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

Price
£33,245 - £38,735
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

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

Cons

  • Touch-sensitive controls
  • Limited interior space
  • Expensive to buy
Car typeOfficial rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric199 miles7hrs 45mins (7.4kW, 0-100%)30mins (50kW, 10-80%)

Citroen’s premium offshoot has big plans for electrification, with the plug-in hybrid DS 4 and DS 9 luxury saloon arriving later this year. Peugeot and Vauxhall’s upmarket sister company is looking to take on more familiar brands and their electric models with the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE, including the Volkswagen ID.3, Peugeot e-208, and Mazda MX-30.

Like other PSA Group companies, DS offers its models with a choice of powertrains: the DS 3 Crossback 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 just over £30,000, it stacks up against cars like the Kia e-Niro and MG ZS EV, as well as, potentially, more expensive models from established premium brands.

DS is to Peugeot and Citroen what Audi is to Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda. Sharing much of its mechanicals with cars like the Peugeot e-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka-e, this DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE is the group’s take on the small premium electric SUV.

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...

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