A road closed to traffic, a narrow and bumpy asphalt band about 3 km, a DS engineer "screwed on the passenger seat" … Our first contact with the DS3 Crossback E-Tense is not an attempt classic and for good reason: We are testing a pre-production versionwhich needs to be further refined by January 2020, the date of the first deliveries to customers.
Nevertheless interesting: it is about the very first roles of the new 100% electric platform of the PSA Group, which will also be used by the future Peugeot E-208 and Opel E-Corsa. Like its cousins, the DS3 Crossback E-Tense is based on a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 100 kW (136 hp) electric motor promises a range of 320 km in the WLTP cycle.
What are the differences to the electric DS3?
The specifications were set from the beginning: The DS3 Crossback electric requires no concessions to the gasoline or diesel versions, in terms of equipment (all innovations remain available), the tariff (we return). or interior. The 350 kg batteries are thus arranged in "H" under the front seats, the center tunnel and the rear bench and do not interfere with the space with the legs, nor does the volume of the chest with 350 l.
Only the use of a special rear axle attached to the spare wheel basket: it can no longer accommodate a wobble wheel or an optional subwoofer, but becomes the preferred location for receiving the charging cable (one for the classic 220V socket, the other type 2) for a public terminal.
From the driver's seat we notice the specific display of digital meters (Econometer, Energy Flow, Autonomy …) repeated on the central 10.3-inch touch screen, which also adds the consumption history and programming of refills (ideal if the home installation is working in full hours / off-peak hours to Example).
Driving the DS3 Crossback E-Tense
Lacrosse-shaped automatic transmission control, center console start button: The DS3 Crossback E-Tense environment remains the same as the gasoline and diesel versions, except that the start is not required the noise of a heat engine, but a simple beep, coupled with a " Ready "indicator on the meter.
At position D in position D, the DS3 Crossback takes off softly and quietly … and even during operation, the PureTech 130 Automatic City version sometimes struck: Does the engine shut down / restart? Three-cylinder vibrations at idle? None of this here! Strong traffic jams …
Our passenger already changes the car to sports position. This is the only mode that mobilizes the 100 kW promised in the datasheet (power drops to 80 kW in normal mode or 60 kW in Eco mode for maximum autonomy). The loaded SUV then becomes a city resident vitamin effective accelerations (0 to 100 km / h in 8.7 s) and slow raises, which are served by a generous couple and are instantly available. On dry ground, effective traction does not create traction control.
"The 136 hp are available only in sports mode. In normal mode, the power drops to 109 hp and in Eco mode to 82 hp"
Then you have to choose your preferred regeneration force, between a discrete engine brake in normal mode and then more in mode "B" (for brake, which is pressed down by pressing the box control). However, the brake pedal travel of the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 can not be completely dispensed with as the engine brake disappears below 10 km / h and the left pedal is forced to stop completely. A customization sought by engineers as the DS3 Crossback needed to be as close as possible to the thermal versions.
So perfect this DS3 Crossback E-Tense? Not yet, as there are some recurring defects of electric models: special brake pedal dosage (juggling between regenerative braking and friction), power steering less "natural" than thermal versions. And less comfort at the bumps, as a suspension is inevitably stronger to compensate for the excess weight of the batteries … and possibly also the specific rear axle (Panhard rod and various shock absorber anchor).
However, for these three points, engineers are certain there will be improvements we will not miss when testing the final versions of the DS3 Crossback E-Tense, expected in September 2019.
Competition and DS3 Crossback E-Tense Awards
The DS3 Crossback starts at the price of 39 100 € in So Chic and ends in the La Première Launchière Edition (All prices and features on page 3). This is € 9,000 more than a DS3 Crossback Puretech 130 Automatic in the list price, but "only" € 3,000 more expensive, as soon as the bonus of € 6,000 is fixed.
With 39.100 euros, the DS3 Crossback starts at the same price as the only 100% electric city SUV on the market, the Hyundai Kona EV 39 kWh. While it offers less autonomy (289 km vs. 320 km for the DS3 thanks to its 50 kWh battery), the Korean version also exists in the "big battery" version with 64 kWh, the 449 km autonomy is 43 900 € of departure. In the premium circle, remember that the Audi Q2 does not exist in a 100% electric version, while the Mini Countryman prefers a hybrid rechargeable, full-wheel version, which sells for at least € 40,000.
Review of the DS3 Crossback E-Tense Trial
A great quiet in the city, a great vibrancy of up to 100 km / h, an interior that is preserved despite the existing batteries: Our DS3 Crossback E-Tense "Pre-series" has already proven certain qualities. Remains a little tighter and the approval of his commands (direction, brakes) at the final versions and of course to improve his comfort check his true autonomy under more conventional test conditions. Consequences!
To read, First test of the DS3 Crossback PureTech 130 Automatic