The Citroen DS3, one of my favorite cars, enters the Almost Cars arena and is ready to take our underwear, eyes, and money. The Citroen DS3, if Becks V The Menthol were a car.

Sure, it’s basically a Citroen C3 II at its core, as they share the same platform, but that’s where the similarities end. Just like Quentin Tarantino resembles a foot fetishist because they are created on the same platform, but that’s about it. If the C3 is Hrusca, the Citroen DS3 is Twisted Sister. If a C3 is a traditional meal at a restaurant, the Citroen DS3 is a rooftop party. Yes, I’m a sold-out fan of this pair of branded sneakers on wheels.

So we have a strictly 3-door configuration, a much sportier and more aggressive body kit, and the glorious 1.6 Turbo petrol engine built in collaboration with BMW and fitted to the Mini. We have sports suspension that isn’t comfortable but helps when you hit the pedal.

Overall, we have a reliable city car that ventures into the sports zone, offering both small engines for those who buy based on appearance alone and engines for those who want to hit the gas. In essence, it’s a Citroen version of the Alfa Romeo MiTo. In fact, if I think about it, the MiTo would be the only natural rival to the Citroen DS3. And yes, it’s the Citroen DS3 until 2016 because it was the first model in the “DS” range, and from 2016 it becomes the DS 3, period.

Speaking of the 2016 facelift when it became the DS 3, the Citroen DS3 also receives factory xenon headlights, more customization options and colors, and most importantly, a genuine automatic gearbox. I don’t need to mention that the DS3 sold like hotcakes, and you can find any car for any preference. The only real downside is that a DS3 costs almost double that of a normal C3, but even with that, it’s still worth it.

Citroen DS3 side almostcarreviews

Citroen DS3 Engines


  • 1.2 MPI EB2 with 82 horsepower – With only 3 cylinders and a dubious reputation for reliability, I can’t recommend this engine particularly. Plus, it integrates as well as a huggler with a struggler among family men or a rocker among punks.
  • 1.2 Turbo EB2DT with 110 and 130 horsepower – If this engine was good enough for the Opel Crossland and other large cars, then it’s good enough for the Citroen DS3. The only hurdle is getting over the fear of turbocharged engines.
  • 1.4 MPI EP3 with 95 horsepower – The 1.4 VTi with 4 cylinders and 95 horsepower is the most balanced engine for the Citroen C3 and DS3. If you’re more interested in appearance than performance, then this engine is suitable for you. Plus, it had the option of factory-installed LPG.
  • 1.6 MPI EP6 with 120 horsepower – The most powerful engine in the regular DS3 lineup and quite rare because people who wanted power bought the Racing version directly. But at least it’s reliable, occasionally needing coil packs but that’s about it.
  • 1.6 Turbo EP6DT with 156, 165, 207, and 210 horsepower – Reserved exclusively for the DS3 Racing, this engine was built by Peugeot in collaboration with BMW and is the notorious “Prince” engine. Known for timing chain issues, it’s an engine where you need to budget for timing chain replacements. Or alternatively, look for a model where the timing chain has already been replaced.


  • 1.4 HDi DV4 with 70 horsepower – It no longer has the issues of the past, but why would you buy a DS3 with a 1.4 diesel engine with 70 horsepower? Why would you do that?
  • 1.6 HDi DV6 with 90, 100, 110, and 120 horsepower – Or a 1.6 diesel??? But since I’m here, I’ll talk about the common issues with diesel engines. Or later in the dedicated section. But overall, it’s a reliable engine, unlike the first 1.6 HDi engine, which was as good as unpasteurized beer.


Citroen DS3 rear almostcarreviews

Citroen DS3 Reliability Issues

  • I’ll start with diesel engines because I promised. The 90 and 110 horsepower versions are Euro 5 and don’t get along well with urban traffic because of the particulate filter and the EGR. And the BlueHDI versions of 100 and 120 horsepower also have AdBlue, giving you even more reasons not to use them in the city. Finally, we have the complementary issues of manual gearboxes, which can have issues with the linkage.
  • The paint on the roof was poured over the normal body paint and tends to peel off. It’s not necessarily an issue, and if you’re obsessed with the slightest peeling, there are remedies for your ailment, but it’s important to mention.
  • Being a fancier C3, I must also mention the complementary issues on the electrical side. The most serious one is the chip in the key… that, when it dies, leaves you in the parking lot, so take the spare key with you. You also have issues with Bluetooth connectivity and the brake light, which works when and if it wants to.


Citroen DS3 front almostcarreviews

Citroen DS3 Verdict

It’s one of my favorite cars. It’s no wonder it’s a direct rival to the Alfa Romeo MiTo, another car from my list of favorites. Both have small, cheap, and economical engines, and both also have powerful engines. And the DS3 also has a genuine 6-speed automatic gearbox, so you can even get an automatic if you’re very fashionable and don’t care about sportiness. But I have to admit that a Citroen DS3 Racing, black with orange roof and orange mirrors, is something else.

What engines do I recommend? For petrol, the 1.4 VTi with 95 horsepower if you want something simple and reliable, and the 1.6 Turbo with 207 horsepower if you want to run as fast as it looks. And the realistically purchasable diesel is the 1.6 HDi in any power version.