Citroen DS3 99g

Does new eco model retain hatch’s appeal?

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The best compliment to pay a super-efficient eco model is to say that it drives just like every other variant. Unfortunately, that’s not quite true of the DS3 99g. Although it’s still an impressive all-round package, offering something genuinely different in this sector, the performance andride are slightly compromised.

Style and efficiency – the two don’t often go hand-in-hand. But Citroen’s DS3 is one of the most attractive cars on the road, and this newest model is also one of the most economical. Auto Express got behind the wheel of the DStyle 99g to see if it offers the best of both worlds.

As the name suggests, the car is exempt from road tax, as it emits less than 100g/km. It won’t sting you at the pumps, either; Citroen claims fuel economy of 74.6mpg on the combined cycle.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Citroen DS3

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Visually, the frugal DS3 isn’t much different to any other model – and that’s a good thing. The shark-fin B-pillar and floating roof remain, although the range of bold alloys on offer has had to make way for more aerodynamic – and much less eye-catching – 16-inch plastic wheel covers.

There’s plenty of style inside, though, with customers able to personalise the cabin with their choice of seat material, coloured panels and trim. The sports seats on our model were comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats provide enough room for adults. A spacious 285-litre boot completes a practical package.

Capable

The 90bhp 1.6-litre HDi diesel engine is capable around town, and an 11.5-second 0-62mph sprint time should be fast enough for most drivers. But if you follow the advice of the gearshift indicator on the dash, the unit will often be left struggling – and this sends vibrations through the seat and steering wheel until the revs rise. Considering the car was designed for eco-friendly low-rev running, it could do with being a little quieter in this area.

On the whole, though, the diesel engine is smooth, and decent cabin insulation means the car is refined on the move.

This DS3 has low-resistance tyres, and the ride feels a little more jittery, with a stiffness over minor road imperfections that isn’t noticeable in other variants. But the Citroen hatch is still one of the most comfortable cars to drive in this class.

Plus the responsive steering and agile chassis which mark out other DS3s haven’t been sacrificed in the pursuit of efficiency. This is one eco model that’s good fun.

It’s decent value for money, too, at £13,700. But it demands compromises in terms of the ride and performance – so this super-clean Citroen faces a tough battle to top the sales charts.

Rival: MINI One D NEW entry-level diesel version is £475 more expensive than the DS3 at £14,175, and that’s before you add the £500 Salt pack, which adds the likes or air-con and a leather steering wheel. But the MINI is quicker and more fun to drive, plus just as efficient.

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