27 Sept 2022

Kildare motoring review: French luxury goes electric with the new DS3 E-TENSE

Motoring review: The new DS 3 E-TENSE fully electric SUV

Kildare motoring review: French luxury goes electric with the new DS3 E-TENSE

The new DS 3 E-TENSE

The DS 3 is a small premium SUV that is aimed squarely at the Audi Q2 and BMW X1, along with higher-end versions of the Mazda CX-30, Toyota C-HR and Ford Puma.

The DS brand is the luxury arm of iconic French brand Citroën, (now part of the Stellantis Group which includes Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Fiat, Opel, Alfa Romeo and JEEP). The DS 3 name was used before on a stylish three-door hatchback that was marketed across Europe as a Citroën DS 3, but in 2016 the Citroën part of the name was discarded, and DS then became a standalone brand in its own right.

Three Trim Options

The new DS 3 Crossback is only available as a five door hatchback, and is based on the Common Modular Platform (CMP), which underpins the latest Peugeot 208/2008, Opel Corsa/Mokka and Citroën C4. This means that the DS 3 Crossback was designed from the ground up to accommodate both petrol and diesel powertrains, as well as all-electric power, thereby ensuring that the layout and practicality of the new DS 3 E-TENSE isn’t compromised with issues such as battery placement taking up vital boot space.

The standard 100kW (136bhp) electric motor is powered by a 50kWh Lithium-ion battery, resulting in a claimed WLTP driving range of up to 319kms.

The DS 3 Crossback features a fully digital cockpit that was created to make important driving information instantly available, with controls that are placed directly at the driver’s fingertips.

Advanced technology, and a high driving position, allow drivers to concentrate on the road ahead and access controls via the wide 10.3-inch HD touchscreen, with driving information displayed on the seven-inch digital display. Beneath the touchscreen, the central fascia is spectacularly stylish with the touch controls and two central air vents designed in the shape of diamonds.

Overall comfort inside the DS 3 is exceptional. For the front and rear seats, DS engineers have incorporated double density foam using an innovative treatment to give a base that is enveloping and of high quality. Additionally, the use of superior insulation in critical areas around the DS 3 Crossback ensures that road noise is kept to an absolute minimum.

Rapid Charge Option

Charging the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE from 0-100% via a 7.4kW wallbox charger will take seven hours and 45 minutes, with a 10-80% charge time of just 30 minutes from a 100kW public rapid-charge point. The DS 3 E-TENSE comes with a three-pin plug cable and a cable for public charge points too, while an App that allows you to monitor charging, as well as set the interior temperature ahead of time, can be downloaded on to a Smartphone for added convenience.

Test Car

My test car was a DS 3 E-TENSE Elegance which was finished in Artense Grey metallic paintwork. Key standard features include 17” ‘MADRID’ diamond-cut alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, cruise control, alarm, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless start and a host of safety features. On the road is where the all-electric powertrain proves itself to be inspirational. Thanks to the instant rush of torque, the immediate surge associated with so many electric cars is ever present.

The car builds power fast enough to keep up with fast moving traffic on a motorway, while the car’s soft throttle response makes it very relaxing to drive. Evan at motorway speeds, refinement is particularly impressive, with very little in the way of electric motor whine, wind and road noise. Around town, light and accurate steering makes the car easy to position and manoeuvre.

Verdict, Cost & Warranty

The new DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE is an impressive electric SUV that has refinement, luxurious comfort and unique styling on its side. With a starting price of €38,949 (on the road and inclusive of an SEAI Grant and VRT relief) it is quite a lot more expensive that its petrol and diesel siblings, but immediate savings can be made due to ultra-low running costs, reduced maintenance and annual road tax of just €120. A comprehensive 5-year/100,000km warranty is standard across the range.

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