Its underpinnings are nothing special, shared with many other Stellantis models, but the way it looks…
The PSA EMP1 platform, and specifically the e-CMP variant designed for EVs, underpins a wide range of small electric vehicles currently sold in Europe. They are all very good and also very similar in their performance and range, because they all share the same battery pack and motor combo, so even though they may look different, they all pretty much drive and feel the same.
Models like the Peugeot e-208 and the crossover equivalent, the e-2008, are built on e-CMP, as are the Opel Corsa-e and Mokka-e, or more recently the Citroen e-C4. However, there is one more model built on this platform, a model that is often overlooked because it doesn’t come from a well known brand: the DS3 Crossback E-Tense.
It is the fully-electric version of the DS3 Crossback, the smallest offering from the posh DS brand. Under the skin, it rides on the e-CMP platform, so it is front-wheel drive only, it has a 100 kW (136 horsepower) motor that also packs 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) of torque and a 50 kWh battery pack. Its performance is in line with other models created atop the same architecture, sprinting to 100 km/h (62 mph) from standstill in 8.7 seconds and it tops out at 150 km/h (93 mph).
What is really unique about the DS3 Crossback (E-Tense or otherwise) is just how striking it is to look at, especially from the side and the rear three-quarter perspective. Its front fascia is very bold, dominated by a big grille (that isn’t covered, not even in the electric model) and some unusual looking light clusters and the very posh looking badges (the DS badge on the grille and the E-Tense badge on the edge of the hood).
From the side, you really see how unique the DS3 looks, with its most striking feature being the B-pillar that seemingly stops halfway up the door – it looks like a reversed shark fin. From the rear, the high-set slim light clusters complete the look and even though DS wanted to make this vehicle a crossover/mini SUV, its design could best be described as a tall hatchback.
The special design continues inside where a diamond pattern dominates the decor. My tester had a full oyster colored leather interior and all the available options for this model and it felt suitably fancy. All the people that were my passengers in this vehicle praised it for feeling as special as it did, even though it isn’t actually that luxurious once you start to looking around more closely – check out the video review posted on our YouTube channel (and embedded at the start of this article) to get the full picture on the DS3 Crossback E-Tense.
And if you were thinking that this vehicle isn’t really that relevant for US EV buyers, well, you would be right, since there are no plans to bring this brand to the States. However, the EMP platform is now called STLA Small and it will underpin small EVs that will make it to America, so this electric DS3 is a taste of things to come.
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