In-depth reviews

DS 3 Crossback SUV review

"The DS 3 is a funky small SUV available with petrol, diesel or electric power. It's good to drive, but could do with a bit more interior space"

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.5 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Distinctive styling
  • Electric version available
  • Fun to drive

Cons

  • Slightly cramped interior
  • Small boot compared to rivals
  • Can get expensive with options

SUVs are flying out of showrooms, and more specifically, upmarket small SUVs like this DS 3 Crossback are proving to be especially desirable with car buyers.

Manufacturers have rushed to satisfy the uptake, releasing models like the Audi Q2, BMW X2, Lexus UX and Volkswagen T-Roc to join the latest MINI Countryman. All share a keen focus on style, with big grilles, bright headlights and swooping rooflines that are sure to be popular with car buyers.

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Aside from its looks, the DS 3 Crossback has a few more striking features too. For a start, it is available as an all-electric version, following the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro. With a range of 212 miles and a powerful 134bhp electric motor, the pure-electric DS 3 Crossback E-Tense variant could be a surprise hit, with more range than the Hyundai Ioniq Electric from a single charge. It does fall a little short of the range offered by the Kona, e-Niro and the MG ZS EV, though.

The DS 3 Crossback is also offered with a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol (with 99bhp, 128bhp or 153bhp variants) and a 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel with 108bhp. The first two petrol engines are likely to suit most buyer requirements, offering plenty of performance and a dose of fun too, thanks to their thrummy three-cylinder nature. The petrols all return over 40mpg, meaning all DS 3 Crossback models offer frugal running costs. The top petrol and diesel variants are likely to account for fewer sales, but will be best-suited for customers looking for the best mix of motorway performance and fuel-efficiency respectively.

Supple suspension means its front-wheel drive chassis works well on British roads too, soaking up the worst road surfaces without disturbing passengers too much. Yet, the DS 3 Crossback is also firm enough to maintain its composure over more demanding roads, offering plenty of grip and eager steering.

Perhaps the DS 3 Crossback's biggest failing, however, is that while it may offer more style than a family hatch, it doesn't offer much in the way of added practicality. The back seats aren't especially spacious and its 350-litre boot is smaller than the rival Volkswagen T-Roc and MINI Countryman.

Trim levels start with the Montmartre (formerly Elegance), which gets a seven-inch touchscreen, a digital dial cluster, keyless start and flush-fitting door handles. Bastille adds automatic air conditioning, auto wipers and rear parking sensors, while Rivoli brings LED headlights, a reversing camera and sat nav. There are also two Performance Line versions with sportier looks, and for 2022 there’s a Louvre special edition that shows works of art from the French gallery on the car’s infotainment touchscreen.

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