The Citroën DS3 is a fun-looking youthful hatchback that was in production between 2009 and 2016, and in time, Citroën managed to sell a ton of these. It is a car that changed how Citroën was perceived at that time as the DS department was designing some of the most striking cars from this segment. The DS3 looks really modern even in 2022 which is not something you can say for most cars from that era.
When it comes to reliability, things aren’t as promising because the DS3 was part of more than 10 different recalls associated with pretty much everything. These are popular with younger drivers which means that they aren’t necessarily looked after as well as they otherwise would be if they were more popular with more experienced drivers.
Nonetheless, the most common Citroën DS3 issues are associated with the suspension, the electricals, the engine, the equipment, and the steering system. Some of these issues can be really frustrating while others can be easily solved without too many issues.
All in all, the Citroën DS3 can be an interesting addition to any garage, but you ought to look for an example that has been treated with dignity. These cars weren’t the best when they first came out which means that they are not going to be any better more than 10 years later.
Citroën DS3 – Suspension issues
Probably the most common Citroën DS3 issues are associated with the suspension system, and the car sagging to one corner or the other might be the most common suspension-related issue. The reason why this happens is that one of your suspension springs has snapped and will require a replacement. This makes the car sag to one side which isn’t safe at all.
Replacing the spring is also not the easiest job in the world and there really are no guarantees that the new spring isn’t going to break as well. However, if this does happen, be sure to take your car to a dealer as they are specifically trained to solve this issue in the best possible manner which should minimize the risks of it happening ever again.
Citroën DS3 – Electrical issues
Many Citroën models are synonymous with electrical issues and the DS3 is also one of those cars. The lighting system is known to fail, especially exterior side lights which tend to stay on after the car was turned off. The infotainment/radio screen is known to go blank or completely freeze which requires a restart.
The electric windows are also prone to failure as is the case with many other Citroën models. The car seems to often be beeping for no particular reason which can be really annoying. Certain electrical issues can happen during driving such as the car continuously unlocking and locking itself without any apparent cause.
Citroën DS3 – Engine issues
If you hear a loud rattling noise coming from the engine compartment, you might be facing issues with engine timing. This loud rattling noise can typically be heard while the car is in its stationary gear and left idling. The engine can sometimes be hesitant to accelerate and you can also come across various RPM fluctuations while accelerating.
Timing chain issues can be catastrophic if not dealt with in due time because they can destroy the entire engine completely. In order to solve this issue, be sure to inspect the timing chain and the tensioner, and replace any of these if you have to.
Citroën DS3 – Equipment issues
The DS3 suffers from various equipment-related issues such as those with certain body panels. The rear wheel arch liners can come loose and rub against the tire while driving. The seat belt retraction mechanism is prone to failing early on which means that your seatbelt isn’t going to retract to its original position once you unplug them.
The glovebox can rattle like crazy as the rubber dampers around it degrade really fast. There are many other equipment-related issues with the DS3 which will always need repairing as that comes with the territory.
Citroën DS3 – Steering system issues
If you sense your steering becoming really stiff and unresponsive, there are many potential issues that could be causing it. For starters, your battery/alternator could be to blame as both are prone to failure with Citroën models. The steering rack could loosen up which affects steering assistance and thus makes the steering stiffer.
Should I buy the Citroën DS3?
If you are after a used hatchback that does not cost a lot of money, yet is interesting and different from all the other hatchbacks out there, the DS3 could be your type of car. Design-wise, not many cars can truly compete with the DS3 because the DS3 takes design to a whole new level, especially when you consider when the car came out.
The interior is a bit too busy, but it does not look bad. On the other hand, the DS3 might be fun to drive, but it certainly is not a sports car. It also lacks a bunch of features you’d want from a 2016 car, but this is because the car originally came out a long time ago.
Is the Citroën DS3 safe?
The Citroën DS3 is indeed a really safe car as it managed to satisfy all the crash safety standards required by Euro NCAP which is the leading European crash testing organization. However, the DS3 is now a fairly old car which means that you should not expect it to come with all the latest software safety features that can commonly be found on most newer cars.
Why did Citroën make the DS division?
The abbreviation DS stands for “Different Spirit” and Citroën first introduced it back in 1955 and later in 2009 with the DS3. The DS sub-brand was made in order to make more interesting cars with more daring designs. This did not last all that long because DS and Citroën finally slip up in 2015 when DS became a separate brand interested in carving its own future in the automotive industry.