A helping hand from leading UK market influencers should soon be guiding the latest version of a French supermini to greater success with fleet buyers. Cap HPI and KeeResources experts have lifted value forecasts on the DS3 by 3% to reflect the benefits of a series of subtle revisions aimed at refreshing the most popular car in the DS line-up and enhancing its upmarket stance.
Adding up to £750 to the three-year/60,000-mile residual value estimates for top versions, the revisions pave the way for Peugeot Citroën Automobiles UK to position its key premium brand performer more aggressively against the Mini, Audi A1 and Fiat 500.
“Many of the decisions that have been made about our new standalone brand and the models it offers have been taken as a result of input from the influencers and I'm delighted with an increase of this order, which is pretty much unheard of for changes that are made to a vehicle at the mid-life stage,” Peugeot Citroën fleet and used vehicle director Martin Gurney told Fleet News.
“Their action means the latest DS3 will come with the reduced cost of ownership that's one of the important reasons behind the success of traditional premium vehicles. This uplift couldn't have come at a better time. We have a long way to go to match Audi residuals, but we are making progress. This car’s stand-out appearance makes it suitable for all the key segments – salary sacrifice, public sector, driving schools and corporate account.”
With alloy wheels, air conditioning, digital radio, a seven-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity standard across the range, the latest versions are well equipped. In the Prestige, upmarket ambitions are underlined with higher quality audio, sat-nav, front parking sensors, heated and folding door mirrors, a rear spoiler, sports seats with plush trim, a leather-bound steering wheel and dual-tone paintwork.
Safety packaging is also improved, with active city brake with an automatic system to help prevent low-speed collisions included as standard, along with xenon headlights, auto lights and wipers and an auto-dimming rear view mirror, although a rear camera is a £200 option.
As before, the DS3 is a lively performer with confident, agile handling that combines excellent roadholding with a comfortable ride, but low overall noise levels can be compromised by tyres that are sensitive to changes in road surfaces.
In its latest guise, the car gets stronger appeal from more distinctive frontal styling and a less cluttered dashboard featuring 20 fewer buttons. With still more paintwork options providing three million combinations, it offers even greater scope for buyers who want to add a personal – or corporate – touch to their transport.