Our first drive within the 100% electrical model of the trendy five-door DS 3 compact SUV
Initially launched because the DS 3 Crossback in 2019, this stylish crossover was initially accessible with a alternative of petrol and diesel engines (a 100% electrical variant following a 12 months later).
Quick ahead to 2023 and never solely has the automotive dropped its “Crossback” monicker and obtained a facelift and different updates, however it’s now a straight alternative between petrol or electrical energy.
We’ve by no means pushed the EV model (marketed because the DS 3 E-Tense), so right here’s the way it shapes up. However first, a little bit of background.
DS Vehicles break up from Citroen to grow to be an revolutionary premium model approach again in 2014. Since then, the 2 manufacturers have grow to be a part of the large Stellantis Group, which additionally consists of Peugeot, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Fiat.
DS’s competitors division, DS Efficiency, has competed in Components E since 2015, clinching the primary staff/drivers’ double world title in 2019.
DS Vehicles is now one of many premium arms of Stellantis with a fast-expanding vary, and the brand new DS 3 E-Tense battles it out in a aggressive compact SUV EV section, although it’s arguably probably the most upmarket providing.
Not solely is it up towards its Stellantis cousins – the Peugeot e-2008, Vauxhall Mokka and upcoming Jeep Avenger – but in addition the MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona Electrical and Kia Soul EV.
On a technical stage, the massive change for 2023 is a bigger 54kWh battery (up from 50kWh) and extra energy. In consequence, the small electrical SUV now presents a variety of as much as 250 miles (beforehand 212 miles).
Visually the DS 3 E-Tense’s delicate facelift delivers additional kerb enchantment and improves aerodynamic effectivity.
The redesigned entrance finish options new LED headlights and daytime operating lights, plus a barely bigger diamond grille and new spoiler.
“DS Vehicles” is written throughout the boot, whereas the profile is as distinctive as ever with its shark’s fin rear window design and flush door handles. There are additionally new wheel designs and a complete of seven physique colors with contrasting roofs.
Inside, probably the most vital change is the up to date infotainment system, which is simpler to make use of than the earlier model and it’s additionally extra responsive.
There’s a 7.0-inch digital driver’s instrument show and 10.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.
Elsewhere, the supplies used have an upmarket really feel. The watchstrap leather-based seats look particularly cool and are very comfy, however among the quirky performance does take some getting used to.
As an example, the switches to open the home windows flank both facet of the gear selector, whereas touch-sensitive short-cut buttons for the touchscreen, plus different necessities resembling audio quantity and heated seats, are all dotted across the central air vents.
For the file, there are 4 trim ranges accessible – Efficiency Line, Efficiency Line+, Rivoli and Opera.
The DS Security Pack can be fitted as customary, and this consists of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep help and velocity restrict recognition – all serving to to provide the DS 3 a most five-star security ranking from Euro NCAP.
Area up entrance is sweet, however it’s lower than spectacular behind the place there’s solely simply room for adults and visibility is compromised, particularly for young children, because of the fins on the rear doorways, excessive waistline and thick B pillars.
The boot is 350 litres, or 1,050 litres, with the rear seats folded. Not class-leading, however sufficient for the buying or a modest quantity of baggage.
With gentle steering and a journey that’s arrange for consolation, the DS 3 E-Tense drives nicely.
Naturally, there’s loads of torque, however it’s not gut-wrenching like another EVs.
The only electrical motor that drives the entrance wheels produces 154bhp and 192lb ft of torque, taking 9 seconds to hit 62mph (most velocity 93mph).
The sleek energy supply ends in a refined cabin atmosphere that matches the automotive’s elegant character nicely.
You’ll be able to have enjoyable within the DS 3 E-Tense as a result of it’s nimble and responsive, however you’ll expertise physique lean in sooner, more difficult corners, so finest to not get carried away.
Traction is sweet general, although it’s attainable to spin the entrance wheels on looser or moist surfaces if you happen to plant your foot from a standing begin.
Traction is sweet general, although it’s attainable to spin the entrance wheels on looser or moist surfaces if you happen to plant your proper foot from a standing begin.
There are three drive modes – Eco, Regular and Sport. As ever, Regular is simply effective as a result of Eco dulls the driving expertise, and although Sport livens issues up slightly, it does sap the battery vary.
We’d estimate real-world driving vary might be nearer to 200 than 250, which actually makes it a sensible proposition for many drivers.
The DS 3 can take as much as 100 kW DC charging, which permits a 0-80% replenishing of its battery in half-hour. Plug it at residence through a 11 kW AC wallbox and a 0-100% cost will take 5 hours, 45 minutes.
Maybe the largest problem for the DS 3 E-Tense is its value. Beginning at £37,200 and rising to £41,700, it’s a comparatively costly small EV.
Verdict: In case you’re searching for a 100% electrical compact SUV and also you recognize high quality and elegance, then take into account the DS 3 E-Tense. It’s not and not using a few frustrations and compromises, however it’s simple and enjoyable to drive – and crucially – stands out from the gang.