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Citroen DS3 Sport Chic 1.6 THP 150 Review: Haute hatch

The turbocharged Citroen DS3 shares its turbo engine with the Mini Cooper S. Raymond Lai finds out if its dynamics can match the British car's verve.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
05 Feb 2011
What we like:
pros
Significantly more affordable than the Mini
pros
stylish looks inside and out
pros
comfortable ride
pros
more spacious on the inside than the Mini
What we dislike:
cons
Handling not as sharp as the Mini's
cons
can do with more poke
cons
no auto box option


The DS3 shares most of its dashboard architecture with the five-door C3, which isn't exactly a bad thing as there are some nice details like the hooded instrument binnacle and the customizable dashboard inserts. If we're nitpicking then the cabin uses too many switches and knobs from the vast Peugeot/Citroen parts bin.

The THP comes with a cool looking gear knob for the manual transmission and racy aluminium foot pedals while everything else is similar to the base VTi model's.

Quality and finishing is not bad for a French car but where the DS3 truly outshines the Mini is in the interior space department. Passengers in the rear will have little to complain about any lack of head or legroom while the large rear windows give passengers in the rear a feeling of airiness and space. For added convenience, the rear grab handles are mounted on the B-pillars so rear passengers who have less flexible physiques can use it to manhandle and pull themselves out of the rear compartment.

The DS3's boot is pretty big for a car this size - in fact, it is significantly more voluminous than the Mini's mediocre sized trunk. Furthermore, the DS3's rear seat backs split/fold 60/40 should you require more boot space for larger shopping items.

The DS3 1.6 THP might not be as dynamic and fun as its Mini Cooper S rival but it certainly makes for a more affordable, more comfortable and more practical substitute and is arguably even more stylish than the iconic Mini. At the end of the day, the DS3 offers a better rounded package than its fiercest rival.

Credits: Story by Raymond Lai Photos by David Khoo and Raymond Lai

Citroen
Citroen DS3 Sport Chic 1.6 THP 150
Cars in this article
Citroën DS3 Sport Chic 1.6 THP 150 2010
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Citroën DS3 Sport Chic 1.6 THP 150 2010

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