In-depth reviews

DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE performance, top speed & motor

The DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE isn’t all that fun to drive, but it’s refined and relatively comfortable; plus, there’s plenty of punch in Sport mode

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Electric motor, drive & performance rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£34,080 - £38,680
Fuel Type:
Electric
0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
8.7s93mphFront134bhp

On the road, the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE’s powertrain is the main highlight. Put your foot down and the instant surge associated with so many electric cars is present and correct. It’s not Tesla quick, but the DS builds power fast enough to keep up with swiftly moving traffic. In fact, the slightly softer throttle response makes it very relaxing to drive.

It’s impressively refined, even at motorway speeds – with little in the way of motor whine, wind and road noise. Around town, only poor rearward and over-the-shoulder visibility let it down, with light and accurate steering making it easy to position and manoeuvre. The plush seats make it a comfortable companion on longer journeys, too. Raise your speed and you’ll find that while the DS isn’t the most entertaining small crossover, it does feel safe and predictable. Plus, the relatively firm ride means body control is acceptable.

DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

With 134bhp, every version of the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE does 0-62mph in around nine seconds and can hit an electronically limited 93mph top speed. While that may not sound much, it’s unlikely to trouble too many buyers – in the UK at least. It’s worth noting that maximum power is only available in Sport mode. In the car’s Normal setting, which the car defaults to when you switch it on, the motor is limited to around 100bhp. Flick through to Eco mode and that drops to somewhere in the region of 80bhp. Don’t be put off; Eco and Normal are adequate for daily duties, to the extent you’ll rarely find yourself reaching for Sport.

Handling

When the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE reaches motorway cruising speed, the electric motor is virtually inaudible – to the extent that it’s as quiet as far more expensive luxury vehicles. There’s some wind noise caused by rustling around the wing mirrors, but DS has tackled this by adding thicker glass and door panels, plus an ‘acoustic’ windscreen – features you won’t find on the petrol or diesel versions.

The electric powertrain adds 300kg to the DS 3's weight. It’s agile for a car of this type, but push harder and you’ll feel that extra mass through the corners. Ride comfort is reasonable, with the suspension coping well on average road surfaces. However, on rougher tarmac the car’s weight drags it into ruts and potholes, making it lose composure. In this respect, the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro have the upper hand.

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