Citroen DS3 DSport Pink first drive

Citroen DS3 DSportUnder recent plans announced to revive PSA’s (Peugeot-Citroen) global fortunes,

around 40 models will be deleted from the combined ranges by 2020 as part of the Group’s recovery programme.

Targeting profitable segments in future the design-led DS series under Citroen’s banner will become a brand in its own right.

Citroen in the UK in fact are coping quiet well with 78,358 sales last year, an increase of 6.4% over those in 2012 and they are a further 9% better for the first three months over this year compared to the same periods last year. One of the main reasons for the increase is their DS ‘designer’ versions, in particular the DS3 three door supermini sized hatchback and the two door cabriolet variant. Together these two body styles resulted in 20,480 UK sales last year with the hatchback being by far the most popular.

Apart from its chic styling and sporty performance the DS3 has proved popular because of the personalisation options buyers can add to the model of their choice and in addition there are regular special edition versions added to keep the model fresh. One of the latest is the DS3 Pink. These versions were launched in January this year as DS3 DStyle Pink and DSport Pink. They are available with white and black body colours with fuchsia pink coloured roofs, pink tops to the door mounted mirrors, wheel centre caps and a fuchsia pink dashboard and colour coded gearlever knob.

The Pink specification models also gain extra specification not just a cosmetic tune-up. The DS3 DStyle versions have 16-inch black or white alloys to match the chosen body colour, a HiFi system upgrade with additional speakers. The range topping DSport Pink gains 17-inch alloys, again coloured to match the main body colour plus the City Signature pack which includes automatic lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, heated and folding door mirrors and a front centre armrest.

The DS3 DStyle Pink is available with either a VTi, 1.6-litre 120hp petrol engine or a 1.6-litre e-HDi 90hp Airdream diesel unit. Buyers of the DS3 DSport Pink have the choice of a punch 1.6-litre THP 155hp turbocharged petrol unit or the frugal 1.6-litre eHDI 115hp turbodiesel; and both of these units are mated with 6-speed manual gearboxes.

Prices for the DS3 Pink range start at £15,675 for the VTi 120hp petrol unit and go up to £18,075 for the 115hp turbodiesel version. The starter price for the DS3 range is £12,495 for the VTi 82hp petrol DSign model.

I have just had a colourful driving spell in the DS3 DSport Pink with the well known 1.6-litre THP 155hp turbocharged petrol engine priced at £17,800. This unit is used in other Citroen/Peugeot models as well as the MINI range of course. It is well liked because of its punchy mid-range performance and its 133mph top speed. Because it delivers 240Nm (177lb ft) of torque from only 1,400rpm it is exceptionally responsive resulting in a zero to 62mph acceleration time of 9.3 seconds but it is more impressive supplying immediate overtaking power mid-range without having to change down the 6-speed gearbox. Just as well because the gearchange was on the notchy side.

This performance doesn’t come at the expense of fuel economy. Officially it will return 47.1mpg in the Combined Cycle and my week long test drive figure was 43.4mpg covering motorway, rural A/B winding roads where it impressed best of all and stop/start town driving.

The CO2 emissions are 135g/km which means VED road tax costs £130 a year and company car drivers going the Pink route will pay 20% Benefit in Kind tax from April this year. Insurance for the colourful sporty number is rated in group 24E.

Citroen DS3 DSportCitroen DS3 DSportCitroen DS3 DSportThe Citroen DS3 Pink makes a statement, quite what that statement is I’m not sure, probably it’s a ‘look at me’. But I have to say with its black main body colour and pink bits on the roof and mirrors thankfully it didn’t draw that much attention, apart from my wife who thought it was a ‘bit bright’ and driving it I would get noticed – hopefully not by the Police – which I wasn’t. Gone are the days in my youth when we personalised our go-faster cars with a trip to Halfords to buy wide wheels, large bore exhausts, fog lights and glitzy body-tape. Manufacturers do it all for us now – at a price under their popular personalisation programmes. In the case of the 155hp DS3 DSport Pink this is only £325 more than the standard 155hp DSport which looks good value if pink is your colour.

In all other respects the DSport Pink is the same in the seating and driving compartments as other sportier version of the DS3. Its three door chic styling is appealing, it’s roomy in the front but with very limited rear seat legroom; it’s really a 2+2. It offers sharp steering and nimble agility, sharp handling but the suspension is quite firm giving a ‘crashy’ ride at times. The rear quarter visibility due to the window design is very poor so coming out of road junctions needs extra care.

Apart from the uprated Pink specification this version has an on-board computer, remote controlled central locking, alarm, air conditioning, electric front windows, alloy sports pedals, cruise control, scented air fashioner, stereo radio/CD player, Bluetooth, rear spoiler, twin chrome exhaust tailpipes, chrome door sill protectors, sculptured front sports seats, split folding rear seat, signature LED daytime running lights and fog lights.

Overall it’s at neat, well equipped and colourful package which is easy on the pocket in terms of running costs given its performance if not quite as easy on the eyes in terms of colour.

MILESTONES: Citroen DS3 DSport Pink THP155 3-door supermini. Price: £17,800. Engine/transmission: 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder high pressure turbocharged petrol, 155hp, 177lb ft of torque from 1,400rpm, 6-speed manual gearbox. Performance: 133mph, 0-62mph 9.3 seconds, 47.1mpg Combined Cycle (43.4mpg on test), CO2 135g/km, VED road tax £130, BIK company car tax 20%. Insurance group: 24E. Warranty: 3-years/60,000 miles. Dimensions/capacities: L 3,948mm, W 1,715mm, H 1,483mm, boot/load space: 285 to 980-litres. For: A bright and colourful limited edition version for the best selling DS3 range, extra worthwhile spec for very little extra money, punchy engine, good fuel economy. Against: The pink coloured bits will not appeal to everybody, crashy ride, poor rear quarter visibility, notchy gearchange.  Miles better news agency

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