DS 3 Crossback: Test Drive

It has long been clear that DS is at the beginning of a long journey and we are waiting for new interesting models.

After all, the company’s concepts that we had seen a few years earlier at auto shows and exhibitions were very bold. Remember at least the Divine DS and DS E-Tense Concept. And here is a presentation of the next new product, namely the DS 3 Crossback. The photos are very expressive, but what does it feel like in real live? Let's get acquainted.

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Design

The first impression in person is not much different from the one that comes from viewing photos. The car defiantly shows off design elements, attracting the attention of others.

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What looks brighter: headlights, tailgate fins, or compressed rear end? You can't tell right away. But many people do not understand that they have a new French model in front of them, looking with surprise at the logos and inscriptions on the car.

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Well, at first glance, the DS 3 Crossback seemed too pretentious: wavy headlights with vertical LED ‘snakes’ and a fancy window line that rises sharply in the area of the B-pillar. By the way, this is a reference to the DS3 produced from 2014 to 2019, as it had exactly the same feature. But there, it looked more organic, because it was a three-door hatchback.

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On the other hand, it was outrageous. You can't say that the Crossback is ugly. It's just not perceived fluently. As a work of art, you need to look at it from different angles, understand what the designer wanted to say with this or that.

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By the way, the gray color for such a car is too modest. If they had wanted to shock, then they should have done it to the greatest possible extent. The DS 3 Crossback looks more interesting in a rich turquoise or gold.

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Configurations and prices

The DS3 Crossback was tested in the Performance Line+ configuration. It should immediately be noted that this is not the maximum level of equipment, but the Grand Chic version is. Well, the standard one, so to speak, is called So Chic, because the standard car is already well equipped, not mentioning the top-end variants. In addition to richer equipment, you have an opportunity to choose from a lot of interesting options.

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Besides, the Grand Chic configuration comes with a 1.2-liter turbo petrol engine (155 hp). The same engine but for other versions produces only 130 hp. A 1.5-liter BlueHDi diesel unit with the same power output is also available. But a gearbox for all the engines is the same: this is a classic 8-speed automatic transmission.

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A price range for the DS3 Crossback varies from $25,000 to $30,000. The cost of the test car was approximately $26,500.

Interior

How to impress the driver and passengers before they even get in the car? That's right, to equip it with folding flush-fitting door handles. And the wow effect is guaranteed. Although the feature is not new at all, it looks dashing when the handles are put forward to meet you.

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Looking at the interior of the DS 3 Crossback, it becomes clear that the designers here have taken over the rest of the divisions. There was feeling that all the components of the interior were first decomposed into elements and then reassembled. And it was done by car designers themselves. You can't certainly deny the conceptuality here.

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Therefore, you have to look for some buttons in a combination of diamonds at first, which are fundamental in the design of the center console. I wonder if their location was somehow verified or just “arranged” in an arbitrary order. At least some of them are duplicated on the steering wheel and on the central tablet.

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Tablets themselves – an infotainment system and a digital cockpit — are also full of diamonds, which sometimes even hide the necessary information. For example, the readings of the tachometer and driving distance turned out to be small. Well, at least the speed figures are not too small and are clearly visible.

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Door panels are a separate topic of conversation. They are not only with air deflectors (the scheme is not new in the auto industry, but nevertheless looks interesting) but also with a complex system of armrest handles.

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In general, it was most convenient to close the door with a pocket. Yes, the one at the bottom. There are no buttons on the door panels; the control of power windows is moved to the central tunnel.

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The DS3 Crossback is built on the CMF platform, which makes it similar to the Peugeot 2008 and some other compact models of the conglomerate. With a length of 4.11 m inside, it still possible to keep an important space, so it was not cramped either behind the wheel or in the second seat row. But if there is enough space, then a backseat is not so good, especially during takeoff and landing. The doorway is narrow, and the backseat is also moved closer to the rear end, so you have to bend around the wheel arch.

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As for the trunk, its volume is 350 liters. As for the segment in general, you may say this is a standard indicator. Moreover, there is also a place for a spare tire and a set of tools under the raised floor.

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Drive

After the first trip, it becomes clear that the DS3 Crossback not only looks bright but also drives briskly. This is very cool when such a design is supported by good dynamics. Balance is very important. A 130-hp powertrain accelerates the SUV to 100 km/h in 9.2 seconds. It is not blasting, but cheerfulness and assertive drive is present. It is good that a maximum torque of 230 Nm is already available at 1,750 rpm. According to these specifications (and a bit of a feeling), this engine is like a diesel one.

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The already mentioned 150-hp unit accelerates the SUV a second faster. Perhaps, it fits this car perfectly. Although the test car turned out to go very dynamically, there are also Sports mode, steering wheel petals, and a certain level of excitement. An 8-speed automatic transmission is more configured for smooth movement, and there is nothing to criticize it for.

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The chassis and brakes are not the most performance ones, and you quickly begin to understand this when you start to ride very confidently. On the one hand, the manufacturer does not place any bets on performance. On the other hand, there is good sound insulation, soft downed suspension, a full set of safety systems, including lane keeping and adaptive cruise control.

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Turn them on and drive with comfort. The systems work very well, it remains only to hold the steering wheel and monitor the road situation. Most likely, the greater emphasis is placed on comfort. Of course, the French company cannot do it otherwise, even if the task is to surprise and attract attention.

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Finally, a few words about driving: the tested DS3 Crossback has a turbo petrol engine and its average consumption in the city is about 9 liters. But this model also has an electric version, namely the E-Tense with a 50-kWh battery and a 136-hp electric motor.

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