 HDI 99g, a tax-free, low-emission Citroen that also returns a claimed 74.3mpg (combined). It’s got less equipment, but then it is over two grand cheaper at £13,700. We’ll get our hands on one to review soon.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1560cc, turbodiesel
Max power110bhp @ 3600rpm
Max torque199lb ft @ 2000rpm
0-609.8sec (claimed 0-62mph)
Top speed118mph
On saleNow, £15,900
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/supercars/201980/maserati-confirms-future-plans-as-fcapsa-flagship
supercars

Maserati confirms future plans as FCA/PSA flagship

A new electric GranTurismo, Alfieri super sports car and revenue-grabbing SUV all detailed in Maserati’s grand plan
14 Feb 2020
Visit/toyota/202232/250bhp-toyota-gr-corolla-hot-hatch-in-the-pipeline
Toyota Corolla

250bhp Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch in the pipeline

Following in the footsteps of the GR Yaris homologation special, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division is to launch a hot Corolla
13 Feb 2020
Visit/bmw/m2/202236/bmw-m2-competition-by-futura-2000-revealed-in-la
BMW M2

BMW M2 Competition by Futura 2000 revealed in LA

BMW’s latest art car expands into a series of limited-edition models by Futura 2000
14 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019