DS 7 Crossback review

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As SUV inspired cars go the DS 7 is a gorgeous looking thing. The five seater has a beautiful exterior. The front end is stunning although people still ask what is it when they see the DS badge.

DS 7 handshakeAs a handshake the DS 7’s headlights do a needless but utterly exotic dance when you unlock the car as a party trick. The more cynical among you will say more to go wrong in a French car and to a degree I must agree. Let’s be fair and ditch the cliche about French cars as the PSA Group (Peugeot/CitroenDS) has been making much more reliable cars with each passing year.

The premium DS brand was created from a rib taken from Citroen. The brand is still trying to establish itself as a genuine rival to Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz etc. but it is clear the DS 7 Crossover is its best effort yet. Size-wise DS 7 is built on PSA’s EMP2 platform used extensively in many SUVs. The 7 is slightly bigger than the 3008 and Grandland X (same platform) and the volume selling Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson but is smaller than a Skoda Kodiaq.

Inside our performance line test car is beautifully appointed. Luscious alcantara covers the dash and the whole area is beautifully crafted and great to look at. The switchgear looks good but is pretty poor to interact with.
A digital drivers display is nice but only delivers basic features. The cabin has a large centre cubby. In the rear there is seating for three in the low set seats. Again the trim, finish and build is impressive.

The exterior looks great, the interior looks great too but the DS is let down by its secondary controls and poor interface. The DS 7 Crossback simply does not deliver a premium experience in this regard. The centre screen and connectivity is poor and no better than a Citroen offering.

All Crossbacks for now are front wheel drive. Our test car had PSA’s EAT8 eight speed automatic. Our diesel car lacked a premium level of refinement and felt just ordinary to drive. Where the DS 7 Crossback scores well is in its ride quality that is very comfortable. But hang on a second don’t Citroens ride well anyway – is the DS 7 any better? Not really, the DS 7 rides just like a mainstream Citroen. This is not a bad thing as it makes the urban jungle a comfortable place to be where you need-not-fear speed bumps. despite a number of selectable driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Normal and Sport) the Crossback’s default is to deliver a comfortable ride. Drive the Crossback with enthusiasm on twisty routes and body roll becomes an issue. At best think of it as a natural speed limiter. The DS 7 Crossback has a number of cool technologies: Connected Pilot (semi autonomous driving), ‘Active Scan’ suspension (that scans the road up to 20 metres ahead and adapts the dampers accordingly to minimise the surface impact) and Night Vision to name a few.

For now the engine range consists of puretech petrol power with outputs of 130hp or 180hp. BlueHDI diesels (from €38,300) offer the same 130hp or 180hp outputs. The grade structure starts with Elegance, then Performance Line followed by Prestige. Ultra Prestige is only available with 180hp diesel power and is the top grade. Greener motoring will come via the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 4×4 hybrid. It is on the way and a first for the EMP2 platform. DS 7 Crossback pricing starts from €36,000 (Puretech Elegance 130hp manual) and rises to €60,245 for the Ultra Prestige model.

The DS 7 Crossback is a great looking car. It is practical five-seater with a 555 litre boot yet it also delivers style and flare in spades. When DS gets the premium dynamic driving side right, well then it will be magic.

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About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael is Motorhub's Editor. Well known from TV and radio, Michael has been writing, presenting and judging cars since the mid 90's. He is a renowned Producer/Director and documentary film maker. Dozens of credits include: The Whole Way Round (Gay Byrne), The Shamrock Run (Alan Shortt), The Viking Run (Clodagh McKenna) and The Irish 66ers (David Mitchell) and The Climb for Kids (Colin Farrell). Print credits include: the RTE Guide (motoring editor 1999-2003), many national daily papers and Sundays including The Irish Times (freelance) plus other magazines. National radio credits include multiple at RTE Gerry Ryan show, the Mooney Show, The Dave Fanning Show, Drivetime etc. TV credits as a motoring expert include RTE's flagship current affairs show Primetime and TV3's Ireland AM. Michael also presented RTE's car show Drive! in the late 90s and directed some items in MPH2 on TG4. Michael contributes weekly on motoring issues to The Last Word show with Matt Cooper on Today FM. Michael has represented Ireland's motoring journalists in Motorsport at the International Mazda MX-5 endurance race series in Italy and the Arctic Ice Race. He has been a Car of the Year Judge for over 18 years and is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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