The DS 3 Crossback launched amongst beautiful Chihuly glass is pure class. Jeremy Webb was invited to the Royal Botanical Gardens to the UK launch of DS Automobiles new Luxury Compact SUV. He then got his hands on one for a longer review.
Great looks with luxury detailing.
Beautiful Chihuly glass sculptures at Kew gardens.
Kew gardens on a spring day is a gorgeous place to have a launch and I was fortunate to have been invited to attend the new DS 3 Crossback event. The Avant-Garde car brand takes its design cues from nature, architecture and art. This becomes so apparent when I first saw the car in the beautiful location, where DS Automobiles are sponsoring an exhibition by the world-famous Dale Chihuly glass sculptor.
I listened to the passion coming from Mark Blundell, the UK marketing director for DS Automobiles and Alain Descat the Managing Director of DS Automobiles UK and gauged for myself that the brand has true ambition to produce luxury, beautiful cars. After driving the DS 7 Crossback last year and 3 this year I have no doubt they will continue to do so.
The DS 3 Crossback is available with three power sources, petrol, diesel and the electric E-Tense which is the first premium compact SUV that is battery electric, and a possible 200-mile range.
The DS 3 Crossback’s Competitors are the Audi Q2 and the Mini Countryman but they don't come with nearly as much technology as standard or the styling inside and out. The Crossback stands out as luxurious.
I spoke to Alain Descat over a delicious buffet lunch and discussed the autonomy within the car and the future of DS Automobiles. He is very excited about the brand and the path they are taking, pushing ahead with introducing electric models with the aim that the company will only produce EV models from 2025. Alain is an advocate of autonomous driving in certain situations and enthused about the DS 3 Crossback’s safety systems that allow the driver to engage fully autonomy on their journey, the system also has adaptive cruise control which monitors the distance to a vehicle in front and corrects the car’s speed itself.
You get a buzz looking at the superb styling of the car, which has real French flair and elegance. The lighting has been carefully thought about and the more expensive models have Matrix LED Vision headlights. All models have flush fitting door handles which pop out when the keyholder approaches the car. They then retract when the keyholder moves away.
Take a look here https://youtu.be/hKDh9HNyko8
Performance and handling are impressive with the front wheel drive SUV hugging the road securely giving plenty of confidence and traction. The model I had whisked me along
The eight-speed automatic gearbox is silky smooth with no detection of transition between gears. It offers the option of manual control with gear changing selection through the paddles on the steering wheel.
The infotainment Touchscreen display is great and so easy to use. The diamond cluster for the buttons is a very nice touch.
The technology on the car is exceptional and included from the base model so no buyer misses out on safety, entertainment or information. There are five models in the range starting off with Elegance, then Performance line, Prestige, Ultra Prestige and top of the impressive range is La Première which starts at £32,450.
Haute Couture is embedded in the interior with craftsmanship coming from specialist French companies, luxury look and feel, the cues taken from the DS emblem and real French style. Within the model options, you have a choice of interiors which each take their styling from famous French areas and increase in luxuriousness. DS Inspiration Montmartre is the entry-level package, then Bastille, Performance Line, Rivoli and finally Opera. This takes inspiration from the famous Garnier Opera house and features Basalt Black Nappa leather finishes. I had this in the test car and it is very classy, adding to the pleasure of driving the car.
Superior quality upholstery is found in all option packages.
DS 3 Crossback has Matrix LED Vision headlights where you can have lights on Full beam without ever dazzling oncoming traffic. The car is equipped with DS Drive Assist Level 2 Autonomous driving enabling the driver to be guided with steering inputs from the car to help ease your journey. It positions the car in the centre of the road for the direction of travel and includes the Active Lane Departure warning, and Active Braking two other important safety features.
Engine options and Pricing. Starting from £21,550 this means it will be very competitive in the expanding small/compact SUV market.
The electric powered E tense with a 200-mile range on the WLTP cycle and 100kW rapid charging. 99bhp 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol with three choices, 99bhp, 128bhp and, a new 152bhp model.
Great styling and impressive light system.
After a week of driving the DS 3 Crossback on all types of roads and in various degrees of traffic ranging from empty to stop-start, I can say I truly like it. It is a compact but feels bigger, it is luxurious and certainly delivers with exceptional specifications for the price. I felt like I was in a much more expensive car, which for an owner must be a big positive. The brand is doing everything right to attract customers and to keep them, by making great looking cars that deliver in all areas.
DS Automobiles is dedicated to bringing drivers, cars that can really be driven and enjoyed both internally and externally.
Yves Bonnefont, CEO of DS Automobiles
"At the launch of DS Automobiles (in 2015), I promised you the launch of a new vehicle every year. After DS 7 CROSSBACK, and now with DS 3 CROSSBACK, plus that each model would have an electrified version – DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 4x4 (PHEV) and DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE (BEV) and our first all-electric model, we are honouring that promise.
Innovating and pushing back the limits is an everyday occurrence affair at DS, our aim is to showcase the work of the finest craftsmen in our industry with the innovation and creativity of our designers and engineers. Our guiding principle is to design vehicles that stir the enthusiasm of our customers, and DS 3 CROSSBACK is another perfect example of this.
With the new model, we are continuing to write our history with the powerful ambition of becoming the leader in the premium compact SUV segment."
The car delivers on being an Icon of High Tech Style.
Thanks to Kevin Jones, Craig Morrow and Jeremy Townsend.
Words Jeremy Webb
Photos Jeremy Webb and DS Automobiles.