By cutting the bridges with Citroën in 2014, and by deciding to lead his own life, DS has not chosen the easy way out. Establish a brand in the luxury segment archi-dominated by the German manufacturers is a long-term affair. Fraught with risk. Yves Bonnefont, the patron of the young brand of the PSA group, often evokes a horizon of twenty years for the first really on the market. It is a game of construction, where the adventures respective Audi and Lexus can serve as examples.

Ambitious, the approach of DS relies on the elegance of the French, recognized in the whole world, to façonnner a different image in and out of the lot. A year after the DS7 Crossback, the brand gives a boost with the arrival of the DS3 Crossback in a few weeks. This small SUV, which we’ve already been able to test on the demanding roads of the Perche, part in the conquest of a demanding clientele.

shark Fin and roof floating in The DS3 Crossback slice in the universe of the small SUV chic. DS

The DS3 Crossback can it steal the limelight from the Mini, long a stylish way to get around town? It is still a little early to tell but the small SUV French captures the eyes. It replaces the DS3 to the origin of the birth of the DS line in 2009, and replace the label premium PSA in the heart of the market in popular urban 5-door raised. Its predecessor, the designers have thought good to preserve the shark fin. Back along the b-pillar, this style reduces the visibility side, and the amplitude of opening of the rear windows. Add the small glass area and the claustrophobic may feel uncomfortable at the rear. For the rest, the second element of the offensive DS duplicates the codes DS7 in a template ultra-compact 4.12 m, close to 4,19 m of an Audi Q2, but far below the 4,27 m of the Mazda CX-3 or 4.30 m the Mini Countryman. Dimensions put to use to sneak easily into town and find a parking lot.

The floating roof, shark fin back along the b-pillar and the shoulder marked contribute to the personality of the silhouette. © WILLIAM CROZES

The door-to-fake reduced, the curves of generous rear fenders, the big wheels of 690 mm with 18-inch wheels give it the look of a ball of nerves. It adds an extensive customization program by combining the ten drawings of the rims, the ten shades of bodywork, the three colours of the floating roof (white, burgundy or black) and the trim levels are distinguished by keys, more or less abundant in chrome.

Patterned with a diamond-nappa leather The interior of the DS3 Crossback finish “The First”. 3D STYLE

with the approach of the vehicle, with the system hands-free, the four door handles flush to unfold automatically, as in Tesla. They retract as soon as it leaves his location, and that the speed exceeds 3 km/h. in order To avoid incidents, this should be the case as soon as the driver engages a gear. Most motorists will adore this: we climb aboard this SUV has a ground clearance of 285 mm. The watch BRM of the DS7 has not been preserved for questions of cost, but the occupants are immersed in a universe of fine leather that does not exist anywhere else. We find the five atmospheres DS (Rivoli, Montmartre, Bastille, Opera, Performance Line) to be combined with the different trim levels. This represents more than 2 000 combinations by adding engines.

The DS3 Crossback features a display that is fully digital. 3D STYLE

from the basic version of Chic, the customer will have the choice between two types, comfort or sport. Depending on the version, you’ll have the right fabric, suede or leather. The latter can be worked several ways, with an embossing or pattern fashion watch bracelet, and fortified stitching in the point the pearl or the diamond. The presence of hard plastics in the lower parts of the passenger compartment becomes secondary. The effect, spectacular, certifies that the luxury isn’t a question of size. It is so true that the DS3 Crossback has many of the refinements of its big sister: headlamps-adaptive led matrix, the system of autonomous control level 2, parking assistance (Park Pilot), automatic emergency braking , monitoring blind spots and lane departure, reading road signs. The instrumentation is fully digital and customizable; ergonomics neat is based on a touch screen (5-to 10.3-inch) in which the access to the different functions can also be performed via the touch controls located around the vents central. Finally, a head-up display, high-blade of translucent (+ 400 € on the level 2) contributes to the driving comfort. The most sensational at the edge of the DS3 Crossback is the ratio of size/roominess. Past the smallness of the doors, the rear area provides plenty of space for legs and headroom for two adults. However, the boot volume does not exceed that of a city. Finally, the rear visibility is not its strong point, and the instrumentation in the shape of a diamond and the window metal guilloche installed on the central tunnel and from the DS7 will not be to the liking of all. To remove dust lodged in the cavity of the latter, it will probably use cotton swabs.

A 3-cylinder sparkling The builder announces more than 2,000 possible combinations. DS

The DS3 Crossback inaugurates the modular platform CMP dedicated to the small cars of the group. Providing a gain of 30 % in rigidity and a weight saving of 30 % compared to the one it replaces, this structure opens the way to electrification. At the end of the year, the small SUV DS will be the first new generation model of the PSA to have a version 100 % electric (from 39 to 100 €). In the meantime, at launch, the offer revolves around the 3-cylinder 1.2 l turbo available in three power levels (100, 130 and 155) and the 4-cylinder turbo diesel 1.5 l 100 hp. For this first trial run, DS has entrusted us with his top of the range, a version 155-hp, associated to the finish of launch “The First” and charged all the same 40 500 €. It has the hi-fi Focal plane 12 HP (+ 850 €) which one does not hesitate to increase the sound, as much to take advantage of the quality of the installation than to hide the wind noises in the area of the mirrors and the doors, from 110 km/h. Of the noise accompanying the evolution on a road that is very abrasive. This does not discern the characteristic sound of the dapper 3-cylinder engine. It is associated with nice automatic transmission 8 reports. To take full advantage of this powertrain tonic and a chassis devoid of body roll, on prefers the sport mode changing the engine management, the laws of shifting and the firmness of the steering. This version can not only hold its own on the road. It is also noted for his sobriety, claiming a consumption of 5.2 l/100 km (119 g/km) with the 18-inch wheels.

Our view

Here’s finally a small SUV French able to hold the high dragee with the queens of beautiful areas. The small DS has style, sometimes at the risk of doing a little too much, and the outfit. Despite its size the ultra compact that we see as an advantage, it has everything a great. Including its tariff. But this will be the insurance out of the lot with a sophistication unparalleled and unprecedented at this level range.

technical Sheet

Engine: 3-cylinder turbo, 1.199 cm3

Power: 155 hp at 5.500 rpm/min

Torque: 240 Nm at 1,750 rpm/min

Transmission: traction + box car 8 reports

Dimensions (L/w/h): 4.118/1.791/1.534 mm

Safety deposit box: 350 litres

Weight: 1.205 kg

Speed: 208 km/h

0 to 100 km/h: 8.2 seconds

Consumption: 5.2 l/100 km.

CO2 Emissions: 119 g/km

Price: from 31 600 €

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