DS 3 E-Tense, the proof – it is increasingly technological but does not give up on originality

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Substantial updates to the technological sector, both mechanical and digital, and slight style tweaks. It is the identikit of the mid-career restyling of the most compact of the DS, which with the make-up loses the Crossback denomination but maintains its marked aesthetic originality. A style that can also be discussed but certainly does not remain anonymous in the vast sea of ​​brands offering B-Suvs. Among all the proposals on the market, with its 4.12 meters, the DS 3 is one of the smallest but the dimensions are inversely proportional to the quality of life and the luxury that one breathes on board. Upholstery such as Nappa leather or Alcantara, with particular treatments regarding stitching, inserts (in relief) and textures are not common in this segment. The seats, however, stand out not only for the outside but also for the inside, which uses high-density foam to increase comfort.

Added to this are options such as electric adjustments and massage functions, as well as heating. The driving position has also been changed, thanks to the new steering wheel that integrates the controls of the driver assistance systems and infotainment. The latter uses a brand new 10.3-inch high-definition touch screen, which is much more sensitive and responsive than the previous one, as well as more customizable. Now navigation is connected, mirroring does not need to be connected with the cable and there is intelligent speech recognition. The instrumentation, on the other hand, uses a 7-inch display, assisted by a head-up display that projects essential information onto the driver’s line of sight. Behind the wheel you can rely on a suite of driver assistance systems based on the interaction between the camera located in the upper part of the windscreen, the radar hidden in the front bumper and other sensors.

The 360° bird’s-eye view during parking maneuvers adds to lane keeping, traffic sign recognition, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. The technological innovations also concern the powertrains, especially the electric one which has been updated, while the thermal ones have been the subject of a rationalization of the offer and some versions have disappeared. Returning to the electric unit, the new 156 HP and 270 Nm electron engine completely assembled in France has also arrived on the DS 3, like the effective 51 kWh battery – now liquid-cooled – which accepts up to 100 kW of power recharge in direct current and up to 11 kW in alternating current. Thus the range approved in the WLTP cycle has risen from 320 to 404 km. In any case, for those who don’t want to go full electric, there are still the classic petrol and diesel engines, not electrified and all supercharged: the 100 and 130 HP 3-cylinder PureTech and the 130 HP 4-cylinder BlueHDi.

The gearbox is a 6-speed manual for the entry-level and an 8-speed automatic for the more powerful engines. On the road, the DS 3 is always balanced, with a composed set-up between corners as long as the pace doesn’t get too fast, although the basic suspension setting is oriented towards comfort, because its ultimate purpose is to pamper guests. There is plenty of space on board and there is a good balance between that reserved for those sitting in the rear seats (provided that those in front do not adjust the seats in the rearmost position) and that intended for luggage, i.e. 350 litres. The only flaw in the cabin is the lack of brightness, but it is the price to pay for having a refined design, which also uses refinements such as retractable door handles and invisible window seals. Finally, a note on prices which are on average quite high, closer to the upper segment than to the one to which they belong, but after all this is a premium brand and the equipment is rich.

DS 3 E-Tense, the card
What is that:
the restyling of the second generation of the most compact model of the French premium brand of the Stellantis Group, here in the electric version
Dimensions: length 4.12 meters, width 1.79, height 1.53, wheelbase 2.56
Trunk: 350 litres
Motor: 156 HP and 270 Nm synchronous electric
Exchange: automatic, single gear
Traction: front
Merits: comfort, style, technology on board, luggage compartment
Defects: high prices, some awkward controls
Production: Poissy, France
Prices: The price list of the petrol versions of the DS 3 starts at 28,050 euros, that of the Diesel from 33,500 euros and that of the electric E-Tense from 41,500 euros.

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