Ian Lamming is won over by the charms of the new DS3 Crossback.
WHAT is it with all these diamonds? Everywhere you look diamond patterns, diamond shapes, diamond textures.
The airvents, the switches, the leather seat-trim, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds. They point accusingly, they prod provocatively, they poke tantalisingly. It’s a veritable kaleidoscope of sharp, pointy edges which prick the senses like acupuncture.
DS3 Crossback is one quirky motor…but I like it. It took a little while to accept its rhombus idiosyncrasies, the equilateral assault on the senses takes your breath away and threatens migraine.
But then the penny drops – ting – it’s different while many interiors could be from any manufacture or model and some marques have gone down the route of fitting the exact same fixtures and fittings to all models, how Orwellian.
DS3, in this case in off-roadery Crossback fashion, is certainly refreshingly unique. The fascia reminds me of insect life, a fly or spider’s eye-view, a honeycomb for bees, something like that and once you get used to that you realise that every toy available falls easily to hand and it does have a feeling of poshness about it.
DS3 is compact yet you really do step up into its cabin, cocking a leg to cross high sills. The huge alloys jack the Crossback up off the ground and it leaves you feeling you could tackle the deepest of floodwaters – or even become amphibious.
A daring and dazzling interior is mirrored by a striking exterior; DS3 is bold, contemporary and distinctive. It catches the eye and holds your attention, with remarkable lines and excellent proportions.
What quickly makes you a fan of quirk is the way DS3 drives, which is unexpectedly wonderful. It is an absolute driver’s car. It loves to be pushed and rewards with startling performance and cracking handling.
The 1.2 litre three cylinder turbo is spirited, characterful and sounds great. The sweet automatic gearbox ensures the car always manages to tap into the power-band.
Picture the scene; I’m 20 minutes from home and the call comes in that I have to pick the boy up from school. So there’s a 120 mile round trip I wasn’t expecting at teatime. Normally that would give me licence to moan – I love a good moan – but I don’t because I’m so happy behind the wheel of the DS3. In the blink of an eye I seem to be pulling into the school drive and not much longer after that I’m parking up at home, which speaks volumes for the Crossback.
DS3 Crossback is weird but wonderful at a time when too many cars are worthy but dull. Its obsession with parallelograms simply adds to its eccentricity, individualism and appeal. It certainly shines bright like a diamond.
DS 3 Crossback Prestige PT130 EAT8
Engine: 1.2 petrol turbo
0-62mph 9.2 secs
Top speed: 124mph
Combined MPG: 47.1
Transmission: eight speed automatic
CO2 g/km: 109