CitroŽn DS3 Sport Chic 1.6 THP 150 Review
Haute hatch

Story by Raymond Lai Photos by David Khoo and Raymond Lai
5 Feb 2011

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.

Introduction, styling

With the success of the Mini and the Fiat 500, car manufacturers seem to have found the formula to charge more for what is basically a super mini. Mix in some style, customization options and give the car an iconic name from the past and it just gels together for a model that is more profitable than the usual city runabout.

With the DS3, Citroen is yet another manufacturer to offer a stylish lifestyle hatchback with a moniker from the past to woo stylish fashionistas here. The DS3 adopts its name from the iconic DS which was in production from the 1950s to the 70s. The DS' unmistakable looks and advanced technologies at that time have made it one of the most significant cars of the 20th century. Its name was basically derived from the French word ‘d esse' which means goddess.
The DS3 won't be the only model using the DS nomenclature though - it's just the first of a range of new models that includes the bigger DS4 and DS5.

We've already driven the base VTi DS3 variant last year and reported that it lacked the performance to match its stylish looks. Citroen has finally introduced a more powerful, turbocharged version of the DS3. Called the DS3 1.6 THP 150, this model is not the hottest DS3 model out there as the Racing was recently launched in Europe. The THP's 156bhp should make the DS3 a more entertaining compact hatch than the 120bhp VTi 120 variant nonetheless.

In terms of overall styling, the DS3 certainly has the panache and pizzazz to woo fashionable and lifestyle types. The nose is especially distinctive thanks to the vertical line of LED day time running lights on the bumper, the double chevron grille as well as the uniquely shaped headlamps. Along the sides, the B-pillar has a reverse upward kink design, resulting in a distinctively shaped rear window while the roof is coloured differently from the rest of the car, Mini style. In all fairness, the DS3 certainly looks chic and purposeful even though it doesn't attract your eyes as easily as its original namesake.

Disappointingly, the THP model can hardly be differentiated from the lesser VTi variant from the outside. Only the eagle eyed will notice the twin exhaust outlets on the turbocharged THP variant.

Just like the Mini and the Fiat 500, the DS3 can be customized pretty comprehensively. There are seven basic body colours to choose from while the roof can be specified in four different shades and seven graphics options including zebra design, French design and vibe design among others. The side mirror covers can also be colour coded with the roof, the wheels can be specified in black, white or silver with selectable coloured inserts matched by the colour of the key fob while the dashboard inserts can be had with matching or contrasting body colours or a carbon look.

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Engine Capacity 1598cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Bore x Stroke (77 x 85.8)mm
Power 155bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 240Nm @ 4000rpm
Power to Weight 125 bhp per ton


Acceleration 7.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 214 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Manual
Drive Type FF


Body Type 3 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(3948 x 1715 x 1458) mm
Wheelbase 2452 mm
Kerb Weight 1240 kg