When you look back at the year one of the best cars to arrive in 2019 was the DS3 Crossback.
It is typically French, typically classy and one of the best small luxury cars around.
It is part of the PSA Group who owns both Peugeot and Citroen and who has just taken over the Vauxhall brand as well, which has caused hearts to flutterin Liverpool where the Astra is built. Can the English defend a French attack? Watch this space.
Money seems to be no problem with the PSA Group and they invested €100 million in one of their plants in France especially for the DS3 Crossback production. So a lot is riding upon it.
The earlier DS cars were derived from existing Citroën models and didn’t do particularly well in the market place. But now the DS models are separate entities and have been since 2015.
The DS3 Crossback is quite quirky as French cars tend to be and it stands out when compared to the opposition, which is the VW T-Cross and the MINI Countryman, and which look quite boring by comparison
For example they have flush fitting door handles, which magically appear when you are approach the vehicle!
There are a number of three-cylinder petrol engines with a range of power outputs (100, 131 or 155PS).
On top of that there is the BlueHDi 1.5 diesel with 100PS and an electric version is coming which is said to have a range of more than 200miles.
Most customers will be going for the DS3 Crossback with the 131PS and both with this and the 155Ps have an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
The smaller model and the diesel have a six speed manual box and the top engine will give you 0-62mph in under nine seconds. Top speed is around 130mph.
Prices start at £21,500 and you will get between 35mpg to 50mpg depending the petrol or the diesel the figures will be higher. The top of the range goes
beyond £30,000. Sadly there is no four wheel drive.
But the entry-level Elegance model gets 17-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio and rear parking sensors. The infotainment screen is the same as used across other Peugeot models.
The central console has been inherited from the larger SUV, the DS7 and works quite well. The navigation comes via TomTom and is pretty good. The system has live traffic information, online search functionality and fuel station, parking and weather information.
The DS3 Crossback has good ride quality and responds pretty well with a light steering. The front seats are comfortable and high up above the road, which gives you a good all round visibility.
As with all SUVs these days there is bags of storage and a reasonable boot. Back seats fold back to accommodate extra items.
There are ten different body colours, nine different wheel designs and three roof colours, perhaps a little bit over the top.
There are daytime running lights and at night the lights are magnificent with an automatic switch off for the main beam.
I feel the French are coming!