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In-depth reviews

DS 3 E-Tense review: reliability & safety rating

Despite DS being a relatively low-selling manufacturer, the DS 3 running gear has been tried and tested in countless other electric cars

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Reliability & safety rating rating

4.0 out of 5

Fuel Type:
Euro NCAPAdult protectionChild protectionSafety assistance
5 stars (2019)96%86%76%

DS might be one of the lesser known brands in the UK, but being part of the Stellantis group has plenty of perks for Citroen’s upmarket off-shoot. For one, it gives DS access to tried-and-tested parts – from batteries and electric motors to entire mechanical platforms. The DS 3 is in-fact based on the same running gear as the Jeep Avenger, Vauxhall Mokka Electric and forthcoming Peugeot e-308, among many others.

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The DS 3 should therefore be just as reliable as its sister cars, with a dash of premium French flair thrown in for good measure. Safety is another DS strong point; the brand’s Safety Pack is standard on the 3, meaning a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating for every version. The MG ZS EV was awarded the same overall rating, although the DS pipped it for adult occupant protection.

DS 3 E-Tense reliability & problems

We don’t yet have specific information on DS 3 reliability, but potential buyers should take comfort in the knowledge that many Stellantis Group brands (Peugeot especially) have seen great improvements in recent years. The DS 3 E-Tense also shares its running gear with several popular electric cars from Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall, and so far we haven’t heard of any reliability issues with them.

Neither DS or any of its line-up featured in the most recent Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, but Peugeot did manage to finish fourth out of the 28 best car manufacturers. Plus, the Peugeot 2008 and 208, which use the same underpinnings as the DS 3, come 17th and 37th respectively in the top 75 best new cars to own list.


Euro NCAP published two scores for the DS 3 when it tested the car in 2019, one without and one with the optional Safety Pack. However, the first can be discounted, as every UK-market car gets that pack as standard. That means every version of the car sold here (electric or otherwise) boasts the same five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating, thanks to the Safety Pack’s emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, lane-departure warning and speed-limit recognition.

On the passive safety front, the 3 was awarded a score of 96% for adult occupant protection. Child protection is good, too, with a score of 86%. For those who want to make their car even safer, DS offers an Advanced Safety Pack and a Premium Safety Pack, with things like adaptive cruise control and high-beam assistance.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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