It has been a long time coming, but the Citroen DS3 is finally on sale here in Malaysia, through official distributor Naza Euro Motors (NEM). This completes NEM’s Different Spirit lineup in Malaysia, following the DS4 and DS5 models introduced last year.
Rumours of the baby DS’ local arrival stretch as far back July 2013, and the three-door premium B-segment hatchback was duly previewed at KLIMS13 before the year closed. More recently, it was spied at Citroen’s Glenmarie outlet in January.
Now, the final specifications and price of the Citroen DS3 you can buy have been released. As expected, it comes in a sole 1.6 VTi 120 automatic guise. It gets the same 120 hp/160 Nm PSA 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated engine and four-speed automatic transmission combo that you’d find in the Peugeot 208 VTi. Zero to 100 km/h takes 10.9 seconds, on to a top speed of 190 km/h.
Not exactly a hot-hatch, then. But then again, performance is perhaps of the DS3’s target customers’ least concern. This one is all about style and standing out in the crowd, and my, does it deliver. It may be a four-year-old design, but with such bold details and panache, it has solid showroom appeal.
The “shark-fin” B-pillar, in particular, works well with the contrast-coloured roof and door mirrors – there are seven colour combinations to choose from, each matched to a colour-coded key fob. Elsewhere, the LED DRLs, 3D-effect tail lamps and 17-inch ‘Bellone’ wheels add sophistication to the class.
This off-beat, yet wholly fashionable approach continues inside too. Here, you’ll find a pair of body-hugging seats upholstered in what Citroen calls ‘Mistral Claudia’ leather. The snug rear seats, which are fitted with Isofix anchor points, can be folded forward to expand the 385-litre boot.
An eight-speaker HiFi sound system – complete with a dash-mounted central speaker and an amplified subwoofer in the boot – comes standard, along with an MP3-compatible head-unit and Bluetooth connectivity. Auto lights, single-zone climate control and cruise control are packed in as well.
This little car takes safety seriously, as it’s equipped with six airbags, all-around three-point seat belts, ESP, ABS, EBD and EBA. Specced as such, the Citroen DS3 boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
As for the price, the Citroen DS3 1.6 VTi 120 Automatic retails for RM117,888 (with insurance). And if that sounds like much to you, remember that the MINI One, with the same PSA 1.6 litre engine but downtuned to 98 hp and 150 Nm of torque, goes for RM146,888. So, is the DS3 worth the wait?