DS 3 review - Does French hatch match a Mini for fun? - Interior and tech

A car first, now a brand, the DS3 is Citroen’s spin-off that’s aiming at the premium players

Evo rating
Price
from £13,995
  • Entertaining drive, fine styling, interesting interior and plenty personalisation makes for a fun Mini rival
  • The Mini does everything a little bit better

The DS 3 may not be the most accommodating three-door hatchback, but it feels positively limo-like compared to the Mini. The back seats might be a touch awkward to get into, but knee room is acceptable and headroom’s fine for most. Most significantly the boot’s a useful size and shape (convertible apart), something that the Mini has long failed to offer.

The DS 3 faces some tough rivals for interior style and quality in the Audi A1 and Mini and, for the most part, the DS 3 holds its own. The materials are of high quality, with soft touch tactility, nice matte aluminium inserts and piano black trim; they sit well with smart instruments in an interior that’s certainly got some flair.

There are some ergonomic snafus - while the high-mounted touchscreen is handy the Home button at the bottom of the centre console is not, while some minor controls (like headlamp adjustment) are incredibly well-hidden (it's out of view on the steering column, for reference).

Some may be deterred by the driving position too. The pedals seem hinged quite high and the steering wheel doesn't quite come close enough for some drivers, despite being reach-adjustable. You certainly don't drop into it and immediately feel at ease with the driving position, like you do in a Mini.

There’s nothing particularly noteworthy tech-wise; indeed you need to be careful you choose your specification wisely to avoid missing out on some bits that are increasingly standard on its rivals - Bluetooth connection, media streaming and the like, while the DS leaves some kit like satnav on the options list even on the most expensive versions. When you do spend the cash for the best systems, it's easy enough to use, but not quite as slick as that of rivals like Mini and Audi.

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