DS 3 Crossback (2019-present)

The DS 3 Crossback stands out with a distinctive design, but isn't a totally convincing premium car

Strengths & Weaknesses


Distinctive looks
Comfortable seats
Electric option


Distinctive looks
Poor ride quality
Limited interior space
Best finance deal

DS DS 3 Diesel Crossback Hatchback 1.5 bluehdi prestige 5dr

Finance price £ per month

Cash price £18,450

DS 3 Crossback prices from £15,239   Finance from £0 per month

DS has been around for a little while now, acting as the luxury branch of Citroen to help the French brand reach new markets. Unsurprisingly, it’s focusing on what's popular with the DS 3 Crossback, a small crossover trying combine the sportiness, economy and comfort of the previous DS 3 hatchback, with a higher driving position and extra space.

Sales of small crossovers such as the Audi Q2, Mini Countryman and Volkswagen T-Cross continue to grow, and it's a trend that has sparked a mass entry to the market from all sides, so DS has attempted to differentiate the DS3 Crossback with what it calls “distinctive styling”.

It exhibits a number of fancy features - the flush door handles pop out when you unlock the car (or approach it on higher-end models), but there are also some questionable quirks when it comes to interior design. For example, the highly stylised buttons for the electric windows are positioned in the centre console, between the front seats, and look like the button for the electronic handbrake, which is placed near them – not something that you’d want to confuse.

Further up the dashboard, the shortcut buttons for the seven-inch touchscreen are placed in a diamond pattern. The top section of each diamond doesn’t contain a button, so it looks as if there’s something missing, an option that you have decided not to pay for. Considering the DS 3 has a price that's comparable to a similarly sized Audi, it's about the only comparison you can make.

Thankfully, you do at least get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, but other equipment that's increasingly common on high-end models, such as bright LED headlights and adaptive cruise control, that adjusts the car's speed in line with traffic ahead, are optional extras on all but top-of-the-range models.

The seats are comfortable, but there’s not a great deal of space in the car, with the rear feeling pretty cramped for adults: legroom isn’t great and headroom for anyone approaching six foot and over will feel restricting. The 350-litre boot, which extends to 1,050 litres when folding down the rear seats, doesn’t feel spacious either. It's just smaller than the luggage area in a Volkswagen Polo and falls short of the Q2 (405 litres) and larger BMW X1 (505 litres).

The DS3 Crossback isn’t as rewarding to drive as the Audi or BMW, either, with more leaning in corners. The ride in particular is disappointingly lumpy.

The E-Tense electric version may perform better, as its heavy battery pack will be positioned underneath the floor, moving more of the weight low down, which could make the car more stable and composed, this also means there will be limited impact on luggage space.

Last Updated 

Friday, February 21, 2020 - 11:00

Key facts 

3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
350 litres
£145-£165 in first year, £145 thereafter

Best DS DS 3 for... 

DS3 Crossback E-Tense
With all-electric power, the E-Tense will be the most economical version of the DS3 Crossback, with no car tax to pay and low electricity costs. Company car tax will be extremely cheap from next year.
DS3 Crossback Prestige PureTech 130
For families travelling less than 10,000 miles a year, the mid-range petrol engine offers a good blend of economy and performance (the diesel brings significant savings for higher-mileage drivers). Prestige trim isn't cheap but adds a clearer 10in dashboard screen, sat-nav, leather seats and front parking sensors.
DS3 Crossback Prestige PureTech 155
The most powerful petrol-engined version is also the quickest, with a 0-62mph time of 8.32 seconds and a top speed of 129mph.
DS 3 Crossback Ultra Prestige PureTech 155
New buyers are advised to steer clear full-price versions of the high-specification Ultra Prestige version, with a list price of more than £30,000 - more than a larger Audi Q3. The petrol engine isn't very efficient and it's expected to lose value quickly - a price the first owner will pay.


  • May 2019 First UK deliveries.
  • January 2020 Electric E-tense model delieries begin.

Understanding DS DS 3 car names 

  • DS 3
  • Engine
    PureTech 130
  • Trim level
  • Gearbox
  • Engine
    Petrol engines are badged PureTech, while diesel motors are BlueHDi. The electric version will be labelled E-Tense. The power output of engines is shown in PS (a similar measure to horsepower). The larger the figure, the more powerful an engine is.
  • Trim level
    The trim level indicates the amount of equipment included as standard - and the price. Entry-level versions are badged Elegance, followed by Performance Line, Prestige, Ultra Prestige and, for a limited initial period, La Première.
  • Gearbox
    EAT8 is DS's label for its eight-speed automatic gearbox

DS DS 3 Engines 

Petrol: PureTech 100, PureTech 130, PureTech 155 Diesel: BlueHDi 100 Electric: E-Tense

You can tell the DS 3 is an ultra-modern car because it offers as many electric options as it does diesel - one each.

The three other choices are all petrol engines. They all have the same layout, being 1.2 litres in size and made up of three cylinders, but produce different amounts of power. They are among the first petrol engines to comply with the toughest existing emissions standard, called Euro 6d, which sets strict limits for exhaust pollutants in real-world driving.

The cheapest PureTech 100 engine is efficient, with official fuel economy of up to 52mpg, but sedate acceleration: 0-62mph takes 10.9 seconds. It’s reasonably quiet at steady speeds, and rasps in a sporty way when you’re accelerating hard, even though it doesn’t need a great deal of revving for maximum power. It only comes with a manual gearbox.

The other two petrol engines are only available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which seems to be constantly changing cogs, making the car feel fidgety.
The PureTech 130, is similar to the PureTech 100, with extra power that delivers slightly faster acceleration (0-62mph in 9.2 seconds).

Fuel economy drops by around 5mpg and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions range from 109 to 117g/km. That’s an increase by 4g/km compared with the PureTech 100, which is enough to move it up a company car tax bracket in some cases.

Topping the range of petrol engines is a new PureTech 155, which is the only engine that could be described as anything approaching fast, but fuel economy diminishes to between 41.7-45.7mpg depending on specification. CO2 rises to 121-128g/km.

The diesel BlueHDi 100 is the most economical by far on paper, with an official figure of 54.4mpg to 62.7mpg, while CO2 emissions are 97-102g/km. The price owners pay for that economy is performance: the 0-62mph time of 11.4 seconds is a pretty unhurried experience. There’s no automatic option available with this engine.

The E-Tense electric version looks like a strong competitor to cars such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia eNiro, with a WLTP range of 200 miles. Acceleration is brisk and the car moves smoothly between delivering power to the motors and recovering energy when slowing down.


Fuel economy



Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

PureTech 100





10.9 seconds


PureTech 130





9.2 seconds


PureTech 155





8.2 seconds


BlueHDi 100





11.4 seconds




200 mile range



8.7 seconds


DS DS 3 Trims 

Elegance, Performance Line, Prestige, Ultra Prestige, La Première

With four trim levels, plus an additional introductory trim for the initial launch period, and several personalisation options, DS has a complicated range. Standard equipment isn't particularly generous for a suppoedly premium car either. 

Entry-level Elegance cars come with 17-inch alloy wheels, chromed flush-fitting door handles, keyless start, a 7in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for full control of apps on the screen, digital radio, cloth seats and leather-covered steering wheel. There’s also a space-saver spare wheel.

Safety equipment includes hill assist, to prevent you rolling back on hill starts, rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking system to help prevent frontal collisions and lane-keeping assist that steers the car back into line if it’s drifting outside of a lane.

Upgrading to Performance Line (for an additional £1,400 from new) adds electrically folding and heated door mirrors, tinted rear windows, cloth seats with Alcantara (imitation suede) sections, as well as front and rear carpet mats.

Buyers paying an additional £2,000 for the Prestige trim, get a larger 10in touchscreen display and sat-nav, leather seats, a frameless auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic wipers, two front USB connection points, and front parking sensors in addition to those at the rear.

Ultra Prestige models costs a further £3,000, for which buyers receive 18-in alloy wheels, a head-up display, keyless entry and start, bright LED headlights, a reversing camera, high-quality Nappa leather seats and lumbar adjustment, heating and massage function on front seats.

An advanced safety pack is included too, adding more advanced versions of the automatic emergency braking system, and lane keeping assist, which recognises the road edge as well as white lines, plus blind spot detection.

For early adopters who want a special edition DS3 Crossback, the La Première launch model (£1,500 more than Ultra Prestige) adds driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, which can accelerate and brake itself on major roads to keep a safe distance from any traffic ahead. Wireless charging and Nappa leather interior panels are included too.

There is also a choice of nine paint colours, contrasting roof shades and a range of wheel designs to personalise the car.

DS DS 3 Reliability and warranty 

The DS3 Crossback was launched after the most recent Auto Express Driver Power survey, so it doesn’t appear in the list of most reliable car

Parent brand Citroën also only has a couple of models included, but they’re low down on the list. And with Citroen also propping up the table of manufacturers, in 26th place of 27, the DS will need to buck its parent company’s recent trend of mediocre performance.

The warranty is only average, covering what is an industry-standard three years and 60,000 miles.

Used DS DS 3 

At the time of writing, first deliveries of the DS3 Crossback are yet to arrive with customers, so used examples are some way off.

Other Editions

  • DS 3 (2010-2019)
    Sold on its unique looks and quirky feel, the DS 3 - previously known as the Citroen DS3 - is a striking Mini rival