Test, DS3 Crossback E-Tense: a 100% electric city-friendly

Test, DS3 Crossback E-Tense: a 100% electric city-friendly

Test, DS3 Crossback E-Tense

DS3 Crossback is a compact crossover able to adapt to any environment, but in its electrified version it is more at ease in the urban environment, thanks above all to the excellent driving comfort, the very light steering wheel, the raised driving position (but not too much) and the dimensions, not compact, but not too bulky. We tried it for a week and we will tell you how it went.

As soon as you sit inside the DS3 Crossback, in the Performance Line version in our case, you are blown away by the stylistic choice of the French house. A mix of geometric lines, rhombuses and trapezes everywhere, infect every element of the dashboard, doors, instrument panel and even the infotainment graphics. It is clearly a matter of taste, personally we are not sorry, and it is certainly a distinctive character. The plastics used are good, the alcantara covering of the various inserts is beautiful, the assembly is also remarkable, with a general sense of solidity and quality. Too bad for the choice of using mirror-polished plastic for some touch surfaces, which will be filled with fingerprints.

Federicovecchio.com Federicovecchio.com The experience of using the controls located in the various rhomboid inserts is less positive. DS Automobiles has almost completely eliminated the classic buttons in favor of touch-sensitive surfaces, including the air conditioner controls. We will go from tapping on the buttons on the dashboard to the screen, the large screen, positioned centrally. The main problem is that the input is not always detected, probably because while driving it is not even easy to position the finger correctly, and thanks to the delay in displaying the images on the screen, the general experience is less positive than desirable. . The multimedia experience reflects what has just been described, there is everything you need, but with reduced ergonomics: the Bluetooth takes a little longer than it should to connect to the smartphone every time you enter the car, the infotainment system requires a few dozen seconds to initialize and receive inputs, the volume can only be adjusted from the screen or with two buttons on the steering wheel; however there is compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so we advise you to always leave a cable connected to the USB port located near the glove compartment, where you can conveniently place your smartphone. The digital only instrument panel shows the main functions with ease. In short, DS3 offers everything from this point of view, but in an essential way.

Before moving on to the actual driving experience, let's dedicate a few words to the aesthetics of this car, a fact that is always subjective but which lends itself to some comment. The refinement of the many geometric lines of the passenger compartment is also reflected externally, with an aggressive look that will probably appeal especially to young people. The retractable handles are a futuristic detail, as well as aerodynamic, while we cannot be as enthusiastic about the design of the rear door body, which also decreases the use of the window, and the choice of positioning the rear luggage opening button just above. to the license plate. The “compactness” of this SUV can be seen above all in the rear trunk with only a moderate capacity and in the entrance threshold offered by the rear door, which is not particularly wide. It is a sort of compromise.

Federicovecchio.com Federicovecchio.com The driving experience is very satisfying, as mentioned, with the steering wheel that grips well, the steering is very soft, the good visibility, the position slightly raised driving. While driving, the shock absorbers do a great job, absorbing all the roughness of the ground, such as holes or bumps. The passenger compartment has good soundproofing. In short, you travel well, relaxed and without any particular defects to report. The 136 horsepower, equivalent to the electric motor, are more than suitable for such a car. They offer the necessary cue to move easily in traffic, to safely exit a stop during peak times, and the delivery is always soft and even if you press the accelerator carefully. A little less convincing is the choice of activating regenerative braking only using the "B" mode of the gearbox, already present on several hybrids for some time; in "Drive" mode the intervention of the braking for energy recovery is very limited. We imagine this approach is due to the fact that the DS3 Crossback is also available in other classic engines, and this has led to a choice of simplification in production.

Driver assistance works well, with a punctual ADAS and easy to use, which allows you to maintain your lane and speed. The automatic and adaptive LED high beams are also beautiful, a feature not always present in this price range. On the other hand, the HUD should be reviewed, which is based on a very eye-catching support that comes out from above the steering wheel.

Federicovecchio.com There are three driving modes: eco, standard and sport. In Eco mode, recovery is slow to conserve energy, and also affects on-board comfort, with less power dedicated to cooling and heating, as is well indicated when this mode is chosen. Sport mode is obviously the exact opposite, with Standard mode being the middle ground. The battery is 50 kWh, and allows you to reach about 280 kilometers of autonomy, but only in Eco mode and being careful about how you press the accelerator and the maximum speed, which must not exceed about 70 km / h. In "standard" mode, with a more relaxed and less attentive driving, you will reach about 200/220 km of maximum autonomy, while you will be well below 200 km with a snappy drive, especially in sports mode.


DS3 Crossback e-Tense starts from a list of around 40 thousand euros, incentives excluded. The model we tested cost around 45 thousand euros. Driving comfort and the ability of this SUV to adapt to disparate situations and environments have been promoted, however the range detected makes it suitable for urban use or a little more, excluding journeys, even not particularly long ones.

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