The DS3 Crossback is a small, trendy crossover designed to do battle with the Mini Countryman, Audi Q2 and BMW X2.
It follows on from the larger DS7 Crossback and is the second car developed solely by DS since it became an independent brand from parent company Citroen.
Based, obviously enough, on the DS3 hatchback, it employs a formula that is by now well-worn but no less popular with the car buying public. Raise ride height to give a more commanding view of the road, add some SUV styling, increase the price slightly, and watch buyers flock to showrooms.
People pick these cars based on their looks, which bodes well for the DS3 Crossback. A honeycomb grille, sharp headlights, deep V slashes in the flanks and a chunky overall shape make it a head turner.
BMW and Audi’s SUV range suffer from a little too much similarity between models so the DS will appeal to anybody looking for a car that stands out from the crowd.
Prices start at £20,630 and buyers have a choice of a 1.5 litre, 101bhp diesel engine or a 1.2 petrol unit with 100, 129 or 153bhp. A fully electric version is due to join the line up by the end of the year. This model, called the E-Tense, will have a range of around 200 miles and 100KWh charging that can take the battery from 0-80% in half an hour.
There’s no four-wheel drive option – all versions are front-wheel drive only.
My steed for a week was the most powerful of the petrol options in top of the range La Premiere spec with eight-speed automatic transmission.
That ramps the price tag up to £34,000 but gives you a lot of luxury. The quilted leather seats are among the most comfortable I’ve sat on – and the driver’s seat even has a massage function. The entire interior feels very special indeed, with some of the sharpest design in its sector.
On the road, the petrol engine has plenty of zest and the DS3 Crossback enjoys a comfortable ride without sacrificing too much in the way of handling.
Buyers do need to be aware there isn’t much rear legroom and the 350 litre boot is smaller than most of its rivals. The large touchscreen looks great but the baffling array of menus takes a bit of getting used to.
If you don’t need the last word in practicality, the DS3 Crossback is great looking inside and out and more than comfortable enough for long journeys.