Find a car review

Make
Model

Citroen DS3 Racing review

We try Citroen's new hot hatchback, the 204bhp DS3 Racing. A Renault Clio 200 and Mini JCW beater?

Evo rating
Price
from £23,100
  • An exciting new hot hatch
  • But not a great one

What is it?A new 204bhp version of the DS3 hatchback engineered by Citroen Racing (the same people that make Sébastien Loeb’s rather successful WRC cars). It’s available in Obsidian Black with Sport Orange or Polar White with Carbon Grey and has lashings of carbonfibre inside and out. It's on sale now and costs £23,100, though numbers are limited. Technical highlights?The front and rear tracks have been widened by 30mm and the body height has been lowered by 15mm. The front brake discs are now 323mm in diameter and they’re clamped by four piston Brembo calipers. The ESP can now also be totally switched off and the 18in wheels feature ‘Reverse Rim’ technology, which makes them look more like 19in rims and improves weight distribution. What’s it like to drive?It’s a very agile chassis underneath the DS3 R and it’s a very chuckable car as it corners flat and switches direction really quickly. This allows you to string together fast and medium speed corners really enjoyably. However, although the steering isn’t bad for an electric system, it still feels too light in slower speed corners and fails to feed back enough information about what the front tyres are doing. In the wet conditions we drove it in, it was always the front end that would give up its grip first too, unless you really trail-braked heavily into corners.

It’s a good job that you can turn the ESP off fully because although 204bhp isn’t much in a hot hatch these days (and it doesn’t seem to have the vim of the same engine in the Mini – partly due to gearing, I suspect) the front tyres struggled to really lay the power down cleanly.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

So, it’s a good car, but not a great one and I’ll be interested to see how it copes on the considerably bumpier roads of the UK…  How does it compare?At £23,100 it is significantly more expensive than the similarly sized and powered Renaultsport Clio 200 (and not as good to drive), however, I suspect more people will consider it as an alternative to a Mini John Cooper Works. The DS3 R and Mini are much more closely matched on price and I suspect they will be dynamically closer too, although I would probably narrowly back the Mini to win the encounter. We will see. Anything else I need to know?The graphics that you can see on the cars in the photos are an option (and a £450 option at that), and we'd order it in the white colour scheme as it looks a lot better. Oh, and the CO2 emissions are a staggeringly good 149g/km. That means £125 annual tax compared to the Clio 200's £235.

Group test: DS3 DSport meets Clio 200 Cup, Mini Cooper S and Abarth 500

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4cyl, 1598cc, turbo
Max power204bhp @ 6000rpm
Max torque203lb ft @ 2000 - 4500rpm
0-606.5sec (claimed 0-62mph)
Top speed146mph (limited)
Advertisement
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019
Visit/mercedes/201726/mercedes-amg-electric-car-to-target-porsche-taycan-and-tesla-model-s
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/18328/2020-volkswagen-id3-revealed-vws-electric-revolution-is-here
Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular

Visit/spy-shots/201770/porsche-cayman-gt4-rs-spied-718-to-receive-rennsport-treatment
spy shots

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS spied – 718 to receive Rennsport treatment

More power, more aero and less weight are already on the cards for Stuttgart’s fastest Cayman
19 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/golf/21122/volkswagen-golf-mk8-spied-near-free-of-camouflage-before-october-debut
Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Volkswagen Golf Mk8 spied near-free of camouflage before October debut

All-new eighth-generation Golf is only weeks away from its reveal – this is all you need to know.
18 Sep 2019
Visit/mclaren/201759/new-mclaren-gt-review-woking-muscles-in-on-aston-martins-home-ground
McLaren

New McLaren GT review – Woking muscles-in on Aston Martin’s home ground

Is McLaren’s first grand tourer just a toned-down supercar, or something more nuanced and special?
17 Sep 2019
Visit/article/201613/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-picked-by-porsche
Sponsored

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - picked by Porsche

Goodyear has many close associations with premium global car brands, but being asked to develop a trackday tyre for Porsche's extreme 911 GT3 RS was a…
14 Aug 2019