The five-seat DS 7 Crossback is targeting buyers of mid-sized premium SUVs who might be looking for something different. The Citroen spin-off brand brand has thrown the kitchen sink at the task, delivering a very comfortable car with plenty of nice design touches. We’re testing the latest DS 7 E-Tense plug-in hybrid this week.
The DS 7 has a conventional SUV/crossover shape that gets additional bling in the form of chrome trim, headlights that perform a party trick dance routine before settling in the foreword position and subtle badging that gets people asking “what is that yoke?”… ”A DS”… “A what?!” Rarity is the key to the car’s on street appeal as in nearly every sense the five-door looks like a blend of many others. The rear hints of Audi, the giant grille is right on trend and if it weren’t for our car’s bright colour you could lose it in a sea of SUVs in any posh carpark.
Our ‘Opera’ equipped model’s interior had a nice party trick. A elegant ‘B.R.M R180 Timepiece’ (analogue clock) rotates in to place above the stop/start button when you switch on. It is mounted high on the centre of the nicely finished dashboard. The layout is fairly conventional and the usual big touch screen and latest smart phone connectivity feature. Massaging seats helps add to the levels of comfort in the modern DS that the original Citroen DS was famed for (I used to own one). The original had a unique ride that was magical, the new DS… it manages with a more conventional set up. Our car however had adaptable suspension, so if we wished we could feel comfortable or sporty at the press of a button. The rear seats are accommodating and comfortable too. The cabin is very nice but we must remember the standard for interiors set by sister company Peugeot is a tough one to exceed but DS has done its best and appear slightly more upmarket.
Our test car’s power comes from a combination of a petrol engine and electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery pack. The combined power output is hp / nm. The gearbox is an automatic 8-speed. Fuel consumption is quoted at 1.3 l/100km (217mpg) WLTP. CO2 emissions are a noble 32g/km. Top speed is 225km/h. Our test car featured the optional DS Inspiration OPERA (black Nappa leather seats with a watch strap design) and 20-inch ‘Tokyo’ alloys. Our car’s on the road price, net of grants, is €56,790.
The hybrid powertrain delivers very smooth driving but the one niggle we found was the brake pedal and its feel. The initial brake pedal push feels a little too soft and when you push harder the braking becomes less smooth and almost jerky when coming to a full stop. Hybrid with regenerative braking all have subtle nuances but DS needs to do a bit more work here as it didn’t feel quite right. Battery charging is done via a type 2 cable and when you use the PHEV as intended the DS 7 is a very economical and green car to use. There are a number of drive modes and energy modes too that allow you generate and hold electricity for use at a later point in the drive. You can set the car to hold maximum battery charge, 20km or 10km worth of electricity in reserve.
The DS 7 engine range features only automatics but the power units are familiar from any Peugeot, Citroen or any brand in the giant Stellantis motor group of companies. DS 7 prices starts from €42,695 for the petrol powered 1.2 litre ‘PureTech’ 130. There is one diesel engine available a 1.5 litre BlueHDi 130. ‘E-Tense’ 225 and then the E-Tense 4X4 300 tops the range at €62,995 (inc grants). Three trim grades are available Performance Line, Performance Line+ and Prestige.
The DS 7 Crossback is a handsome car that is easy to use and live with. In higher grades you will feel good about yourself as then the car feels like a genuine rival for the usual suspects in the premium SUV/Crossover class. If you’re after comfort, it’s one of the best in its class too.