2017 Citroen DS3 8

The 2016 DS3 facelift officially makes its debut in Paris today, packing a significant amount of changes that covers not just its looks, but also the technology and mechanicals that go into the premium compact car. Available either as a hatchback or cabriolet, the DS3 also comes in a new Performance version, which echoes hints of the outgoing DS3 Racing.

On the styling front, the DS3 has been redesigned to follow the new DS corporate identity. This sees the introduction of the “DS Wings” hexagonal grille with chrome surrounds. Just beside the grille are two chromed-finished wings that extend towards both the xenon/LED headlights (with three jewel-like modules) and LED fog lamps. The rear lights are now LED items, with an updated 3D pattern.

With the majority of the visual changes taking place at the front, the rest of car appears to retain its styling with the floating roof design, two-tone body/roof colours and the side body line. For customers who are looking to make their DS3 stand out further, a personalisation programme allows for 78 body/roof colour combinations and four canvas roof choices for the DS3 Cabrio, with the latter capable of being operated at speeds of up to 120 km/h.

Not enough customisation for your liking? Allow me to continue. There are ten roof decals, ten rearview mirror housings, 15 alloy wheels and two interior design schemes (Basalt black Dinamica or Topaz brown) to choose from. According to DS, there are more than three million possible combinations when you put them all together, so no two DS3s would look the same, right?

2017 Citroen DS3 Performance 2

In any case, the DS3 still retains its familiar dashboard layout, although its 7-inch colour touchscreen multimedia unit has been revamped to provide easier access to the vehicle’s functions. The new unit also does away with 20 buttons, reducing the clutter on the centre console in the previous model.

Additionally, it also introduces a myriad of connectivity options – Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and a MyDS smartphone app. The connectivity options are further expanded with the DS Connect Box that features the SOS & Assistance, Monitoring, Mapping and Tracking packs.

The entry-level model also gains a bump in its safety suite, with the Active City Brake system now coming as standard. The system is capable of applying the brakes if it detects potential risks at speeds of up to 30 km/h to avoid a collision or limit the consequences of one.

Moving on, the list of engines available for the DS3 total seven, starting with three 1.2 litre PureTech naturally-aspirated/turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engines rated at 82 hp/118 Nm, 110 hp/205 Nm and 130 hp/ 230 Nm. Next up are the two 1.6 litre THP turbo four-cylinder petrol mills rated at 165 hp/240 Nm and 208 hp/300 Nm, with the latter reserved for the DS3 Performance variants.

2017 Citroen DS3 17

Fans of oil burners will be provided a choice of either one of two 1.6 litre BlueHDi four-cylinder turbodiesel engines in 100 hp/254 Nm and 120 hp/285 Nm varieties. The engines (petrol or diesel) are available with two transmission options, a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

On the mention of the DS3 Performance, the hot hatch gets a few high-performance-oriented bits to cope with its significant bump in power. A Torsen limited slip differential has been added to its inventory, along with a wider track (by 26 mm at the front and 14 mm at the back), lowered ride height by 15 mm and larger brakes (323 mm front discs, 249 mm rear discs).

The DS3 Performance also gains more distinct design highlights with a special twin tailpipe, carbon side mouldings, a new sill panel strip, and matte black wing extenders. Inside, there are now bucket seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara, with special embroidery as well.

GALLERY: 2016 DS3 Performance