DS is Citroen's upmarket brand. As of 2015, DS are now a standalone brand and all models no longer carry the Citroen chevrons. The DS range has an undoubtedly more quality feel than what you would get rom Citroen. However, the company has a bit to go to become a premium standalone brand. The DS3 is fresh and classy and it will now sit in competition with the likes of the Audi A1. It will be a while though before they reach the high standards that are on offer from Audi.
The Irish market benefits from a choice of engines. Citroen make very economical engines and the DS range certainly benefit from having them. On offer is the Puretech 110 mated with a 6-speed manual. A six speed auto is available with the same engine. On the diesel end Irish customers can opt for the BlueHDi 100, which is mated to a 6-speed manual only.
The DS3 is a luxurious Citroen C3, but that doesn't mean that they drive the same. The DS3 is a sportier choice and things are a bit more dynamic. Like the DS5 though, it's not great on uneven surfaces - which is unfortunate, because Citroen are renowned for their excellent suspension systems. In cities the DS3 is a nice choice and it deals nicely with corners. Even with a little more gusto, the DS3 does well on bends.
Be careful of what kind of wheels that you opt for because the DS3 can pick up a bit of tyre noise on the road. Because the car is small and because of its shape, it's quite aerodynamic, therefore wind noise is not a major issue.
The steering wheel is easily adjusted and the seats offer good positioning. While the infotainment system does appear difficult, it is easy to get used too - the graphics could do with an update though. There is certainly a more quality-feel in the DS3.
The DS3 is available with the DS LED Vision technology, which gives excellent visibility. The car also comes with Active City Brake, hill-start assist and a reversing camera. The 2009 Citroen DS3 achieved 5 stars in the Euro NCAP, and we would expect the new one to score as highly.
While DS say that there are five full seats to the rear of the DS3, we would say that it is possible, but we pity the adult in the middle. There is a 285 litre boot - which fares well in comparison to the likes of the MINI Hatch.