Cute, clipped curves

Citreon’s DS3 tar­gets the young, hip and well-off, writes Karla Pin­cott

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

NDesign

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.

Value

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.

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