Used DS 3 Review (2016-2019) MK1

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

DS 3 Exterior Front

DS 3 (2016-2019)

The DS 3 oozes style with its funky design and fun driving dynamics, making it a tough competitor in the used car market

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  • Unique design
  • Range of petrol and diesel engines
  • Brilliant economy
  • 3-door style limits practicality
  • Insurance is higher than rivals
  • Powerful variants have a stiffer suspension
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What's the DS 3 like?

If the funky and stylish DS 3 is a car that appeals to you, you should be able to find a fairly individual version.

That's because there are loads of ways these cars can be personalised, and there's also an excellent range of petrol and diesel engines.

The DS 3 is fun and modern with loads of bright colours, and many have a different colour for the roof and pillars, striping, or alternative interior colours to help them stand out from the crowd in any car park.

This was Citroën’s answer to cars like the MINI and Vauxhall Adam, and having driven a fair few of them, they certainly bring plenty of pizazz.


The petrol choices are a 1.2-litre with either 82, 110 or 130bhp, or a 1.6-litre with 165 or 210bhp. There's also a 1.6-litre turbo diesel with 100 or 120bhp.

All apart from the base 1.2-litre offer good to excellent performance, and every model in the range brings brilliant economy.

The cheapest 1.2-litre covers the 0 to 60mph sprint in 11.9 seconds, and is rated at 61mpg, while the 110bhp version does the sprint in 9.3 seconds and the 130bhp in 8.6 seconds. Both of these are also rated at around an excellent 60mpg.

The 1.6-litre petrol is the quickest in the range, getting to 60mph in 7.3 or 6.3 seconds, and both models are still rated at around 50mpg.

The diesels are good performers and have superb economy. The BlueHDi 100bhp reaches 60mph in just 10.5 seconds and can still do 83mpg, while the 120bhp brings the sprint down to 9.0 seconds and can do 78mpg.

Top performing models are the THP 1.6-litre turbos, both of which offer scintillating acceleration from any speed.

That much power in a fairly small and light body gives tremendous verve in any of the six gears and the engine is smooth and reasonably quiet unless provoked.

Driving Experience and Interior

For a car with sporting pretensions, comfort in the lower order cars is quite reasonable, but the THPs have a stiffened suspension, making them firmer and more unsettled.

Grip and roadholding are very good across the board, with great poise and precision through the corners and responsive steering.
Peter Hayward

Inside, the dash can be black, white, blue, red, or even a sporty carbon fibre effect.

Access into the back seats – even though the front ones tip and slide - is never easy in any 3-door, and legroom and comfort don't match up to that in the front.

The front seats hold well, and the dash layout is great to use and stylish to live with.


Basic trim levels are DSign, DStyle, DSport, Prestige, and Performance, but there's a huge range of special editions with added kit.

Mid-range DSport comes with alloys, air conditioning, sports seats, traction control, parking sensors, DAB stereo with aux and Bluetooth, audio remote, alarm, cruise control, and plenty of airbags.

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The DS 3 is a supermini with excellent style inside and out. With its compact size and a range of powerful and economical engines to choose from, the DS 3 is the perfect car for cruising around the city.