DS3 Crossback - Used

Car Review

DS 3 CROSSBACK, front static
DS 3 CROSSBACK, side action
DS 3 CROSSBACK, rear action
DS 3 CROSSBACK, front seats
DS 3 Crossback, controls and display screen
DS 3 Crossback, gear lever
DS 3 Crossback, boot

THE excellent DS3 Crossback is stylish, unusual and brilliant to drive in every way.

I have really enjoyed getting behind the wheel of these funky five door hatches that are selling well at the premium end of the small SUV market.

With things like supercar pop-out door handles and perhaps the best comfort in the sector, this should be on everyone's list when looking for a small family car.

When driving it at first, the suspension gives the impression of being too soft, so that it seems to wallow a little on undulating surfaces.

But you soon find that the ride is extraordinary, taking every surface superbly and insulating occupants like a limousine.

This kind of comfort is becoming more and more important to a great many buyers and because in the Crossback, it comes with tenacious and very safe roadholding, you can have your cake and eat it!

There is a little roll in the corners when it's pushed hard, but it holds to the road surface like a limpet, and feels well balanced and safe.

It uses the same drivetrain as fitted to many other cars in the Peugeot/Citroen/Vauxhall stable, with turbocharged 1.2 petrol and 1.5 diesel engines, and six speed manual or eight speed automatic gearboxes. All are front wheel drive.

The lowest powered 1.2 Puretech manual has 100bhp and reaches 60 miles an hour from rest in a good 10.6 seconds. It's capable of 49 miles per gallon.

Then comes the well known 130bhp version, and this comes with the automatic gearbox as standard - of which more later. It brings up 60 in 8.9 seconds and is capable of 46mpg.

Finally, in just a couple of top models, there is also a 155bhp 1.2 unit and this, also with standard automatic, gets to 60 in 7.9 and can still do 45mpg.

The lower powered of the diesels has 100bhp and is capable of 61mpg while bringing up 60 in 11 seconds.

And finally, there's a 110bhp version that drops the sprint to 9.4 seconds and is capable of 62mpg.

Of course, there is also a fully electric model called the E-Tense. This has 136bhp and gets to 60 in 8.7 seconds. It takes just over 20 minutes to charge on a fast charger, or five hours at home, and it has a range of 199 miles.

The manual gearbox is sweet and easy to use, but the automatic is truly excellent.

It's in fact a manual with an automatic clutch, and when it was introduced a few years ago, it was slow to react and difficult to live with.

Now, all the gremlins have been ironed out and it is superb, making the changes as quickly and smoothly as the excellent VW group DSG auto.

The kickdown responds almost immediately and although it does also have a manual mode, with fixed paddles behind the steering wheel to make the changes, I can't see many owners bothering.

It helps give marvellous acceleration from any speed and only adds to this cracking small SUV.

All models come with stop start to help reduce emissions and improve economy and the drivetrain is hugely refined and quiet.

In fact, the whole car is beautifully refined, just as it should be for the premium end of the market.

The interior of all the DS models features diamond pattern stitching and diamond and triangle styling is a big part of the interior design language.

This extends to aluminium finished electric window and other minor switches grouped around the gear selector, the instruments, and even the switches that control the various functions of the touch screen at the top of the centre console.

The Performance Line model from the middle of the range come with stability control, rear parking sensors, air conditioning, big alloy wheels, phone link, keyless entry and starting, heated electric mirrors, excellent seat adjustment and an alarm.

Pay about £11,300 for a '20 20-reg Elegance 130bhp auto, or £15,050 for a '22 22-reg Performance Line 155bhp auto.

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