DS3a

DS3 Crossback

I’m confused.

At least I think I am.

No, I’m not. I’ve made up my mind.

The DS3 Crossback is an absolutely fantastic car.

No, wait a minute, I’ve changed my mind.

It was hopeless, I hated it. Hmm?

No, I’m glad I’ve got that off my chest. It was horrible, but even so I loved it.

Hang on a minute George. If you loved it how can it be horrible?

Yeah, good point. It was great. Well, with a mind as messed up as mine one thing is definitely for sure.

I’m totally confused. At least I think I am.

What is it about this fabulous (awful) car that left me struggling to make up my mind.

Well, there are three reasons for that. First off there were times when it drove me mad.

Like when I accidentally switched on its electronic parking brake and nearly put me and Mrs Motormouth through the windscreen.

Or when the radio refused to let me store Radio Five Live in its programmes.

Then there were moments of pure joy brought on by its brilliant engine and astonishing fuel efficiency.

The third reason is simple: Brits don’t like change. They rile against it like baby Maggie when mum Marge takes away her dummy in the Simpsons.

I’m glad I drove the DS3 Crossback for a week rather than the 15 minutes that most would-be buyers get in their so-called test drive.

It’s so different that it takes a week to get used to its weird positioning of the switches. It’s got eight silver push-pull switches set stylishly around its eight-speed auto gear lever like individual ski slopes.

It was when I decided to open the driver’s window approaching a T-junction that I accidentally slammed on the parking brake by pulling the electric handbrake ski slope.

The Five Live issue was just as stupid. Why wouldn’t the radio let me store it? Oh don’t worry about that. It actually did store it because I was trying to replace it with the same radio station.

See what I mean by getting used to a car.

Just approaching the DS3 Crossback is like stepping on to a stage and getting a fabulous welcome.

As it detects the approach of the key all four door handles spring out of the doors as if they’re shouting: “Glad you’re back. Get in, I’ve missed you.”

As soon as you open the door it’s more than impressive. As well as the eight silver switches that light up the middle of the car there are another nine glossy piano black switches, set in diamond shaped clusters below its impressive 11-inch touch screen MMI display.

Another eight grey switches are below its diamond patterned ones, which all work as soon as you touch them, but another eight sit out of sight by the driver’s right knee, making them almost impossible to work because you can’t see them.

After a week in the car that didn’t matter at all but you can see why I was confused.

The MMI display is sited in the middle of a dashboard that’s trimmed in grey soft touch leather with white stitches that match its fabulous padded seats that are comfortably (see what I’ve done there) the best I’ve ever sat in.

As far as comfort and space are concerned the DS3 Crossback is a big winner, not because of the car’s 4118mm (13ft 6in) length, but thanks to it 1988mm (6ft 6in) height.

The boot is 61cms (2ft) deep, extending to 142cm (4ft 8in) with the backs of the rear seats folded down but the extra height allows space for stuff that you’d never get in a normal car.

The luxury and space of the DS3 Crossback is matched by its brilliant little 1.2-litre, three cylinder engine with a remarkable 155hp and 240Nm (177lb) of torque.

Never short of power, mainly due to the fact that despite its size the car weighs just 1,205kg, about the same as a Nissan Micra, the DS3 Crossback storms along when pushed but is at its best as a really quiet cruiser.

Trouble is, it’s so silent you often find yourself doing speeds that you daren’t get nicked for.

Hopefully the cop would be so busy looking at its beauty from the outside, and then the inside, that forgetting to write a ticket would be your best chance of getting off.

DS3b

IMAGE RATING

DS 3 Crossback Prestige.

REAR MIRROR MONSTER: Tall, glitzy and threatening, with a huge silver speckled grille, dazzling pairs of seven-bulb headlights and daytime running lights that look like waterfalls as they cascade down the front bumper.

BACKSIDE BEAUTY: Huge exhaust pipes below each side of the registration plate appear as if cannons but other than that it’s a gorgeous, unfussy, back end.

PLAYTIME PLEASER: Touchscreen 10 inch sat nav with speed limit display, twin zone climate control, adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, front and rear parking sensors with 360 degree rear view camera, trip computer, leather seats, heated at front and electric for driver, keyless start and entry, auto folding and heated door mirrors, auto wipers and lights with auto washing function, phone charging tray, 18-inch diamond cut alloys, DAB stereo with twin USB, Bluetooth, and Mirror Screen with Apple car play and Android auto.

NAUGHTY NIGGLES: Folding rear seat backs don’t go completely flat, leaving a three inch ledge to get in the way of bulky items. No high up rear shopping bag hooks.

TASTY TOUCHES: Space saver spare tyre is standard. Twin cup holders are each lined with four spring loaded clips to hold cups and bottles in place. Yep, this bit is exactly the same as the Golf GTI report.

FAST OR LAST: Quick when pushed and a quite brilliant cruiser.

WONGA WONDA: It’s got the looks and kit of a far more expensive motor. Great value.

WOULD CHANTELLE LIKE IT? Can anything ever be posh enough for Chantelle? This could.

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