Read Caroline’s DS 7 review for everything you need to know about buying the latest version of the DS luxury SUV in Ireland.

DS is owned by the same company that owns many well-known brands like Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Opel and Citroen. The DS 7 is the French luxury car brand’s flagship SUV that launched in the Irish market in 2019.

In 2023 a facelifted DS 7 arrived in Ireland with updated styling and a tweaked interior too.

DS is still a relatively small player on the market but sales in Ireland have been growing since the arrival of the new DS 4 hatchback in late 2022.

The DS 7 is a curious car indeed. It feels more upmarket than bestsellers like the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai yet faces stiff competition from established premium SUVs like the BMW X1, Volvo XC40 and Audi Q3.

So what might sway buyers towards the stately DS 7? Let’s take a closer look.

The super smart DS 7
The super smart DS 7

Styling

The DS 7 is a handsome five-seat SUV. It has considerable presence and up close it’s nothing short of premium in its design. It’s a car that has benefited greatly from a recent facelift that brings it more in line with the styling of the rest of the DS range. At the front, the grille is now wider and framed by slim pixel LED headlights and new DS ‘light veil’ daytime running lights, as seen on the DS 3 and DS 4. There are now three trim lines – Performance Line, Rivoli and Opera – which alter the look somewhat from sporty to more elegant. Alloy wheel sizes vary from 19- to 21-inch. At the back DS Automobiles is now spelt out across a strip connecting jewel-like LED lights.

Interior

The cabin feels very plush and upmarket with a range of high-end furnishings available. Performance Line models go with a sporty Alcantara interior, while the mid-range Rivoli luxes it out with a full black leather interior. Even the dashboard panels and doors feature luxurious leather quilting, which adds to the opulent feel. The heated leather seats are comfortable and supportive with a massage function in Rivoli models including a lovely ‘Cat Paw’ setting! Other unusual features include a BRM clock that slips elegantly from the dash on start up. There’s an impressive new full digital driver display and updated 12-inch touchscreen and infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The cabin of the DS 7
The cabin of the DS 7

Being a DS there is a little bit of quirkiness to the placement of some of the controls. For example, you’ll find the buttons to open the electric windows in the centre console. But you get used to this arrangement after a while. The ventilation controls are in the touchscreen, which can be a bit fiddly to operate while driving but there is a row of shortcut buttons underneath to pull up menus quickly.

Practicality

The DS 7 is bigger overall than its closest rivals like an X1 or XC40. There’s a big boot of 555 litres, which is ideal for family life. A powered tailgate comes as standard on Rivoli and Opera models. There’s no clever compartment to store the charging cables for the plug-in hybrid model but there are switches to let down the rear seats from the boot. The DS 7 feels equally generous on space in the back seat, with lots of head, leg and shoulder room.

Engines

The DS 7 has quite a narrow engine line-up in Ireland. Buyers can choose from a 1.5-litre diesel with 130hp or a more powerful plug-in hybrid with 225hp in front wheel drive models and even more powerful four wheel drive variants (300hp and 360hp). All come with an 8-speed automatic. The diesel offers excellent economy, particularly for high mileage motorway users. The plug-in hybrid has a battery that can allow some exclusive EV driving for a range up to about 69 kilometres. This is ideal for those who can charge at home or work and make use of this limited electric range when driving around town.

The DS 7 Rivoli on test for Changing Lanes
The DS 7 Rivoli on test for Changing Lanes

Charging

It will take about seven hours to charge the DS 7 plug-in hybrid from a three-pin plug and just under two hours from a 7kW wallbox.

Driving

The DS 7 is built on the same platform and underpinnings as some other well-known SUVs like the Peugeot 3008 and the Citroen C5 Aircross. Yet DS engineers did tweak it to live up to the more upmarket positioning of the DS brand. There is a more sophisticated rear suspension for example and more sound insulation. Certainly the most impressive aspect of the DS 7 on the road is just how comfortable it is. Plug-in hybrid versions (badged ‘E-Tense’) come with the DS Scan Suspension, which uses a camera to scan the road ahead and adjusts the firmness or softness of the suspension damping depending on what it sees. It works brilliantly and makes this car an absolute pleasure to drive and travel in. The handling is very secure and confident, while the light steering in town makes it a breeze to drive and manoeuvre in traffic or parking. There is some road noise but generally the cabin is pretty well hushed. There are also a few driving modes to alter the driving experience but the DS 7 really excels in the Comfort mode. The plug-in hybrid offers plenty of power to match the premium positioning of the car but it can get thirsty when the battery is empty. Like most plug-in hybrids, it’s best to keep the battery charged as much as possible otherwise the diesel will work out a better option overall.

Boost space in the DS 7
Boot space in the DS 7

Pricing

Pricing for the new DS 7 range starts from €50,390 for the diesel and from €57,800 for the plug-in hybrid. The DS 7 E-Tense plug-in hybrid in Rivoli trim retails from €61,800.

Verdict

The DS 7 is a stylish alternative to some of the usual suspects among premium SUVs. It also happens to offer generous space inside and unique French luxury style and furnishings. It does get expensive as you go up the trim levels but there’s some relative value to be had in the range too. The diesel remains a popular choice among DS 7 buyers, though the plug-in hybrid has its merits too including more power and a quieter driving experience overall. But it does need to be charged to get the best from it so that’s a commitment that won’t appeal to every buyer. Still, it’s really the comfort the DS 7 offers that makes it a excellent companion for Irish roads. The facelift gives it a pleasant, contemporary update that helps it stand out even more.

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Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The DS 7 is on sale in Ireland now
The DS 7 is on sale in Ireland now