A 7-inch, well-sited touchscreen has all the usual bells and whistles, incorporating sat nav, excellent radio plus Mirror Screen with Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. Six speakers and DAB digital radio had a great sound, and you can synch your phone contacts for a hands-free conversation with a handy volume control on the right-hand paddle.
Under the armrest in the centre column, there’s a 12v socket for accessories as well as a USB port. But where are the cup holders? I’d have thought the French love affair with coffee would make this necessity an absolute priority. Mais non! The side pockets were just wide enough to fit a water bottle, below which satin chrome door sill protectors provide a cool design feature.
As well as indicator lights on the two wing mirrors, DS 3 Black Lézard offers two great safety features: should the car be in a collision severe enough to deploy the airbags or seat belt pre-tensioners the DS Connect box emergency and assistance makes an automatic emergency call on behalf of the driver, with precise location given to the call centre. Very useful, especially for solo female drivers. And the Active City Break is a useful enhancement that can anticipate impact and engage the brakes automatically, avoiding accidents. This only works in urban areas at under 20pmh.
Access to the rear seats is easier than some three-door hatches as the front seats move far enough forward to allow access without losing a limb. There are three seatbelts at the back and three headrests, so you could easily carry a child and two adults. But three adults would be somewhat cosy. The seats split-fold to 33/66 providing extra space to the already spacious boot. Two handy ISOFIX mounting points for child seats are standard, while the below parcel shelf boot volume is generous and I could easily fit two medium-sized suitcases.
At night the LED Vision Xenon headlights came into their own, especially on the motorway, with an auto-dimming rear view mirror, auto lights and windscreen wipers. Especially helpful in this bizarre spring/winter/summer weather we are experiencing lately. Daytime front fog lights also came in handy when the sea mist descended on a trip to Brighton.
My only niggle was difficulty in reverse parking, as the wide door pillars obstructed the view. Admittedly, I don’t tend to use the dash reversing camera, but the rear parking sensors were helpful. Forward and side views are superb though.
In summary, the DS 3 Black Lézard is an excellent 3-door hot hatch, with exciting agility, superb comfort in both driving and passenger seats and great performance on the motorway as well as in city traffic. The DS 3 Black Lézard’s turbo, direct injection engine gives an exciting and responsive ride with that extra ‘va va voom’. I loved it!
DS Lézard Vital Statistics
- RRP: £19,550
- 0-62mph: 9.6 secs
- Fuel injection: Turbo, direct injection
- Capacity: 1,199cc
- Five-speed manual
- Max speed: 118mph
- Tank range and capacity: 722 miles / 50 litres; 11 gallons
- Warranty: 3 years, 60,000 miles
- Insurance Group: 21E
- CO2 emissions: 100g/km (1st-year VED £125)
- Luggage capacity: rear seats up to 285 litres
- Rear seats down: 980 litres
- Insurance Group: 21
DS Automobiles – Where and How
DS 3 Black Lézard is available only with the award-winning and best-selling PureTech 110 S&S engine, with a manual gearbox, priced at £19,545 OTR.
Body colours include Perla Nera Black, Platinum Grey, Ink Blue and Whisper Purple. The enhanced specification includes DS LED Vision headlights, 17-inch black diamond-cut alloy wheels and gloss-black ‘A-pillars’.
For more information on DS 3 Black Lézard visit the DS Automobiles website here.