The Citroën DS3 is one of the snazziest looking compact hatchbacks on the market at the moment and is a personal favourite.
So, when not one but two eye-catching variants landed on my desk lately (not literally, obviously), I was delighted.
The DS3 in its basic embodiment is a trendy looking three-door, four-seat city car and both the limited edition Faubourg Addict and Benefit trims add a bit of extra pizzaz.
The deep purple coloured DSport Faubourg test car is beautiful, with the DS logo covering the eye-catching roof and Citroën likening the laser engraved wing mirror casing to ‘crafted jewellery’.
Inside is stylish and modern, with a low sporty seating position and good legroom, both front and back. It may be a bit difficult for less agile passengers to get into the back though.
The recessed glove compartment gives extra leg room to the front seat passenger.
However, the compromise for extra legroom is a smaller glove compartment and storage in general, bar the boot, isn’t great.
The boot, however, is a decent size and fits a lot more than you’d expect.
The infotainment unit in the test car, meanwhile, was not touchscreen and I found the buttons small and a little bit fiddly.
It was easy to hook up Bluetooth streaming and cruise control/speed limiter were easy to use. I’d have liked a digital speed readout though.
The test car was a six-speed manual diesel, with stop/start, and we took it in the city, on the motorway and on winding country roads.
It’s a lovely car to drive. There’s a great growl from the engine, nice acceleration and it was very peppy at the lights.
It was also easy to handle in the city, easy to park and it bombs along the motorway.
Overall, it’s a beautiful, striking looking compact hatch that’s a pleasure to drive
Meanwhile, the Citroën DS3 DSign by Benefit trim should come with a ‘not just for girls’ tag.
Far from the over-the-top candy stripe concept car pairing with the cosmetics company, the DSign by Benefit is quite subtle.
Based on the Benetint cheek and lip stain, the test car had a wine coloured body with a white roof and discreet Benefit Gabbi’s heads on the doors, a Benefit badge on the boot and Benefit branding on the key.
The interior is also beautiful. With a white dashboard, snooker ball type gear knob and a large chrome surround instrument panel with circular dials – the styling is almost retro (although Citroën makes a point of saying it’s ‘anti retro’). There’s also subtle Benefit styling in the cabin, including Gabbi’s heads and Benefit mats.
Again, no touchscreen infotainment unit and I thought the 12volt was badly placed, right beside the hand brake so cables get in your way.
The seats in this trim are also of the sports variety and the driving position was lovely, with loads of legroom.
I also liked the sporty flat bottomed steering wheel and the white alloy wheels on this car are amazing looking.
This car had a 1.2l 85bhp petrol engine with a five speed manual gear box and, similar to the Faubourg, our route took us around the city through the mountains and on the motorway.
This car is excellent to drive, lots of fun and I loved every minute of it. It was light and easy in the city and simple to park.
It’s lively on ‘quick getaway’ roundabouts and while not the fastest at the lights, it feels great working through the gears from 0-120 on the motorway.
The steering was also precise, which you really notice on the mountains.
This is a beautiful looking car and gets lots of glances from passers-by – a real feel good car.
The Faubourg and Benefit trims are two more excellent offerings from Citroën for young, trendy urbanites.
Styling-wise, I preferred the Faubourg but the petrol engine in the Benefit is the winner when it comes to drivability.
While on the pricey side, both are well worth a test drive.
The Citroën DS3 DSport Faubourg Addict and the Citroën DS3 DSign by Benefit are available now, with prices starting from €25,235 for the Faubourg and from €20,395 for the Benefit. Prices for the Citroën DS3 start from €18,345.
Citroën DS3 Faubourg
Engine: 1.6l e-HDi 115hp diesel
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 9.7seconds
Maximum Speed: 190kph
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
Combined fuel economy: 3.8l/100km
Annual road tax: €180
Citroën DS3 DSign by Benefit
Engine: 1.2litre VTi 82hp petrol
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 14.2seconds
Maximum Speed: 174kph
CO2 emissions: 104g/km
Combined fuel economy: 4.5l/100km
Annual road tax: €190