3.5 out of 5 3.5
Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

A new direction for the successful small car

DS 3 Crossback SUV (19 on) - rated 3.5 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £22,515 - £33,455
Lease from new From £181 p/m View lease deals
Used price £14,565 - £25,580
Used monthly cost From £364 per month
Fuel Economy 41.7 - 62.7 mpg
Road tax cost £150
Insurance group 14 - 25 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Impressive tech available
  • Strong engine range
  • Captivating interior
  • High comfort from seats and ride

CONS

  • Infotainment system fiddly to use
  • Unresponsive dashboard controls
  • Jerky brake pedal response in town
  • Pricey

DS 3 Crossback SUV rivals

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

You’re not a premium car manufacturer these days without a small, stylish SUV in the ranks. That’s the thinking that led DS – the luxury arm of the French PSA Group – to launch the DS 3 Crossback.

The 3 Crossback replaces the original DS 3 supermini and like that car, uses a winning formula of striking, desirable looks with fairly run-of-the-mill underpinnings. The idea being that while the car itself turns heads, owning it should be painless and as easy as any other small SUV. That’s a tough one to crack, given the strong competition – from cars such as the MINI Countryman, Audi Q2 or Lexus UX – not to mention entry-level versions of the Range Rover Evoque.

It’s not just a distinctive face, either (we’ll stop one short of calling it ‘pretty’) – the DS 3 Crossback has plenty to recommend it. It’s comfortable, with a range of really excellent petrol engines and even an all-electric model covered in a separate review here.

It’s got a really fine interior, which remains easy to use despite its avant-garde design, and plenty of technology to keep even the most demanding millennial happy. On the flip side, though, it doesn’t have the last degree of polish you’d find in a rival such as the UX or Evoque. Is it still worth considering?

Familiar – and excellent – engines

The DS 3 Crossback comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines and either manual or automatic gearboxes. They’re all used elsewhere in the Peugeot, Citroen and DS ranges, which is no bad thing as without exception they’re punchy, refined and efficient.

They’re all based around the same 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine, which PSA names ‘PureTech’. It’s available in a basic 100hp form and more potent 130hp and 155hp variants – we think the latter two are the best bets. Even better news is the addition of the group’s excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox on some models, meaning this car should definitely be on your shortlist if you need a small, automatic SUV.

There’s even a hyper-efficient diesel model, an increasing rarity in cars of this size.

However, another way of looking at this is that the latest Peugeot 2008 is available with an identical engine range and at a cheaper price point. Equally, there’s no hybrid models to rival the likes of the Lexus UX – if you want an alternatively-fuelled DS 3 Crossback, you’ll have to opt for the fully electric DS 3 Crossback E-Tense.

Luxurious interior like nothing else out there

Most prestige SUVs have rather safe and staid interiors that focus on luxurious materials to lift their plain designs. DS takes a different approach and styles the interior of the 3 Crossback in a way no other manufacturer does.

There’s an unusual diamond motif used throughout, and it’s present on all the switches, displays, and even some of the seat trims. This can make it somewhat confusing to navigate your way around the 3 Crossback’s interior, however – there’s a bit of a learning curve, and even once you’ve discovered where all the functions live it’s not entirely intuitive.

It’s very comfortable inside, though, with big, squashy seats and enough passenger space for most people’s needs. Families with young children would be better served by something more practically-styled however, such as the Citroen C3 Aircross – the 3 Crossback doesn’t have the most spacious rear seat nor the largest boot.

High tech levels

The DS 3 Crossback offers all the tech a youthful market demands – in addition to the usual driver’s safety systems such as adaptive cruise control, LED matrix headlights and autonomous emergency braking, there’s also niceties such as a My DS smartphone app capable of locking and unlocking the car.

Once inside, drivers will enjoy stylish digital dials and a wide, high-quality central infotainment display, fitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone connectivity.

Interested in this stylish SUV? Read about its interior, practicality, running costs or driving experience here, or skip straight to the verdict to see what we think of it.

DS 3 Crossback SUV rivals