DS 3 review

We got exclusive access to the new 2023 DS 3, which arrives in Ireland soon.
Pros: Chic styling, refined cabin, comfort.
Cons: Some rivals are more spacious, quirky cabin layout.
The DS 3 has been updated for 2023 to make DS’s posh compact crossover more appealing and efficient than before. But it’s the electric model that benefits most, with a new battery and more range.
DS 3 Design
DS has dropped the Crossback name so that their most compact model is now known as just the DS 3. First launched in Europe back in 2019, the DS 3 still looks very fashionable and stands out among more mainstream competitors for its upmarket style. So much so that the DS 3 can rub shoulders with premium competitors like the Audi Q2 and Mini Countryman.
Most of the 2023 styling updates are around the front of the car, including a redesign of the grille and front spoiler to make the DS 3 more aerodynamic. The grille is wider and LED headlights come as standard now across the range. The new LED daytime running lights take their inspiration from the larger DS 4 and DS 7, giving the DS 3 more of the family face of the French premium car brand.
DS is slimming down the range in Ireland with just two trim levels. DS 3 Bastille has 17-inch alloy wheels, while DS 3 Rivoli gets a more sophisticated 18-inch diamond cut design. There are two new colours – the DS 3 exclusive Diva Red, and Lacquered Grey – while the roof can be specified in black, or grey for the very first time.
DS 3 Interior
DS has subtly modernised the DS 3’s cabin with a new 10.3-inch touchscreen as standard. The brand’s new Iris infotainment system is built in, offering connected navigation and intelligent voice recognition, as well as customisation of the touchscreen and the 7-inch digital instrument panel. There’s also a new multifunction steering wheel.
The cabin is not the most logically laid out so it takes a bit of getting used to. Overall quality is good and the DS 3 feels more plush than mainstream rivals like a Ford Puma or Toyota Yaris Cross, yet an Audi Q2 is more upmarket inside. Rivoli models add gorgeous full leather upholstery that does give the car a more upmarket ambience worthy of a premium brand.
The DS 3 offers average accommodation for a compact crossover. There’s a 350-litre boot regardless of whether you go for a petrol or electric DS 3, but most rivals offer more boot volume. The DS 3 is not the most family-friendly with narrow opening rear doors and rear legroom is only adequate.
DS 3 Performance & Drive
As before, the DS 3 will be available with a petrol engine or as a full electric ‘E-Tense’ model. DS Automobiles Ireland will no longer offer the DS 3 with a diesel engine. Petrol versions offer lively performance from a familiar 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine with choice of a 6-speed manual (100hp) or 8-speed automatic gearbox (130hp).
It's the DS 3 E-Tense that benefits the most with a new 54kWh battery and more efficient 156hp electric motor and heat pump. The range increases from 320 kilometres to 404 kilometres (WLTP). A Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona Electric still trump the DS 3 for range, but the E-Tense offers a more premium driving experience overall. It’s very comfortable for a small electric crossover, dealing admirably with imperfections in the road surface. There’s excellent refinement at high speeds and a notable serene cabin experience thanks to greater sound insulation.
Charging speeds remain the same with DC rapid charging available up to 100kW (10% to 80% in 30 minutes). There’s also an 11kW on board charger for faster AC charging (0-100% in 5 hours).
DS 3 Pricing
Pricing for the 2023 DS 3 range will be announced closer to launch. Expect it to be in the region of the current range, which kicks off from about €31,000 for a petrol and from about €42,000 for the electric DS 3.
Carzone Verdict
DS is still a relative newcomer to Ireland but is slowly building presence with a new DS Store in Dublin and new models like the DS 4 and refreshed DS 7. It’s the DS 3 E-Tense that benefits the most from this update with a new battery, more efficient design and more range making it one of the classiest and most comfortable compact EVs on the market right now. Pricing has not yet been confirmed but history tells us that you will pay a premium for a brand like DS. The cabin is some way off the best in class but the DS 3 is an upmarket alternative to the many compact crossovers that have flooded the market in recent years.
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