DS 3 (2009-2019) review - Reliability and Safety
Good general reliability but the odd electrical niggle can still arise. Safety score was good in 2009
The DS 3 is a stylish premium supermini that’s based on well-proven mechanicals used across the Peugeot and Citroen range. It’s Driver Power 2016 rating was a reasonable 72nd place, which is by far the best in DS’s range.
Despite this, the survey results paint a below-par picture for overall reliability and build quality, particularly the latter. It seems owners find the cheaper bits of the interior disappointing – the premium bits on top can’t mask this in day-to-day use.
The DS 3 earned a full five-star Euro NCAP safety score in 2009, with 87% for adult protection and 71% for child protection. However, the 2009 test wasn't as strict as it is now. It is unlikely the DS 3 would score the same today – and even then, its meagre 35% rating for pedestrian safety wasn’t great.
At least Active City Brake autonomous braking technology is fitted as standard across the range. This is a worthwhile modern safety feature that will help bring the car to a halt from up to 18mph.
A conventional three-year, 60,000-mile warranty is offered on the DS 3, in line with its rivals. You can extend this through a DS dealer for an extra one or two years at low cost (prices start from just over £300); DS also offers a full 12-year anti-corrosion warranty, for long-term peace of mind.
Impressively, three years’ DS Automobiles roadside assistance is included as standard on all DS 3 models.
DS used to offer long service intervals on the DS 3, but it seems these have been cut back a bit in recent years as the engines have become more powerful and efficient. Now, the guidance is routine servicing every 16,000 miles or one year, instead of 20,000 miles and two years.
The firm will have been careful to ensure costs aren’t significantly higher though – and the safety benefits of more regular checkovers will be worthwhile, too.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe DS 3 is an upmarket rival to the MINI with posh aspirations, but it's starting to feel its age
- 2Engines, performance and driveTidy handling and an impressive range of petrol and diesel engines, but ride and refinement are falling behind class best
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsStrong fuel economy across the board equals low CO2. Insurance groups are a bit high on more powerful versions
- 4Interior, design and technologyStylish, fashionable interior is both customisable and upmarket - but awkward ergonomics and cheap plastics let it down
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceBoot is a decent size and there's reasonable space, but it's three-door only and cabin stowage is poor
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingGood general reliability but the odd electrical niggle can still arise. Safety score was good in 2009