February 20, 2019

2019 DS 7 Crossback First Drive Review

New premium SUV from the French carmaker

The new DS 7 Crossback has just arrived in Ireland
The new DS 7 Crossback has just arrived in Ireland

The DS 7 Crossback is the first new car we have seen from the DS brand for a while. It marks the start of a new era for DS Automobiles in Ireland, with DS cars now being exclusively sold from DS Airside in Swords, County Dublin, with two more stores planned. The new SUV is aimed at the premium market and retails in Ireland priced from €36,000. Caroline drove the new DS 7 Crossback at the Irish press launch in Dublin.

Styling

The DS 7 Crossback is a fresh new design for the premium SUV segment. The tagline for the French premium car brand is ‘spirit of avantgarde’, and the devil is in the detail with the new DS 7 Crossback. In fact the detail is in the diamond motif that appears throughout the car, for example in the grille and the rear lights. The DS 7 has a strong front end and definite charismatic road presence, a must for a premium vehicle.

Interior

The interior of the DS 7 Crossback combines digital screens and the latest driver assistance features with swathes of soft touch materials and diamond motif details. It is very plush and embodies the ‘spirit of avantgarde’. The DS 7 Crossback is a definite step up in quality and design on what has come previously from DS. There are four interior ‘themes’, with different materials and finishing: Bastille, Performance Line, Rivoli and Opera.

Practicality

The DS 7 Crossback is a five seat SUV aimed between the C and D segment. That means when compared to direct rivals on price, the DS 7 Crossback is remarkably spacious. The boot is also very large for this class of vehicle at 555 litres.

The interior of the new DS 7 Crossback
The interior of the new DS 7 Crossback

Engines

The DS 7 Crossback is available with a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine with 130hp, a 1.6-litre turbo petrol with 180hp, 1.5-litre diesel with 130hp or a 2.0-litre diesel with 180hp. There is a 6-speed manual gearbox or 8-speed automatic.  A DS 7 Crossback plug-in hybrid with 300hp and four wheel drive is on the way in 2020. Motor tax for the DS 7 ranges from €190 to €280 depending on engine and transmission choice.

On the road

The DS 7 Crossback is built on the EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform), which is used by other PSA Group models. The flexible rear beam was replaced by a multi-arm arrangement to obtain a smoother ride and minimise noise. DS’s engineers also extended the wheelbase by 5.5cm and widened the front track.

There is also high-end insulation laid between the engine compartment and the cabin, in the wheel wells, beneath the bonnet, in the door panels, in the roof lining and underneath the carpeting.

Some models also feature DS Active Scan Suspension as standard. This system improves ride comfort using a camera to anticipate defects in the road ahead and adjusting the four shock absorbers to make them firmer or softer in response.

During a quick drive through city streets, the DS 7 Crossback was agile and comfortable with light steering. On first impressions the 2.0-litre diesel engine offers good refinement.

The DS 7 Crossback has a 555 litre boot
The DS 7 Crossback has a 555 litre boot

Equipment

In Ireland there will be four trim levels: Elegance, Performance Line, Prestige and Ultra Prestige. Standard features will include 18 inch Black Onyx diamond-cut alloy wheels, LED rear lights, gloss black exterior door mirrors, 8” touchscreen display, electric parking brake, lane departure warning, driver attention warning, rear parking sensors, LED front foglights with cornering light function, ‘Follow me Home’ lighting, Active Safety Brake, Android Auto / Apple CarPlay, DS Inspiration BASTILLE, Bronze Harmony cloth, dashboard and door panels, and leather steering wheel.

The Performance Line adds 19 inch Black Onyx diamond-cut alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, gloss black front grille, aluminium pedals, DS ACTIVE LED VISION (includes adaptive lighting), high beam assist, 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster, DS ACTIVE SCAN SUSPENSION on 2.0-litre diesel, front parking sensors, reversing camera, Alcantara® dashboard and door panels with stitching, and an AGR–certified ergonomic driver’s seat.

The Prestige adds 19 inch ROMA Grey Anthra diamond-cut alloy wheels, full LED ambient lighting, wireless charging for smartphone, B.R.M R180 Timepiece and an electric seats pack.

Ultra Prestige features include 20 inch TOKYO Gloss Black diamond-cut alloys, electric opening panoramic sunroof with LED lighting, interior polyambient LED lighting, 12” HD touchscreen display, DS Connected NAV – connected 3D navigation, electric tailgate opening, keyless entry & start, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go- Lane Keeping Assist, FOCAL Electra® HiFi system, electrochrome door mirrors, Nappa Art leather seats, Basalt Black Nappa leather dashboard and door panels, pearl stitching on the dashboard and door panels, front and rear leather grab handles and laminated side windows.

The new DS 7 Crossback goes on sale priced from €36,000
The new DS 7 Crossback goes on sale priced from €36,000

Pricing

Pricing for the DS 7 Crossback ranges from €36,000 to €60,245.

Rivals

DS Ireland list the Volvo XC40, Jaguar E-PACE, Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X1 as direct rivals, and the likes of the Jaguar F-PACE, Volvo XC60 and BMW X3 as indirect rivals.

Verdict

DS has really raised their game with the new DS 7 Crossback. The quality and finish of the car is excellent, backed up by a range of modern and efficient diesel and petrol engines. The DS 7 Crossback for now will be a more off-beat choice compared to traditional premium rivals, but early adopters will find a stylish, bespoke premium SUV with plenty to like.

Caroline Kidd