THREE'S A CHARM (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
If you want a premium small SUV that's a little different, this improved DS 3 model might fit the bill, thinks Jonathan Crouch.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 67
The DS 3 is hardly inexpensive but in compensation it's a satisfyingly desirable take on small SUV motoring, especially in this revised form. The design is individual, the cabin feels special and it's well equipped. Plus the combustion engines are willing and economical - and there's the option of full-electric technology if you want it. This is the car tasked with really moving the DS brand forward.
Backgroundword count: 159
Here's an interesting stat. It won't be long before SUVs account for a quarter of all car sales. And premium brands account for 11% of all worldwide car production but 37% of automotive segment profits. Which explains why the Stellantis Group conglomerate needs the DS brand. And why, back in 2018, the DS brand needed to launch its first bespoke-designed small SUV, the DS 3 Crossback, now known simply as 'DS 3'. There's more to the updates here than merely a change of name of course: a smarter look, a bit more interior luxury and a useful upgrade for the E-TENSE EV version. As before, the DS 3 in all its forms shares most of its engineering with new-generation versions of familiar Stellantis Group small SUVs like Peugeot's 2008 and Vauxhall's Mokka, but packages it all up with a stylised expression of Gallic savoir faire. Buyers are promised distinctive looks, jewel-like detailing and cutting-edge technology. Let's take a look.
Driving Experienceword count: 255
You'll want to know about the engineering changes made here. Well the recipe isn't much different. The combustion range has been slimmed down (no diesels anymore and DS isn't now offering the top 155hp petrol variant). And the all-electric DS 3 E-TENSE model gets a completely new 155hp electric motor (assembled in Tremery-Metz), a revised reduction gear set-up (produced in Valenciennes) and a new 54kWh battery (assembled in Poissy) for increases in power and range (now rated at 250 miles). As before, the DS 3 E-TENSE offers three main selectable driving modes - 'Eco', 'Normal' and 'Sport', the last of which delivers the powertrain's maximum 260Nm torque figure to the tarmac the instant the wheels begin to turn. Also as before, you can maximise range via two driver-activated energy recovery settings - 'Normal' and 'Brake'. If you've chosen a petrol model, you'll find that the six-speed manual gearbox is quite slick too, though as before you can only have it with the entry-level 100hp engine, the usual Stellantis Group three cylinder 1.2-litre offering. The majority of DS 3 sales though, are going to be focused around the PureTech 130 petrol version, which is available only with an 8-speed automatic gearbox that Stellantis sources from specialist maker Aisin. As part of that transmission package, you get steering wheel paddle shifters and a set of selectable driving modes - 'eco', 'normal' and 'sport' - the latter being the one you'll need if you want to replicate the claimed 9.2s 0-62mph sprint time, achieved en route to 124mph.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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