In-depth reviews

DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE review

The DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE is a decent – if not quite class-leading – electric SUV that has refinement and unique styling on its side

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

£34,080 - £38,680
Fuel Type:


  • Unique interior
  • Quiet powertrain
  • Good real-world range


  • Touch-sensitive controls
  • Limited interior space
  • Expensive to buy
Car typeOfficial rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric212 miles7hrs 45mins (7.4kW, 0-100%)30mins (50kW, 10-80%)

Citroen’s premium offshoot DS has gone big on plug-in hybrids, with the DS 4 and DS 9 having arrived during 2021. But Peugeot and Vauxhall’s upmarket sister company is also looking to take on the electric market with this DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE, a rival for the Volkswagen ID.3 and Mazda MX-30 that shares much of its parts under the metal with the Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka-e.

Like those other Stellantis Group companies, DS offers its models with a choice of powertrains: the DS 3 is a compact SUV that's available with petrol, diesel or purely electric power. The E-TENSE badge signifies this is the electric version, and with prices starting at under £35,000, it stacks up against cars like the Kia e-Niro and MG ZS EV, as well as more expensive models from established premium brands.

But does it offer enough in what's now an extremely competitive and increasingly crowded market? With electric-car buyers seemingly more interested in technology and battery capacity, is a fancy badge and some watch-strap leather enough to make it stand out? Let's find out...

Despite the fact there are clearly similarities with other small SUVs, the DS 3 Crossback has its own style. The tapered roofline gives it an almost coupe-like appearance, while small details like the flush doorhandles and sharp lighting signature offer an upmarket edge. There’s precious little to tell the E-TENSE version apart from its petrol equivalent – the fuel filler cap is replaced by a charging port, for one – but there’s no blanked-out grille like you find on some of this car’s rivals.

The DS 3 is arguably a more compelling package as a pure-electric car than as a petrol SUV. It’s remarkably refined, and while the interior is a little busy-looking, its quality and functionality put it on par with rivals. It loses nothing to its combustion-engined equivalents when it comes to practicality, either, so while the DS 3 isn’t particularly well suited to larger families, it fits the bill nicely as a second car or urban runaround.

Overall, the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE is packed with quirky French charm. That’s not to say it’s flawed; although it's priced about the same as practicality-focused models like the e-Niro, it has more in common with mobile style statements like the MINI Electric and Honda e. It’s decent enough to drive, and if you can live with its shortcomings, it could save you thousands on your annual tax bill as a company car. For a more detailed look at the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

Most Popular

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?
Mercedes fuel cell

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?

A guide to where you can find UK hydrogen fuel stations for filling up a hydrogen fuel-cell car
23 May 2022
Tesla Supercharger network: complete guide to Tesla charging stations
Tesla Superchargers

Tesla Supercharger network: complete guide to Tesla charging stations

The Tesla Supercharger network is expanding fast, providing reliable rapid charging throughout the UK to Tesla and non-Tesla owners alike
23 May 2022
Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022
Top 10 best electric SUVs
Best cars

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022

Electric SUVs combine style and practicality with low running costs, making them a very popular choice in the UK. Here are our top 10 favourites to bu…
17 May 2022

More on 3

Top 10 best small electric cars 2022
Honda e vs Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric
Fiat 500

Top 10 best small electric cars 2022

Small electric cars make a lot of sense for commuting, city life and slashing your running costs. Here, we pick out the best ones to buy in the UK rig…
20 May 2022