Cars - Citroen

Road tests and reviews of the latest Citroen models available in South Africa

2016 Citroen DS3 Sport

2016 Citroen DS3 Sport

By Franky Johnson

The Citroën DS3 has been around for ages; which is quite remarkable. That's because it was one of the first 'designer' type cars which are typically all looks and to heck with substance.

The DS3 Sport is something a bit different. Not only does it have pizazz but it has a rather large chilli shoved under the tailpipe to deliver a sharp kick where it's needed each time the traffic light goes green.

As I mentioned it may be a bit on the old side (in fact I think I was still at varsity when the first DS3 was introduced), but this is one of those cars that doesn't seem to age. It's funky and has that quintessential French chic-ness about it; now updated with some LED headlights. The Sport tops it all off with a few 'go faster' details that just look right.

Funky colours, stylish panels and a leather-clad bits all combine into a rather tempting package. Unfortunately it's not all good news as this is where style overtakes substance. The Germans may make incredibly boring interiors by comparison, however they spend time on things like ergonomics. Citroën can't really be bothered with all of that, so buttons are seemingly placed wherever there was a spot. Sure it's something you'll get used to over time, but don't expect things like changing radio station to be right at your fingertips.

This little car is a serious pocket rocket. Don't listen to the quoted power stats, the car feels like it has a million horses under the bonnet and all of them are particularly angry. As a result you'll soon find yourself tootling about at quite a lick, then throwing the little DS3 Sport round corners. Speaking of corners, the handling dynamics are rather woolly but unless you're actually going to take a visit to your local racetrack, the slightly comical handling just makes the car more fun to drive.

At a 'buffalo' under R330,000 the little Citroën sounds quite expensive. Look, though, at something like a VW Polo GTi and you'll note it's the same sort of money. Yes the Polo is a lot faster, as are most mini-hot-hatches, but none come with that Citroën flair. Also, I don't see many hot-hatch drag races on my daily rounds, so who cares anyway.

Let's be honest, the DS3 Sport is a bit of a mixed bag. I love driving it, it's an absolute hoot and I think the exterior looks great. Unfortunately the usability of the interior doesn't quite meet standards set by the competition. Of course you'll forget all about this the next time you get to put your foot down, feel the turbo spool up and set off like a rocket. So in my books job's a good'un.

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