Hannah Gordon checks out the first French luxury SUV from DS
What is it? DS the luxury sister brand of Citroen have entered the SUV foray with the DS7 Crossback.
Who is it aimed at? A super stylish French SUV with bucket loads of flair and drama. The design won’t suit everyone and the hefty price tag will certainly be too much for some but it stands out from the crowd which will appeal to a select few.
Styling? As the SUV market becomes crowded its difficult to differentiate between the makes, the DS7 is DS first dip into the growing market and it aims to take on the prestige marques of Audi, Mercedes and BMW. Styling is sharp with chrome trim surrounding the large grille and daytime running lights follow the edge of the bumper. The large wheel arches can house big wheels and make it look like the DS7 is a capable off-roader, when in fact it isn’t. The rear proportions take styling cues from the Audi Q5 which is no bad thing, overall the design is very pleasing with LED lights front and rear which adds a luxury aspect.
Under the bonnet? Four engines are currently available for the DS7, the entry-level diesel is the BlueHDi 130 which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox only, it is the most economical but also the slowest. The other diesel is a 2.0-litre diesel that produces 180bhp, the two petrol engines are the Puretech 1.6-litre turbocharged units which produce 180bhp and 225bhp, these three engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
What about inside? Bold styling follows its way into the interior where you will find a large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (Prestige Line and above) that allows you to navigate through music, climate control and satellite navigation. Leading down from the touchscreen is two lines of switchgear which includes electric windows, the design is original but the switches feel a bit cheap as they are made from plastic.
The B.R.M 180 timepiece situated at the top of the dash is definitely a talking point, I found it split opinion as people would rather have a digital clock, I rather liked it as it made the interior feel more prestige.
There are four interior styles which include Bastille, Performance Line, Opera and Rivoli, this includes leather seat upgrades whilst the Performance Line gets Alcantara.
The DS7 interior is spacious, both front and rear seats offer plenty of room for adults whilst the boot has 555 litres of space which makes it larger than most rivals.
On the road? On the road the DS7 is smooth and refined especially when it is paired with a petrol engine, the 225bhp petrol engine is quiet under load and makes progress in swift fashion. The 8-speed automatic gearbox is very good and is able to keep up with fast acceleration as well as being smooth through the city.
Available as an extra is the DS Active Scan suspension (£1000 option) that uses the front camera to read the road and upcoming conditions, this setting is available when Comfort mode is selected.
What about safety? The DS7 achieved a full five stars on its Euro NCAP test, safety features included as standard is lane departure warning, speed limit recognition, lane keep assist, active blind spot recognition, active safety brake, DS park pilot and for people with children, there are two rear ISOFIX mounting points. Safety packs are included in the options list under Advanced and Premium Safety Packs.
What are my options? Available in the options list includes the Premium Winter pack which has heated front seats, heated front windscreen, extended bi-zone automatic air conditioning and remote control Webasto heater that can be controlled by a smartphone. A DS Night Vision Pack which costs £1400 helps you see objects in the dark, a pretty cool gadget that you can show your friends. Metallic paint is an added £550 and Pearlescent paint £750.
Will it break the bank? Onthe road prices for the PureTech 130 Manual start at £27,435.The petrol PureTech 225 engine is available on DS 7 CROSSBACK, Ultra Prestige, Prestige and Performance Line models, starting at £34,990. CO2 at just 135g/km means a First Year VED of £205. The most economical engine choice is the entry-level 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130 manual which has combined miles per gallon of 72.4 and a CO2 output of 101 g/km, the more powerful 2.0-litre diesel still returns good figures of 57.6mpg combined and CO2 output of 128g/km. The petrol engines give similar economy figures with 47.9mpg combined and a CO2 output of 134-135g/km.
So the verdict? The DS brand has struggled to get a foothold in the market since it launched, due to the rising popularity in SUV’s they have decided to bring the DS7 to the market. It is a stylish looking car with a distinctive interior and packed with technology. The petrol engines are refined and smooth, although they aren’t as economical as the diesel counterparts they are more flexible with town and motorway driving. The DS7 range comes with four trim levels and anything Performance Line and above proves to be particularly expensive. The DS7 hopes to give its buyers a bit of French couture and luxury that rivals the German brands, you can also be safe in the knowledge that it shares a platform, engines and components with the popular Peugeot 3008. There is also a Hybrid drivetrain in the pipeline which will definitely appeal to the economists amongst us.
Why you’ll buy one? French Chic, distinctive interior, technology
Why you won’t? Pricey
DS 7 Crossback Puretech 225
Max speed: 141 mph
0-62 mph: 8.3 seconds
Emissions: 135 g/km
Model price range: On the road prices start from £27,435
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 47.9 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 555 litres
Length: 4573 mm
Width: 1895 mm
Height: 1625 mm
Wheelbase: 2740 mm
18th January 2019