When thinking of hatchbacks, there are quite a few names that might pop into your head before the DS3 – the Ford Fiesta, the Mini Cooper and the Peugeot 208, to name a few.
But that doesn’t mean that Citroën’s offering doesn’t deserve attention. In fact, the newest beats out the competition in enough ways to be a real market contender.
For a car that starts at just £14,395 new (and capping out at £25,495 for the Performance BRM Chronographes model with its iconic pearl gold finish), the Citroën DS3 packs a surprising punch into its compact frame.
With a brake horsepower of 210 at 6000rpm and 221ft-lbs of torque at 3000rpm, it’s a match for the Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport, and capable of almost twice the wattage of the Ford Fiesta Titanium even though both use a 1.6l 4-cylinder engine.
So there’s a lot of power behind the DS3, but what can it do with it? To start with, it can accelerate past 60mph within 6.5 seconds.
Not only is that four seconds quicker than the current model Ford Fiesta, it’s even enough to leave a Mini Cooper S in the dust. The only match among affordable cars is the Peugeot 208, and that’s the sporty GTi – the more common Active can take nearly twice as long to hit 60.
There are a few hatches that will outstrip the DS3 in this regard, but only pricier models like the Audi S1, which starts some ten grand dearer than Citroën’s.
It’s also capable of an impressive top speed of 142.9mph. This leaves the Fiesta’s 113.7mph far behind, and outstrips the Mazda 3’s 129.9. It even outruns most models of Mini.
Again it’s not the fastest things on the market but to get more speed out of similar size cars you’d expect to shell out close to £30,000, so it’s more than a match for its direct competitors.
On top of all that, it delivers this power with a reliable fuel economy of 52mpg, again beating out the fiesta as well as again matching the GTi.
So it looks like the new DS3 is definitely worth a look if you need a subcompact car or a hatchback.