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 more popular.
Apart from its chic styling and sporty performance the DS3 has proved popular because of the personalisation options and one of the latest is the 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 and 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.
It is exceptionally responsive 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.
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.
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.
Citroen DS3 DSport Pink THP155 3-door supermini £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%.
Dimensions/capacities: L 3,948mm, W 1,715mm, H 1,483mm, boot/load space: 285 to 980-litres.
Insurance group: 24E
Warranty: 3-years/60,000 miles.
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.