Indeed, life can be very colorful, and certainly when French designers have a go at it. They had indeed a very good hand in (re)designing the already cute looking DS3. The turquoise "ambiance" of the dashboard, the color accents in the cabin and last but not least the foldable roof bring all the ingredients of joyous open air motoring.
But besides the looks, this DS3 is also gifted with plenty of sporting power.... just read further!
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The heart of any car is its engine, the saying goes. This sporty DS3 is no exception. Under its bonnet sits the well known 1598 cc four cylinder which delivers 110 kW/150 HP at 6000 rpm , and produces a healthy torque of 240 Nm between 1400 and 4000 rpm. The unit sounds truly delightful, with a very melodious throb as soon as you put your foot a bit more than halfway down. Together with the hefty power stream, the sound which surrounds you delivers just these ideal ingredients for a very sporting driving experience.
Acceleration from 0 to 100 is already impressive with merely 7,9 seconds, but it is of course the massive extra power which is always available in any gear and at any revs, which makes the DS3 so wonderfully entertaining to drive with abandon. Its top speed is not less than 211 kmh.
Add to this the delightful responsiveness of the chassis. It has certainly been around, as they say, and has indeed proven itself on all the rally circuits and roads around the world. This car has been driven from victory to victory. No small wonder one enjoys putting this thoroughbred Ds 3 through its paces. It makes a better driver of you, and quite frankly, which car has done that lately?
Delightful cabin atmosphere....
The French have this "je ne sais quoi" , this very special something, to make objects so desirable and endlessly elegant. This is exactly what the designers did with the cabin. We repeat ourselves here: they were uniquely talented not only to choose the materials, but also to give them just that exact degree of surface texture, glossiness and last but not least color balance.
Ranging from deep black to turquoise for instance, was the color scheme of the dashboard in our test car. But there is more. Just experience the illumination of this dashboard at night. Dramatic and such a feast to the eye. Add to this the blue colored instrument lighting, the big round speedometer just in front of you, and you are sure to be transported. Then there is the finish of cabin panels and seats.
The backrests have large contours to give you ample lateral support, and their wide adjustment range gives you that good seating position. The steering wheel rim is covered in fine leather, and the bottom is in smoothly polished aluminum, just to give you that pure, technical feel, which is repeated in the aluminum polished gear change knob. All this is meant to enhance the pure pleasure and unique "feel" when driving this car.
Opening the roof is literally a breeze, it is of course electrical, and can be opened quite wide. The two remaining wide roof arches ensure the Ds3 bodywork remains completely rigid, and we find this roof layout to be an ideal compromise, combining open air pleasure(s) without impairing the structure of this high performance machine.
Frugal and practical in everyday life...
Despite all this sportiness, the Ds3 remains utterly practical. It will seat four, and even with the top down there is a quite useable luggage space, which actually is not influenced by the top being open or closed.
The boot lid opens with a clever upward swing which leaves enough room for the folded roof canvas when the top is down, so it does not brush and soil this canvas at all in fully opened position.
The engine is efficient, has state of the art combustion technology, the gears are ideally spread and the car is relatively light and quite aerodynamic. So it comes as no surprise that fuel consumption is quite reasonable indeed. The manufacturer quotes 5,6 l/100 km combined, and with all our rather enthusiastic driving, whereby we nevertheless respected the legal limits, we achieved a very creditable 6,6 l/100 km on average.
A very entertaining, pleasant looking four seater, with a brilliant engine and equally superb handling. Giving open pleasure and combining this with elegance and refinement.
This Ds3 has contemporary flair, and lots of character with a well sounding and very willing engine, inviting you to drive it with spirit. The color combinations, the choice of materials the styling solutions and details breathe the up market aura which truly embodies the new Ds marque, so we can only say, well done!
Hans Knol ten Bensel