During a pleasant, early morning walk in Amsterdam, a surprise first viewing.
Apologies for the poor level of just-about-everything about the photos, but, I came across my first DS3 Crossback whilst on a recent work trip to Amsterdam and felt a compulsion to record the event on my phone. I am always terribly self-conscious when taking street-photos of other people’s cars like this, so I got it over with as soon as I could, resulting in this rather sorry gathering of pictures.
Let’s get it out of the way immediately and re-state my previously expressed opinion, which is that I don’t like this car. So, if you disagree/ feel differently and don’t want to read another negative review on DTW, then you should probably move on to something else.
That said, this car does have presence. At least, this particular car did. Perhaps it was the colour which caught my eye, or the slightly discombobulating mix of bloated, soft-profiled forms and rampant feature-creases, or the sparkly shards of chrome? I am not sure, but it certainly stood out.
Not in a very good way, though.
Has any car of this size (it’s the same size as the C3 Aircross, or a bit bigger than a C3 Picasso) ever been so over-styled? Again, apologies for the photos, but just look at that above. The riot of reflections articulates the number of diverse feature-lines and sculptured curves which bend and cross so busily. These swamp the volume of the turret, which itself is then invaded by the wretched shark-fin, which we know by now is a critical part of the DS DNA (except for when that DS is the 7 Crossback).
The front is dominated by the puffed-out chromed grille and weakly defined headlamps, set-off by the ‘tears of a clown’ effect DRLs. Then there is the just irritating duplication of the DS badging – a large escutcheon slapped in the middle of the grille, topped by the smaller, engraved lozenge at the leading edge of the bonnet, just in case you didn’t notice the former, no doubt.
Here’s the rear …
… which again just highlights the narrow profile of the rear window. Imagine how little of it is cleared in a semi-circle by that pathetically small ‘bidet’ as a result. I like a bit of chrome on my cars, but the way that the strips under the rear lamps abut the central strip looks clumsy to my eyes.
And then there is that nonsense DS DS3 badging thing going on. And after that, what is the point of the cheap looking plastic plugs which fill the fake air-vents exiting the wheel arches? Naff all!
I do like (rejoice!) the exhaust embellishers, though.
I couldn’t bring myself to poke my phone close to the side windows to get a shot of the interior, but it does manage to look better than the exterior, even though I have reservations about the diamond motif itself (Renault, do you not care?), and the ergonomic qualities of the nature and form of the switch-gear.
Overall, the DS3 Crossback is a tragedy of form over substance. So much styling for so little purpose. So many tricks and flicks for so little overall effect. I cannot see anyone choosing one over a CX-3, T-Cross, C3 Aircross, MINI Countryman, or Q2 … none of which I like very much at all in any case.
PSA thinks that DS is like haute-couture, but it must be kidding itself, especially when what lies beneath all the diamante image is so unsophisticated and banal. Having observed many recently, I think the two Peugeot SUVs and the 508 would make a better job of being DSs – they have that glossy design look in a more effortless fashion and the same extends to their interiors.
They should have killed this DS artifice at the point which they bought Opel/ Vauxhall, and left the world to its fond memories of what a DS was in the first place.