June 14, 2024

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DS 3 (2010 – 2019) | Expert Rating



No longer in production, the DS 3 was a compact three-door hatchback and cabriolet model manufactured by DS Automobiles – a spin-off brand owned by Citroën.

Originally launched in 2010 as the Citroën DS3, the supermini-sized hatchback was part of a three-car family that was shifted across to be part of the new DS Automobiles line-up when it became a standalone brand in 2016.

The DS 3 range included a number of petrol and diesel engine options, available with either a manual or automatic gearbox, and the line-up also included an uprated Performance model. Like the Fiat 500, the Citroën DS3 (and then the DS 3) was offered with an optional roll-back fabric roof to form a cabriolet version

In its early years, the Citroën DS3 received many positive review scores from the UK motoring media, described by many as a fun and interesting alternative to the popular Mini hatch. However, by the time it morphed into the more highly chromed DS 3, Auto Express found that it was “starting to feel its age” against newer (and cheaper) contenders in the small car sector.

Carbuyer highlighted the DS 3 for its “style, fun-to-drive character and well-built interior”, while Evo noted that the car’s wide range of personalisation options makes it stand out in a very populated small car market.

Towards the end of its production life, the DS 3 fell behind rivals in terms of interior design, infotainment and rather dated safety technology standards – highlighted by its unimpressive three-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

Parkers also argued that there were more practical options out there for the same price, as the DS 3 had a “laughably small” glovebox, and Carwow asserted that the hatchback had a boot opening that was too narrow and was is “too fidgety over poor road surfaces”.

Now replaced in the DS Automobiles line-up by the larger DS 3 Crossback, the DS 3 ended production with an Expert Rating of 58% based on 38 different reviews from UK media sources.

DS 3 highlights

  • Distinctive exterior design
  • Early models very competitive against rivals
  • Agile handling
  • Punchy and economical engines
  • Plenty of personalisation options

DS 3 lowlights

  • DS 3 was no great improvement over original Citroën DS3
  • Not as practical as other superminis
  • Bumpy ride on poor roads
  • Dated interior and infotainment
  • Three-star crash test rating

Key specifications

Body style: Three-door hatchback and cabrio
petrol, diesel
Price when new:
From £13,295 on-road

Launched: Summer 2010
Last updated: Spring 2018
Replaced: Summer 2019

Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Safety rating

Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Adult protection: 69%
Child protection: 37%
Vulnerable road users: 55%
Safety assist: 29%

The DS 3 hatchback was crash tested byEuro NCAP in 2017, and achieved some below average scores as part of its three-star rating.

While its adult protection score is decent, its child occupant protection is quite poor, and its safety assistance score of 29% reflects that the car does not come with much technology to help avoid a crash in the first place.

Eco rating

No eco rating

The DS 3 was not lab tested by Green NCAP. Its production life cycle almost completely pre-dated Green NCAP’s existence.

Reliability rating

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With an overall reliability score of 50% based on extended warranty repair costs, MotorEasy warranty data shows that the DS 3 is bang on average when it comes to reliability. This score only accounts for the later DS 3, rather than the original Citroën DS3 model.

However, it is unfortunate that the most common repair claim is on average the most expensive – over a third of all DS 3 claims are for engine repairs, which generally cost just north of £2,200 – which is quite expensive for a supermini. This is worth keeping in mind if you are looking at a used DS3.

Braking system repairs and suspension issues make up the majority of other claims, but these are comparatively cheap, costing below £250 on average.


Trophies, prizes and awards that the DS 3 and Citroën DS3 have received


  • Diesel Car Magazine – Best Small Second-Hand Buy


  • Diesel Car Magazine – Used Car of the Year + Best Small Second-Hand Buy


  • Fleet World Awards – Best Design
  • Top Gear Awards Small Car of the Year

Similar cars

If you’re looking at the DS 3, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Alfa Romeo Mito | Audi A1 | Citroën C3 | Ford Fiesta | Mazda 2 | Mini hatch | Peugeot 208 | Renault Clio | SEAT Ibiza | Skoda Fabia | Suzuki Swift | Toyota Yaris | Vauxhall Corsa | Volkswagen Polo

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