In-depth reviews

DS 3 Crossback review - Engines, performance and drive

The DS 3 Crossback’s strong engines are let down by poor body control and distant steering

Unlike so many cars in this class, the DS 3 Crossback has been developed with comfort put ahead of sportiness. Sadly though, the DS’ soft suspension set-up isn’t very well judged. Lumps and bumps around town are soaked up, but bigger imperfections are not very well handled. It’s not hopeless on a twisty road, but corners see the DS 3 exhibit a bit too much body roll, while braking and acceleration cause far too much pitching for a modern car. The DS 3 Crossback would be good for those whose driving is confined to rough city streets, but faster driving isn’t a forte. The softer set-up works well on the motorway, however, proving smooth and refined.

Elsewhere, the steering is light but entirely devoid of feedback; there’s a decent amount of grip but it’s very hard to tell how much is left in harder cornering. 

Best small SUVs and crossovers on sale 2019

The good news is that the DS 3 comes with a range of decent engines. Our pick of the bunch is the PureTech 130, the most powerful version of the turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine. With 129bhp and a standard eight-speed automatic, there’s always plenty of power on tap; our tests revealed in-gear acceleration in third and fourth gears that was demonstrably stronger than that of a MINI Countryman with a 134bhp 1.5-litre three-pot. The engine feels eager and doesn’t need to excessively change down through its gearbox thanks to a good spread of ratios.    

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed       

There are three petrol engines and one diesel available in the DS 3 Crossback. A 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol features in the PureTech 100, PureTech 130 and PureTech 130 – these come with 99bhp, 128bhp and 153bhp respectively. The entry-level 99bhp model only comes with a manual gearbox, while all others get an eight-speed auto. 

The entry-level model manages 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds and its slick manual gearbox is good to use, while the top-spec 152bhp car has a little more power low-down but doesn’t feel much faster than the mid-range PureTech 130. The PureTech 130 manages 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds and the top-spec is only a second quicker at 8.2 seconds

The only diesel option is the BlueHDi 100, available exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox. 0-62mph takes 11.4 seconds.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Elegance 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,585

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Elegance 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £22,585

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech 155 Rivoli 5dr EAT8
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £32,745

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