Feb 1 2010 Peter Hayward
Avant garde design for new DS3
CITROEN'S DS3 is the first in a new range of avant garde designs the company has promised over the next year or so.
The few who have been lucky enough to drive early examples say it's the best driving Citroen for years and has the feel of the hot Saxo VTS.
The French car maker claims excellent and very entertaining handling, with good body control and high levels of grip allied to very good balance.
Good power steering has just enough assistance to take town manoeuvres in its stride and becomes sharper as speed increases.
Others say the suspension strikes a decent compromise between comfort and road-holding with enough absorption to take the sting out of town roads and also beefy enough to keep the body flat in hard corners.
It is also said to be a capable high speed cruiser, stable and safe right up to maximum speed.
Engines will be 1.4 and 1.6 petrol, and 1.4 or 1.6 turbo diesel.
Citroen has pinched the Mini servicing approach, so that for a one-off payment, there is an extended warranty and full servicing for three years.
Add the company's claim for strong resale value and it looks like the DS3 could be a very good buy.
Mechanical: 120bhp, 1,598cc, 4 cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 120mph
0-62mph: 10.5 seconds.
Combined mpg: 45
Insurance group: 7
CO2 emissions: 130g/km
BIK rating: 15%
Warranty: 3 years/ 60,000 miles
Main rival: Ford Fiesta, Suzuki Swift