Stellantis’ Parisian premium brand aims to blend fashionable style and onboard comfort to retain its familiar selling point
Between so many of the Stellantis Group’s compact electric cars that are now clamouring for your attention and cash, the DS 3 E-Tense suddenly seems like the forgotten child. It was facelifted at the end 2022, losing its old ‘Crossback’ model suffix – but gaining battery capacity, range and motor power in the process. But so many of its all-electric sister cars have now been either updated or introduce since as to make eighteen months feel like a very long time.This was the first of its manufacturing group’s small electric cars to get the upgraded 54kWh battery pack and 154bhp ‘hybrid synchronous’ electric drive motor that would go on to be adopted by the Peugeots e-2008 and e-308, Vauxhalls Corsa- and Astra Electric, and the Citroen e-C4 and e-C4 X. And, while it’s still a rarer sight on UK roads than most of its corporate sibling models, thanks to some decent manufacturer price incentives it’s not quite the premium-priced pariah that it used to be.Competing in the increasingly competitive electric compact crossover class, the car can count among its rivals the likes of the Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, as well as the Volvo EX30, Smart #1, Cupra Born, and the in-house-hailing Vauxhall Mokka Electric. DS’s aim is to tempt customers with a comfier ride, a plusher interior and, for now at least, a bit more exclusivity than all those can offer, though – as well as with new digital features, to which we’ll come in due course.