Cute, clipped curves
Citreon’s DS3 targets the young, hip and well-off, writes Karla Pincott
OBODY at Citroen is singing ‘‘we don’t need another hero’’ when it comes to the little DS3. They do, and they know it. The brand is happy that their customer satisfaction is above 90 per cent, but they admit their profile needs raising.
Citroen general manager Miles Williams says: ‘‘We know awareness is extremely low, but it will take significant investment to lift to a point where we have a better flow of people through the showrooms.’’
In the meantime, they hope to get a profile boost from the arrival of the DS3, the first of a trio of cars — the DS4 just unveiled overseas, and DS5 in the works — which they hope to position as a separate brand line, targeting the young, chic and reasonably well-off. DESPITE the name, which suggests the 1950s DS of famed frog-mouth styling, Citroen has resisted the recent revival in retro cues. Instead, the DS3 is all cute, clipped curves and appealing face — though a nip and tuck might have re- moved the resemblance to the Fiat 500 around the rear.
The suede interior looks worryingly magnetic for things like ice cream, dog paws and sticky fingers. But Citroen vows it is designed to last the distance. Even the digital pattern of the carbon-fibre plastic looks acceptable. Bezels, handle inserts and other features are in swooping lozenge shapes — all very French chic.
THE better small cars these days are packed with features once found only in large ones, but they won’t come with a small price tag. The base model DStyle for $32,990 and the DSport $3000 more at $35,990 come with a fair bit of standard equipment. The extra $3000 for the Sport gives you 17-inch alloys, rear spoiler, better upholstery and a lot of chrome trim, but the main reason will be the more powerful engine.