New DS3 Crossback Attempts to Infuse Style into the Mini SUV Market

DS has just unveiled its third SUV after the DS 7 and DS 4 Crossback. 


This DS3 Crossback, model will be distinguished by its look and the optional integration of a 100% electric powerplant.  The Brand’s press release claims that DS Automobiles aims to embody the French luxury know-how in the automotive industry.  With an exceptional heritage and avant-garde spirit,the DS perpetuates the values of innovation and distinction of the Classic DS of 1955.  Uhmmm, not quite…  In reality, the market this one goes after is all about style. 

The Brand is touting that the DS3 Crossback is all about customization possibilities, with no less than 10 wheel themes, 10 body colors and 3 flag colors.  The five “DS Inspirations” (Montmartre, Bastille, Performance Line, Rivoli and Opera) and the limited edition launch “La Première”, will be the interior finishes including grained leathers or Nappa, and textile finishes braided or in Alcantara.  The dashboard is a myriad of diamond clusters in the center for buttons and ventilation, and the center console has deep recess switches that have become a distinguishing DS feature in other models.  

Love it or hate it this DS is going after a youthful “signature nouveaux” buyer wanting a distinct identity as this launch video attempts to emphasize in a manner that only the French would conceptualize: 

Continuing a DS Brand visual theme, the exterior design incorporates Matrix LED Vision stretched optics framing the DS Wings grille, and at the rear symmetrical double chrome cannulas, along with keeping the previous DS 3 side “shark fin” body lip at the B pillar and adding flush door handles that unlock via a phone app that also lets you start the car. 

Many driving aids are offered including the “DS Drive Assist” (semi-autonomous level 2) already seen on the DS 7 Crossback, or the “DS Dark Pilot” – providing autonomous emergency braking day and night.

Proportions are: 4.12 m L, 1.79 m W and 1.53 m H (about the size of an Audi Q2, Fiat 500X and VW T-Roc).  Overal the exterior styling treatment looks like the old DS 3 blended with the DS Devine concept from 2014 that has been “cactusized” with a current C4. 

    DS Devine concept

    Citroën C4 Cactus

Citroën’s current C4 was the first production model from the company to use the new, trademarked ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushions’ in its suspension (the new C5 Aircross also utilizes it).  They’re designed to slow down the suspension’s reactions to road surface bumps and dips, giving a ride comparable to the now defunct hydropneumatic suspension.  Oddly, there’s no indication given as to what the suspension system will be for the DS3 Crossback.  Will it have the Active Scan suspension found on the DS7 Crossback, the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions from the C4, or a combinarion of the two? 

There will be three gas engine initially available (100, 130 and 155 hp) and two diesel choices (BlueHDI 100 and 130 hp).  A manual gearbox will be offered, but the launch version will be delivered with the EAT8 8-speed automatic transmissionSix months into production an electric E-Tense version will be offered.  Specs on the electric powered version are 136 hp and 260 Nm fueled by a lithium-ion battery of 50 kWh.  This model will have a range of 300 km (WLTP cycle) and its battery can be recharged to 80% in just 30 minutes. 

The DS 3 Crossback will be piced commencing at 23 500 €  and will be coming to market in early 2019.  It will be shown on October 4 on the DS stand at the Paris Motor Show. 



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