Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5
  • Bold design, but sketchy button layout
  • Plush materials used on higher spec models
  • Touchscreen media system fiddly to use

Open the door of the DS 3 Crossback and it doesn’t take long for it to make a positive first impression. You sink into the comfortable seats and take in the diamond-themed interior. It works best with a brighter material option and the funky doors are well designed with an easy to-reach grab handle mounted high up, with large door bins beneath them.

The dash is a bit busy, though, and it’ll take some time to get used to the location of certain functions with those shortcut keys. The buttons themselves are touch sensitive but they don’t respond well enough. This is great if you inadvertently press the wrong key while driving, but having to briefly hold your fingers on the buttons themselves each time proves highly distracting.

The touchscreen infotainment system is the same, distracting you with far too many sub-menus. The screen also shows the climate control temperature twice so you may think the driver and passenger have their own setting, when in fact they don’t.

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but our experience with the former results in the display being a disappointingly square aspect ratio, rather than utilising the whole rectangular screen. Plus, if you have the sat-nav set to a destination, the map will also have to disappear and make way for the climate control or music screen, should you wish to make an adjustment.

Even though the driver’s digital instrument screen can also display the sat-nav instructions, it’s still best to have the passenger make adjustments on the touchscreen for you on the move (if you have one on board). The head-up display is also sharp with a high level of contrast, and the controls to adjust the positioning are easily accessible, even if they look a bit cheap.

There is wireless charging for your phone available and the optional Focal stereo system is particularly good, being clear and punchy, even when streaming via Bluetooth.

Comfort

  • Comfortable ride quality beats Audi Q2
  • Modest levels of noise suppression
  • Not quite as spacious as MINI Countryman

If you’re looking for a comfortable SUV, the DS 3 Crossback comes fitted with supple suspension and thickly padded seats that help towards a relaxed driving experience.

It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position before you set off and the raised seating position isn’t too high.

On the move, the DS 3 Crossback won’t be the softest-riding vehicle you’ll experience in the PSA group but it’s very well judged. It’s firm enough to feel stable and prevent motion sickness on motorways, but for the majority of the time, it isolates you well enough from rough road surfaces with a high level of absorption.

In fact, the DS 3 Crossback rides better than the Audi Q2 and has more rear seat space, although the MINI Countryman betters both when it comes to cabin space and manages to be more entertaining to drive, while the iDrive media system is better to use.

Noise insulation measures include thicker door panels and glass, and a windscreen optimised to dampen soundwaves. Plus, all tyres come with generous amount of side profile, too, so fitting larger wheels don’t guarantee a detrimental effect on ride quality or road noise; that latter of which is largely well suppressed on the majority of road surfaces.

While the PureTech three cylinder petrol engine generates a pleasing sound on the move, it is a little rough when it splutters back to life on the stop-start system; it’s certainly not as refined as Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost.