The DS 3 Crossback is a compact 5-door premium hatchback that can be ordered with a fossil fuel burning petrol or diesel engine or as an ‘E Tense’ EV. We’re testing the electric powered DS 3 this week in Elegance trim to see how premium it really is. Our test car weighed in at €38,949 with metallic paint and net of government incentives. This is a significant amount of money for a compact electric car, so where has the money been spent.
The DS 3 ‘Crossback’ name implies an element of crossover SUV styling but the DS3 looks like a regular five-door hatchback – so the ‘Crossback’ name seems a little pretentious. That said the DS 3 features an interesting exterior design that takes a conventional/functional shape and adds bling. standard are cool flush door handles that pop-out when you open the car and retract automatically when you move off. There are some interesting curves sculpted in to the body too and some nice light design that gives the DS 3 a street identity and presence. The DS 3 body has unique rear passenger doors that are quite noticeable when you are doing a shoulder check/glance as some of the window area is obscured by bodywork. Overall the DS 3 is an interesting design – but its not a poster car. The DS 3 does however manage to stand out next to the obvious alternatives. The DS will for some time be a niche seller and that might just be the essential appeal of the brand. If you buy one you will be unlikely to park next to another anytime soon.
Inside the cabin is relatively plush with comfortable seating and plenty of creature comforts on hand. Three grades are available: Elegance, Performance Line and performance Line+ (auto only). The very simple driver’s display is digital and customisable. The centre mounted touch screen display is complimented by more subtly placed and highly styled touch ‘areas’ more-so than ‘buttons’. Essentially the DS 3’s cabin offers a visually different twist on what any other brand would offer in a compact hatch, with premium quality materials.
The E Tense, as a sister car to the electric Corsa-e (from €27,322 net) and Peugeot e-208 (from €27,725 net) has a 50kWh battery. This capacity can deliver a maximum driving range from a full charge or 319km. This means in the real world the car in daily use should be able to do the commute and also have enough charge in reserve for that unexpected trip. There are selectable driving modes but in truth in day to day use you’ll never feel the need to use them. Charging at a rapid (100kW) charger can deliver 80% capacity in 30 minutes. The battery powers the familiar 136hp electric motor that is also used in its Stellantis sister cars.
DS 3 pricing starts from €28,990 (1.2 PureTech six-speed manual petrol in Elegance trim). Auto (eight-speed) and manual gearbox options feature with the petrol versions while the 1.5 litre BlueHDi diesel offering is a six-speed manual only. Diesel pricing starts from €30,990. DS 3 E Tense prices start at €38,249 in the base Elegance grade.
The DS 3 E Tense delivers a green and very comfortable driving experience. The default soft nature of its suspension is perfect for those not interested in dynamic driving but would rather have a cushioned posterior. The DS 3’s rarity coupled with its styling will ensure a degree of exclusivity for buyers, and they will get a kick out of this fact.