DS 3 (2023) Review – First with the new Stellantis battery
What Lexus is to Toyota, DS is to Citroën. The brands have nothing to do with each other, but then again they do. DS split from Citroën in 2015 and now offers four models: the 3, 4, 7 and 9. The 3 shares the platform with Stellantis models such as the Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa. It has a higher price tag than its compact Stellantis brothers, but you get a lot of luxury in return.
You can see that when you see him. He has a deft nose. The updated model has a large angular grille with diamond pattern, which DS paints completely black if desired. Totally according to the latest fashion. Or rather, en vogue. The headlights are now standard with LED technology. The biggest change up front concerns the daytime running lights. These consist of two long vertical LED strips and give the car an avant-garde look. We saw this particular lighting before on the DS 4 and the updated DS 7.
The distinctive shark fin – present since the introduction of the Citroen DS 3 – behind the front door has remained. The same goes for the chrome recessed door handles, which fold in and out automatically. You don’t get those on a Vauxhall Corsa. Customers can now choose from new 17- and 18-inch wheels and two new paint colors, including the deep red color Diva Red and the gray Lacquered Grey, which you can see in the photos and in the video. A total of seven colors are now available. You can also get the roof in different colors, allowing for many combinations.
Luggage space DS 3
On the back, DS Automobiles is now written out in full. You won’t see the word “Crossback” on the DS 3 from now on. Behind the tailgate hides 350 liters of luggage space, 1,050 liters when you fold down the rear seats. The electric version – the E-Tense – has as much luggage space as its gasoline brother. In fact, the battery pack is hidden under the front seats and rear seat.
Second row of seats
DS 3 is longer, wider ánd higher than the Opel Corsa and Peugeot 208. You notice that in the back. Yes, it’s still a B-segmenter, so you don’t get into a lavish limousine. Then you should choose the DS 9. Adults no taller than 6 feet tall, however, sit reasonably comfortably in the back. Still, this place is more suitable for children. Because the DS 3 E-Tense shares its body with the gasoline version, it does have a nasty center tunnel in the back. So put in the middle the child with the smallest legs.
Fast infotainment system
DS equips the updated 3 with a new 10.3-inch infotainment system. The new software and screen are standard in all versions. It works remarkably fast. In this segment, we are used to quickly becoming cranky with the sluggishness of technology, but there was no sign of a bad mood during our test drive.
The new DS Iris System is easy to operate, both via the screen and via large touch-sensitive buttons. The buttons have an unusual design – it looks a bit busy – but are quite large. You can hardly miss them while driving. Pleasant! A new steering wheel with a bunch of buttons, too, makes life in the DS 3 a little easier. The same goes for a head up display, which we wouldn’t want to live without in the DS 3.
Then the real news! DS may be the first to use Stellantis’ new electric powertrain. Therefore, the DS 3 no longer boasts 136 hp, but 156 hp. Nice upgrade. It doesn’t stop there. The battery grows from 50 kWh to 54 kWh, so on paper the DS 3 will not reach 341 kilometers on a battery charge, but 404 kilometers. In addition, DS now mounts a heat pump as standard, reducing the range in winter. In practice, of course, you get at least 50 kilometers less far than according to the official WLTP figures, but they are still nice numbers for a compact crossover. In the city, you can even reach 500 kilometers, according to DS. But then you have to really take it easy.
Fast charging it can – like the outgoing model – up to 100 kW. It can sustain this peak power for longer, allowing the new, larger battery pack to fill to 80 percent as quickly as the battery from the outgoing model. With the right fast charger, you’ll be up and running in half an hour. With an 11 kW public or home charger, the car takes 5 hours and 45 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%.
Prefer diesel? Then you are out of luck, a diesel engine does not appear in the price list. Driving on gasoline is possible, with 100 and 130 hp. With the least power, you get a manual transmission; the 130-hp version always has an eight-speed automatic. Both power ratings are adequate for a car of this size. The 130-hp version is nice and smooth, but it always has to lose out to the electric DS 3.
Like any DS, the DS 3 is not made for dynamic driving. Everything is about comfort. The brand is not named after the Citroën DS for nothing. The result is a comfortable ride, with soft cushioning, so you always arrive at your destination rested. Unless you are a sporty driver, then you always arrive cranky. Okay, we’re exaggerating a bit. Certainly with the E-Tense version – with readily available electrical torque – you can have quite a bit of fun steering. At the stoplight, moreover, you beat most gasoline cars for the first few meters.
What will the new DS 3 cost?
The DS 3 on gasoline has a starting price of 36,390 euros (100 hp with manual transmission). For 130 hp and an automatic, you will spend at least 40,240 euros. Our preference is for the electric version: the DS 3 E-Tense. Of course, this is the most expensive, with a price tag of at least 42,140 euros. Quite a hefty price, but since it stays under 45 grand, you can get a 2,950 euro purchase subsidy from the government. If you don’t wait too long of course… In the video below we tell you more about our first experience with the DS 3.