A new direction for this super-successful small car
- Very impressive tech available
- Brilliant range engines
- Interior looks very appealing
- Styling not as appealing as before
- Five-door-only option from launch
- E-Tense's range is unimpressive
DS Automobiles is expanding its SUV line-up. The DS 3 Crossback joins the fastest-growing market sector of them all – the premium compact crossover – and its maker is hoping that it will repeat the huge success of its predecessor, the original DS 3.
The DS 3 Crossback is larger than the original DS 3, which remains in production for the moment. That indicates it's not a direct replacement, even though the three-door hatchback is being phased out and won’t be replaced.
On sale in 2019, the DS 3 Crossback will be offered as a pure electric car, or with petrol and diesel engines. It’s taking aim at the Audi Q2, MINI Countryman and Lexus UX, which should translate to a starting price of £22,000.
What DS 3 Crossback engines will be available?
Drivetrain line-up is interesting. The petrol versions, powered by the brilliant three-cylinder Puretech engine, will come in 100, 130 and 155hp forms. The most powerful version makes 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds.
There’s a 1.5-litre BlueHDI engine too. An eight-speed automatic transmission will be offered; 70% of buyers are expected to choose this.
Most excitingly, the electric E-Tense version will be along shortly after launch. It's powered by a 50kWh battery pack and is said to be good for a range of 186 miles – better than the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf, but behind the Hyundai Kona Electric. Claimed 0-62mph acceleration is 8.7 seconds.
The DS 3 Crossback tech package
You’ll be able to use a My DS smartphone app to unlock the car, and grant permission to relatives to use their ‘phones to unlock it and drive.
There's also driving assistance keeping the car cruising in-lane and away from the car in front at up to 112mph, automated parking and fancy LED matrix headlamps, with different beam intensities depending on whether you’re in town, countryside or approaching oncoming traffic.
Emergency braking also monitors pedestrians and cyclists at night, as well as during the day and cars around the clock.
How large is the DS Crossback?
On average, it's 40kg lighter than the equivalent Citroen C3 Aircross or Peugeot 208, and at 4.11m-long, it's about 30mm shorter and wider than the former. But it’s more than 100mm lower, which does wonders for the stocky stance.
The 3 hatchback may be on the way out, but its distinctive shark fin is carried over to the Crossback’s body side. The DS face – enlarged grille and vertical daytime running lights – is present and correct, along with headlamps that are deliberately kinked at the top to draw attention to their matrix LED capabilities.
The thin rear lamps are connected by a chrome strip, just like the 7’s. Three different roof colours will be offered, along with some vibrant body colours among the 10 different paint jobs.
The Parkers Verdict
DS Automobiles says that the new 3 Crossback will be comfortable and quiet, which should appeal to those who plough the motorway as well as live in cities. Noise insulation measures include thicker door panels and glass, and a windscreen optimised to dampen soundwaves.
With PSA’s 1.2-litre Puretech three-cylinder petrol engines and BlueHDIs to complement the electric versions, this looks like a very appealing addition to the increasingly-crowded SUV market.