DS3 Crossback E-Tense Review

Price: £34,400 - £38,600

An upmarket electric SUV would seem to be the type of car which everyone is after. But the DS3 doesn’t do anything better than cheaper rivals, so you'll be choosing it for the looks alone.

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  • Battery size: 50kWh
  • Electric cost / month: 34.9
  • Battery warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles
  • Emissions: 0g/km
  • Range: 196 miles

Ginny Says

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7/10

“I love the way the E-Tense looks and the serene way it drives - it's so calming. But I have to admit is starts looking very pricey once you get towards the top of the range.”

Tom Says

5/10

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“I don’t get the DS3 Crossback. It’s got an interior more self-consciously ‘stylish’ than a flock of hipsters. And there are cheaper, better-looking cars that do the same things.”

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DS3 Crossback E tense parked in front of house


Ask a random stranger to name 20 car brands and it’s pretty likely that DS won’t appear anywhere on the list. The posh French brand is an upmarket spin off from Citroen, which is supposed to give a gallic alternative to something German, like a BMW or Audi.

That makes it a brave choice when the DS is powered by a petrol or diesel engine. You’d have to really love the unusual styling and ‘boutique’ interior to choose one over the more obvious rivals. But when there is electrification involved the list of rivals shrinks rapidly and there just aren’t any premium-branded models which are fully electric in this sector. Sure, you could have a MINI if you wanted to go smaller and something like a Hyundai Kona if you are not snooty about badges, but the DS3 Crossback E-Tense is currently the only ‘premium’ small SUV with 100% electric power.

That’s not its only selling point. It’s well equipped and has a decent range and has just enough space for a small family. But it’s most likely that you’ll be considering this car because of the way it looks. This slightly avant-garde French styling does divide opinion but there’s no denying it’s distinctive and has a luxury feel – at least on the surfaces you touch most. The DS range is even sold through dealers which call themselves ‘salons’.

The good news is it drives reasonably well too. It’s not the fastest, best handling and can’t even offer the longest range of any electric car in this price range but it does a decent enough job and means you won’t have to suffer too much for your fashion. The only area it really excels in is refinement – even compared to other electric cars the DS is serene and quiet, making it very relaxing to drive. 

Which means that the E-Tense covers all the bases. It looks funky, has a unique interior and it performs decently. But it costs for the luxe ‘haute couture’ vibe, and similarly-sized cars like the Hyundai Kona can manage quite a lot more range. 

Perhaps more of a concern is that the Peugeot e-2008 actually looks just as distinctive, feels perkier and is a bit cheaper. We love the look of the new Vauxhall Mokka-e too. Our advice? You’ll buy an E-Tense because you like its style - but we’d try other stuff just to make sure it’s right for you. 


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