Road Test: DS 3 Crossback BlueHDI 100
Revived as an SUV, does the new DS 3 Crossback meet expectations, asks Jonathan Musk.
SECTOR Small SUV PRICE £25,100 FUEL 54.4-62.7mpg WLTP CO2 97-102g/km (NEDC Correlated)
With distinctive looks, an on-trend SUV shape and premium internals, there appears to be plenty of Gallic charm to entice buyers to take a look at the DS 3 Crossback.
DS anticipates the vast majority of customers will opt for its 1.2-litre petrol three-cylinder with 100, 130 or 155hp outputs, but the 100hp diesel is still worth considering for fleets travelling high mileages.
The BlueHDI 100 1.5-litre diesel four-pot with six-speed manual transmission kicks out the lowest CO2 figure in the range and the best fuel economy, with 62.7mpg at its peak, and it’s simple to match these figures in the real world. Only the lowest power petrol, the PureTech 100, comes close with 105g/km CO2 and 52mpg.
Nevertheless, the diesel is rewarding enough to drive, managing to be both quiet and serving up ample torque that makes the car feel far quicker than its 11.4-second 0-62mph time suggests.
Compared to its rivals, the DS 3 Crossback is a breath of fresh air in terms of comfort, leaning on PSA’s Common Modular Platform which offers excellent stability but not at the expense of harshness; this is a car that (thankfully) hasn’t been tuned around the Nürburgring. Consequently, it’s not exactly an engaging drive, but it is a comfortable and premium place to sit. It’s not all rosy, however, as the true cost of the car’s styling means others in this class offer superior cabin ergonomics, and space in the rear despite the DS’s generous use of premium quality materials. Our car’s Performance Line (touted as the most popular spec) comes with more equipment than most will ever use.
The DS 3 Crossback is a compelling product. It’s fun to be in, offers credible economy and is different from the default choices on the market. However, competition in this sector and price range is fierce, and with solid contest from the likes of the Lexus UX and Audi A2, the DS 3 Crossback becomes a much harder sell.