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Words: Tim Barnes-Clay
Featured in the May 2015 issue

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The DS 3 offering from the French car maker has always looked accomplished – but Citroën has moved things up a notch.

Fresh, subtle, state-of-the-art headlights now make the car stand out even more because Citroën has combined light-emitting diode (LED) and piercing Xenon headlights with clearer indicators. These offer exceptional lighting performance and provide excellent visibility at night. At the rear, the DS 3 has a distinctive 3D-effect LED light set-up, with a chrome finished DS logo in a black embossed pattern setting.

These new lights mean efficiency, too, has been improved because energy consumption is up to 75 per cent lower than the lights used in older DS 3 models. This might not seem much, but it counts towards the French automaker’s green efforts – and it equals savings. For instance, the LEDs last up to twenty times longer than halogen lights, with an impressive standard lifetime of 20,000 hours.

To further enhance the allure of the DS 3, and to ensure it remains desirable, Citroën has also introduced a range of personalisation options. The DS 3’s colour choices have been enhanced, with the addition of Pearl White and Belle-Ile Blue to make it look even funkier. On top of that, the car gains visually striking 17-inch alloy wheels.

But this mini motor is much more than a car with pretty lights, vibrant colours and flashy wheels; it strikes a perfect balance between performance and comfort. Also, the latest engine, fitted to my DS 3 DSport test car – the Blue HDi 120 – boasts up to 78mpg and emits just 94g/km of CO2. This means the car is cheap to run.

On the practical side, you may think small cars or superminis like the DS 3 aren’t any good. You’d be wrong because the Citroën has one the largest boots in its class and five ‘real’ seats. It also now possesses new features to improve the city driving experience.

My vehicle was fitted with ‘Active City Brake’. This is an automatic braking system that helps to prevent low-speed crashes. This is achieved thanks to a radar mounted at the top of the windscreen, which identifies slow moving or stationary vehicles on the road ahead. If the vehicle is driving at speeds lower than 20mph, the sensor activates the brakes to avoid a potential collision.

Day-to-day manoeuvres are made easier too, with the addition of a reversing camera on the DS 3. This is an option, but I highly recommend it. If you do add it to your Citroën, it automatically links to the navigation system for ease of use.

The DS 3 DSport, fitted with a Blue HD 120 engine, will do 0–62mph in 10.4 seconds and maxes out at 118mph. Those figures don’t look fast on paper, but the car feels quick and has arrow-like steering precision.

So, if you want a good looking, small, safe vehicle with a decent boot, perky performance and low running costs then the DS 3 fits the bill. Price: £20,165 on the road.

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