DS 3 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The DS 3’s focus on style means practicality is compromised versus rivals
The DS 3 is a small five-door SUV, but it doesn’t offer much more in the way of practicality over larger superminis – there’s seating for five and an average-sized boot, but you’ll find more overall space inside a Volkswagen Polo.
We’re not fans of the driving position either – hard seats and a limited range of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel mean you may find it hard to get comfortable behind the wheel. All-round visibility isn’t fantastic but we found the car easy to place on the road – its pronounced bonnet edges help make judging the car’s size around town easy.
Elsewhere, the DS 3’s odd approach to ergonomics continues with cupholders located behind the gear selector, a wireless phone charger pad (where fitted) that might not fit larger phones and small door bins. It may look interesting, but user-friendliness was perhaps not the top of the list when this small SUV was designed.
The DS 3 measures 4,118mm in length, 1,988mm wide (including mirrors) and 1,534mm tall. For comparison, the Audi Q2 is a little longer at 4,191mm and wider at 2,009mm (with mirrors), but is lower at 1,508mm. The decent ground clearance (170mm) is worth noting – it could be helpful if farm tracks or large speed bumps are regular features of your driving.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Space for the driver and passenger in the front of the DS 3 is decent and it should prove comfortable sitting here, provided you can adjust the seats to suit. It’s a different story in the rear, however – space for passengers’ legs and heads is limited and certainly below average for the class. If you plan on regularly carrying adults in the back, rivals like the MINI Countryman are a better bet. There’s enough space for children and smaller teenagers, though.
It’s quite dark and dingy in the rear too, thanks in part to tinted rear glass and a small glasshouse that’s interrupted by a protruding design feature on the high window line, so children may struggle to see out. ISOFIX points are supplied on the outer two rear seats.
There’s an adequate amount of space in the back, with 350 litres on offer in both the petrol and electric DS 3, plus 1,050 litres of cargo space with the 60/40 split rear seats folded down. But by contrast, the MINI Countryman boasts a 450-litre boot that can expand to 1,390 litres.
Small issues include a high boot lip with a drop down to what is a rather deep boot floor, along with a rear bench that doesn’t quite fold flat – there’s a step between the boot and the folded seats that might hamper loading.
All DS 3 models are rated to tow a braked trailer of up to 1,200kg or an unbraked trailer weighing up to 640kg. The maximum tow hitch download is 48kg.
In this review
- 1DS 3 reviewThe DS 3 is a left-field choice in the small premium SUV segment, and one that’s been developed with comfort in mind
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe DS 3 is nimble around town, but far from exciting when you hit the open road
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsRunning costs for the DS 3 should be good whether you go for petrol or electric power
- 4Interior, design and technologyIt’s boldly designed but the DS 3 doesn’t quite have the substance to back up its style
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe DS 3’s focus on style means practicality is compromised versus rivals
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe DS 3 redeems itself with great safety credentials but reliability is still largely untested