Skip advert
Advertisement

DS 3 (2009-2019) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Boot is a decent size and there's reasonable space, but it's three-door only and cabin stowage is poor

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

3.2 out of 5

Price
£26,170 to £33,495
Find your DS 3
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

Being derived from the sensible and practical Citroen C3 means the DS 3 is reasonably spacious for this sort of car. Space in the front and rear isn’t bad and the boot is tidily designed as well. The obvious hindrance is the lack of a five-door option, something even its impractical MINI hatch rival has solved in recent years. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

DS execs will argue that if you want something more practical, there’s plenty of choice within the Citroen range that’s priced similarly to the DS 3. Keeping it to three-doors also helps focus the brand’s marketing efforts and draw in the young, hip customers it so desires. 

Although space is fine, storage is hit-and miss. There’s a couple of cubbies in the centre stack and the door bins are adequate, but the glovebox is pitiful (and cheap-feeling) plus there’s still no proper cupholders. 

Size

The DS 3 is a compact small car, following the lead of the trend-setting MINI Hatch. It is 3,948mm long, 1,715mm wide and 1,483mm tall, making it roughly similar in size to an Audi A1 and roughly 150mm longer than a MINI. 

The DS 3 is actually very similar in size to the country’s best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta. It’s worth bearing this in mind if you’re downsizing from a larger car – you’ll pay premium prices for a DS 3, but you'll end up in a smaller car than the one you’re switching out of.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Do also note that most models get standard rear parking sensors (good for easy city centre parking), and a reversing camera is also available.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

The DS 3 is not the largest car in its sector, but it’s larger and more practical than the compact MINI Hatch. The driver doesn’t feel too cramped (despite an awkward driving position) and the cut-away dashboard on the passenger side accentuates space there. That's at the expense of the glovebox, however, which is tiny.

Advertisement - Article continues below

All models get a height-adjustable driver’s seat as standard: it’s an option on the passenger seat too, with upper-range models getting it as standard.

Citroen DS3 rear seats

Actual space in the rear isn’t bad, but it feels more cramped than it is due to the small windows (tinted on upper-trim models, adding to the gloomy feel), large B-pillars and the indulgent front seats that block the view out. For adults, consider it a short-hop 2+2; you can get three in, at a push, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

Getting in and out of the rear is a bit tricky too, due to the large B-pillar and chunky front seats. At least there’s a grab handle on each side of the B-pillar to help you clamber out again. All versions of DS 3 also get three rear head restraints as standard, which is a good safety addition. 

Boot

A 285-litre boot is a big practicality tick for the DS 3. This is just 10 litres smaller than a Ford Fiesta, for example – and it’s a massive 35% larger than the MINI Hatch three-door. This fact alone will be the reason why some choose a DS 3 over the sorely compromised MINI. 

Citroen DS3 boot

All DS 3s get split-folding rear seats as standard, extending the boot space to 880 litres. The sill of the boot is perhaps a bit high – a legacy of its sporty design – but it’s still a practical and useful space. 

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Performance Line 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,170

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Performance Line 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,170

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech 130 Performance Line 5dr EAT8
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £28,725
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land
Dacia Duster - front tracking
News

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land

Owners have voted the Dacia Duster as the most satisfying new car to own in the 2024 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey
11 Jun 2024
Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results
Driver Power 2024 - best cars to own header
News

Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results

The best new cars to own in the UK right now according to the people who already do. It’s the 2024 Driver Power results!
11 Jun 2024
New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built
Porsche 911 S/T - front
Road tests

New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built

Porsche’s last hurrah for the 992.1 generation 911 is an epic driving machine with just the right dose of luxury
12 Jun 2024