We’ve all done it at some point, nipped out to the shop or to top up with fuel and only realised too late that we’ve left our wallet sitting at home.
It’s embarrassing and annoying but DS think they have the solution – a car key that doubles as a bank card.
The DS 3 we’re testing this week takes its Connected Chic trim name very seriously and is even connected to your bank account thanks to a contactless payment system hidden in its key fob.
Using an RFID chip linked to the bPay payment system you can present your DS 3’s fob at any contactless payment point and use it like you would a bank card, Android or Apple Pay.
It’s a bit of a gimmick, yes, but one you might actually use, unlike so many other “special” features manufacturers like to crow about.
DS 3 Connected Chic
Engine: 1.2-litre, three-
cylinder, turbo, petrol
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Top speed: 118mph
0-62mph: 9.6 seconds
Economy: 65.7mpg combined
CO2 emissions: 100g/km
The key fob isn’t the only connected aspect of this Connected Chic trim. For your £900 extra, DS say you’re getting £2,000 of additional goodies. These include mobile phone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or MirrorLink and the car’s seven-inch touchscreen plus eMyWay sat nav. It’s also got DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connections.
So the connected part is covered. As is the chic. The DS 3 has been around for seven years now and, a mild facelift aside, looks much as it did back in 2010. What’s impressive is that it still appears fresh and stylish now. It’s low and wide and there’s just the right blend of cutesiness and aggression about its curvy lines. The fact that it’s a three-door only also means its profile isn’t compromised by the need to accommodate two body styles. Our test car was finished in a very fetching ruby red with a black contrast roof and mirrors, and 17-inch diamond-cut Aphrodite alloys topped off the stylish looks nicely.
At first glance the interior carries on the French chic. The gloss black panels and chrome-effect highlights present a nice contrast and have a classy, high-end look to them. It’s just a shame they don’t feel as plush as they look – the likes of the Audi A1 and Mini have a more solid, tactile feel to the materials and switches.
It’s at least a comfortable place to sit. The seats are supportive without being too firm and look as good as they feel. As a three-door, access to the rear seats is limited but there’s a reasonable amount of space once you’re in. The boot, likewise is a decent size – offering more space than the A1 or Mini.
From behind the wheel the DS 3 is enjoyable to drive in a funny sort of way. The steering doesn’t have a lot of feel and despite a supposedly sporty setup it’s a bit wallowy around tight corners but there’s still some faintly inexplicable enjoyment to be had from throwing it around at sensible speeds.
Helping that enjoyment is the PSA group’s PureTech 110 engine. The award-winning three-cylinder is a fantastic, flexible unit that is far more capable than the raw numbers would suggest. It’s only got 109bhp but there’s 151lb/ft of torque available from only 1,500rpm meaning it pulls easily through the smooth six-speed gearbox. It sounds a touch gruff but that’s a small payoff for the performance and official economy of 65mpg.
DS was created as the premium arm of Citroen and the DS 3 is aimed at the likes of the Audi A1 and Mini. It can’t match the Audi’s interior quality or the Mini’s driver engagement but it looks the part and in the PureTech 110 has a peach of a drivetrain.