Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Driveway - Paul Gover

CITROEN'S DS3 has been tweaked with a lit­tle ex­tra go, a lit­tle ex­tra fizz and a bot­tom line that re­flects more than $5000 of ex­tra stan­dard equip­ment, in­clud­ing a re­vers­ing cam­era, sat­nav and au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing.

But there is no au­to­matic gear­box and the start­ing price stands at $33,990.

So the sales tar­get is likely to be around 150 cars in 2015. Its ri­vals are the Alfa MiTo, Audi A1 and Mini Cooper S.

A $4000 price in­crease is off- set by $5500 in ex­tra equip­ment. And, for the DS3 Cabrio, the in­crease is slightly less at $3600. War­ranty cov­er­age is dou­ble what it was in 2010, with capped-price ser­vic­ing for six years.

Ex­tra kit runs to sat­nav with a touch screen, park­ing sen­sors, LED mood light­ing in the cabin, com­bined LED/Xenon head­lamps and even an in­te­grated air fresh­ener.

Only a DS fan will pick the dif­fer­ences for 2015 in the lights, wheels and trim. But the new head­lights com­bine LED and xenon tech­nol­ogy for added bright­ness and more flash at the front, and there is a 3D ef­fect to the new rear lights.

In­side, the ma­te­ri­als are still classy, with new car­bon-look trim on the dash and a bit more chrome. Since the DS3 is about cus­tomi­sa­tion and per­son­al­i­sa­tion, buy­ers can choose things like chromed mir­ror cov­ers and a range of roof sticker treat­ments with names like Perle, Plane and Ze­bra.

Buy­ers can cus­tomise their DS3 with more than 200 pos­si­ble in­di­vid­ual com­bi­na­tions.

The tim­ing of the up­dated DS3 re­flects a move to Euro6 emis- sions sys­tems, with a bonus in both power and econ­omy.

The 1.6-litre petrol turbo picks up to 121kW with a flat­ter torque de­liv­ery from only 1400 revs, while fuel econ­omy is also bet­ter by 10 per cent, helped by a stop­start sys­tem and an on-de­mand wa­ter pump.

Citroen says the car is also 0.2 sec­onds quicker in the sprint to 100km/h.

The loss of the ar­chaic four­speed auto is no loss at all.

The car has a 5-star crash safety score, a stan­dard rear cam­era and park­ing sen­sors, and a sys­tem that un­locks the doors af­ter a crash.

The up­dated DS3 only has six ex­tra kilo­Watts, but the new en­gine tun­ing makes a big dif­fer­ence. The car can be hus­tled along quite briskly thanks to the al­wayson torque and six-speed man­ual gear­box.

It's also com­pli­ant in the ride, en­cour­ag­ing you to hold a high gear and flow the car along any twisty roads.

The DS3 is not for ev­ery­one, but peo­ple who like it are also likely to ap­pre­ci­ate the im­proved pack­age for 2015.

Citroen's sporty new DS3.


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