An icon of high-tech style, this luxury compact SUV combined refinement with advanced technology.
DS Matrix LED Vision headlights are the latest generation of smart lighting from DS Automobiles. The DS Matrix LED Vision headlights automatically adjust to the road ahead, so when it’s clear the full beam will activate, and when a car approaches the headlights will automatically dim.
Flush fitting door handles appear just as you need them, fitting neatly back into the bodywork of the car once you’re done.
Available with a choice of 9 exterior colours, as well as up to 3 colours for you roof depending on the colour you go for:
Millennium Blue - choice of White or Black Onyx roof.
Perla Nera Black - choice of White, Black Onyx or Red Diamond roof.
Polar White - choice of White, Black Onyx or Red Diamond roof.
Pearlescent White - choice of Black Onyx or Red Diamond roof.
Platinum Grey - choice of White or Black Onyx roof.
Artense Grey - choice of White, Black Onyx or Red Diamond roof.
Imperial Gold - choice of White, Black Onyx or Red Diamond roof.
Ruby Red - choice of White, Black Onyx or Red Diamond roof.
Whisper Purple - choice of White or Black Onyx roof.
Choose from six 18 inch alloys or three 17 inch alloys for your new DS 3 CROSSBACK:
With close attention to every detail, inside the DS 3 CROSSBACK you’ll feel immersed in sophistication, from the quality of materials to the finish of every detail.
A stylish central fascia, just below the multi-media touchscreen, with touch controls and two central air vents echo the DS emblem.
Inside the DS 3 CROSSBACK is specially designed to block out road noise and vibration, giving you the best experience from the FOCAL Electra ® HiFi system. Made up of 12 speakers and a subwoofer, all perfectly positioned and angled to immerse you in a 12 speaker, 515-watt experience.
The DS 3 CROSSBACK features a completely digital cockpit, combined with a higher driving position gives you all the information you need at your fingertips so you can concentrate on the joy of driving.
Choose from six inspirational DS ambience interiors, each with their own distinct characters:
Keep your keys in your pocket with the DS 3 CROSSBACK, it recognises your key from your pocket or handbag and unlocks automatically, so you can keep your keys safely tucked away.
Getting into your car will never be the same again with the MyDS app you can access your car, and grant access to others all through the DS SMART ACCESS feature in the app.
DS Drive Assist – Great for motorway drivers it combines several driving aids to make long journeys easier; maintaining your speed, keeping you a safe distance from the car in front and positioning you in the centre of your lane. The DS 3 CROSSBACK will also slow down with the traffic and even come to a complete stop and set off again as traffic moves.
DS Park Pilot – Your DS 3 CROSSBACK will park itself for you without any input on the steering wheel or pedals. Your DS 3 CROSSBACK will also be able to identify whether you can fit into a space or not, simply by driving past. Then all you have to do is press the park button and your DS 3 CROSSBACK will do the rest.
Head-up Display – With technology taken from fighter planes, your DS 3 CROSSBACK will project all the essential information in colour onto a transparent strip on the dash, in your field of vision; Speed, Cruise control, Speed limite, Driver aids and Navigation.
DS Matrix LED Vision – Switches between full beam and dipped automatically depending on what’s ahead, giving you maximum visibility without dazzling other drivers.
Extended Emergency Braking System – An automatic safety feature, designed to make driving safer for you and those around you. Sensors and a camera in the windscreen anticipates whether a collision with cars or objects* in front of you, day or night, and will give you an audible warning before applying the brakes if you’re not able to react in time.
*Detectable objects are vehicles (driving in the same direction or stopped), pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikes on the road.
Extended Traffic Sign Recognition – This DS 3 CROSSBACK system reads permanent and temporary speed limit signs and then reproduces them in your display, immediately alerting you if you exceed the limit. You can also set your cruise control / speed limiter to adapt your speed based on the prescribed limit. This system will also recommend adapting your speed based on other conditions, such as rain or snow, to account for longer stopping distances.
Choose the power that suits you, from PureTech Petrol, BlueHDi Diesel and E-Tense 100% electric.
Great if you mostly drive around town, with lower annual mileage.
Better suited to drivers who cover more miles per year and frequently drive on motorways.
The all-electric option for an entirely new driving option.
DS is remembered as Citroen’s forward-thinking model back in the ‘50s, and the firm aimed to capitalise on that beloved heritage by re-launching the model name in 2010 with its DS3 – a genuinely likeable supermini.
But as of 2015, it’s been attempting to fend for itself, which has proved to be a challenge for the brand. It didn’t help that its early models were just rebadged Citroens. Now though, the firm is trying to separate further from Citroen. This has meant stopping production of the ex-Citroen models and launching with its own cars.
The first came last year with the DS 7 – a mid-size SUV rivalling models such as the Audi Q5 – and now we have this, the new DS 3 Crossback that’s looking to take advantage of the lucrative small crossover market.
The DS 3 Crossback is the first model to use the PSA Group’s new \Common Modular Platform’ – better known as CMP. The key benefit to these new underpinnings is flexibility, which is why the DS will be seen with an all-electric version later in the year, alongside the petrol and diesel models tested here.
The DS 3 Crossback also majors on tech – with the highlights being Matrix LED lighting, a 10-inch touchscreen and flush pop-out door handles.
Alongside the car, buyers get access to DS’s ‘Only You’ programme – essentially a concierge service that can allow free rental of another car, eight years of roadside assistance and access to VIP events via an app. It’s things like this which DS hopes will make its cars stand out from more established rivals.
Petrol engines are expected to be the best-sellers on the DS 3, and there are three variants of the turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine available – producing 99bhp, 128bhp and 153bhp.
The middle option, as tested here, is the best choice as it delivers a good mix between performance and efficiency. It feels zingy enough in a car of this size and helps the DS to accelerate from 0-60mph in nine seconds, and head onwards to a top speed of 124mph. It can also achieve up to 47.1mpg, with low CO2 emissions of 117g/km.
Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, it allows for decent progress and doesn’t feel stretched – even at motorway speeds. However, it does lack refinement at lower speeds, and the stop/start process seems particularly clunky.
An ultra-efficient turbocharged 1.5-litre diesel is also available, while a pure EV (dubbed the E-Tense) is due before the end of 2019, which promises a real-world range of 200 miles.
DS likes to make a point about how comfortable its cars are, but this clashes with its goal to fill the model’s wheel arches with the largest alloy wheels possible.
The set of 18s fitted to our test model resulted in a disappointing ride that failed to soak up potholes effectively and resulted in a somewhat harsher ride, but by no means uncomfortable. The smaller 17-inch rims fitted on models lower down the range make far more sense.
With city drivers at the heart of the DS 3, that is unsurprisingly where the model makes the most sense. Light, direct steering and largely good visibility result in it being an effective town runaround. It’s surprisingly refined at motorway speeds, though. Away from the beeps and hoots of London, the DS offers a more rewarding driving experience than expected on a twisty back road, with minimal body roll.
If ever a car symbolized over the top design, it’s this. Despite the fussy styling, DS should be praised for the new car not looking like anything else on the road.
Far too many crossovers blend into the background with their lacklustre designs, but this is the antithesis. Sharp headlights (Matrix LEDs on range-topping models) along with 3D-effect taillights and a large black painted grille give the model real presence out on the road. To the point where it turns heads.
And how can we forget the flush door handles? As seen on the new Range Rover Evoque, they’re certainly gimmicky – popping out from the car as you approach – but they are still a cool touch.
A great range of colours – from the gorgeous dark purple fitted to our test car to the bright blue concept car paint – also help the DS 3 Crossback to stand out from the crowd.
If you thought the exterior was a bit extreme, just wait until you see the cabin. It’s as if DS decided to rip the rulebook with the DS 3 Crossback’s interior.
The touchscreen’s key buttons are operated using rhombus-shaped buttons that surround the sleek air vents, while in the centre console there’s enough glitzy metal to make a magpie shy away – the aluminium switches actually being the controls for the electric windows. It’s needlessly fussy and overly complicated, and while we’re sure you would get used to it over time, it’s undoubtedly a case of style over substance.
What should be applauded, though, is the high-quality leather, which feels truly luxurious. The 10-inch touchscreen is also fantastic to use.
Practicality doesn’t seem to be particularly important at DS towers, and as a result, the boot space is smaller than rivals, while rear seat space is also limited.
DS is pricing the 3 Crossback optimistically, to say the least, with the range kickstarting at £21,550 for an entry-level Elegance model. It makes it hardly any cheaper than a like-for-like Mini Countryman or Audi Q2, albeit the DS comes with plenty more kit as standard.
Basic features include a seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone connectivity, keyless start, flush door handles and a suite of safety kit.
Our top of the range Ultra Prestige test car came with bundles of equipment – such as a larger 10-inch touchscreen, massaging front seats, Matrix LED headlights and superbly comfortable black Nappa leather seats.
That said, it should come with plenty for its eye-watering list price. Our test came in at nearly £33,000 – or £30,000 without options. If DS is wishing for the model to be success, there needs to be some tempting deals and superb marketing to get buyers away from the premium German manufacturers.
It’s hard not to admire the French brand for what it’s done with the DS 3 Crossback. It’s truly unique as nothing on sale (aside from the DS 7) looks remotely like it. If the concierge service delivers, it could help to be a big selling point.
But it all just feels a touch ambitious, and the interior doesn’t quite deliver the premium edge it promises. Against stiff competition from Mini and Audi – both of which have huge brand and badge appeal – there just doesn’t feel a good enough reason to spend a very similar amount of money on the DS.
But with the eagerly-awaited electric variant on the way shortly, that could all be about to change…