The super smart DS 7

DS 7 Review (2024)

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.

____________________________

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

The new DS 3 E-Tense will arrive in Ireland in 2023

DS 3 E-Tense Review

Read Caroline's DS 3 E-Tense review for everything you need to know about buying the upmarket DS compact crossover in Ireland.

DS Automobiles has updated the DS 3 for 2023, adding even more style and equipment. But it's the electric DS 3 E-Tense that sees the most significant update with the addition of a new battery that gives this model a range now of up to 404 kilometres (WLTP).

The new DS 3 range will arrive in Ireland in April and pricing will be confirmed closer to launch.

Both petrol and electric models will be offered in two trim levels.

Caroline travelled to Spain with DS Automobiles Ireland to drive the new DS 3 ahead of its arrival in Ireland.

The new DS 3 E-Tense will arrive in Ireland in 2023
The new DS 3 E-Tense will arrive in Ireland in 2023

Styling

The DS 3 is styled as a fashionable compact crossover. Launched for the first time in Europe in 2019, it was previously known as the DS 3 Crossback, but now it's known simply as the DS 3. It's the most compact model DS makes alongside the newly launched DS 4, DS 7 and DS 9. DS is positioned as a premium brand and the DS 3 has a more sophisticated presence than many more mainstream rivals like the Ford Puma, Hyundai Kona and the Toyota Yaris Cross. That makes it more of a rival for premium competitors like the Audi Q2 and the Mini Countryman.

Most of the style updates take place around the front of the new DS 3. Efficiency has been a key part of the design with a new spoiler and grille redesigned to optimise the car’s aerodynamic performance. The grille is a little bit wider and is available with gloss black or chromed diamond tips depending on the model. There are also new LED headlights that come as standard across the range and a new design of the daytime running lights that takes inspiration from other models like the DS 7 and DS 4.

In Ireland the DS 3 will be available in two trim levels. The Bastille model comes with 17-inch wheels, while the Rivoli sits on a set of diamond cut 18-inch alloys for even more presence. Premium features include flush door handles that glide out to meet you as you approach the car.

There are two new colours - Diva Red (exclusive to new DS 3) - and Lacquered Grey. A contrast roof is available in Perla Black or new Carat Grey.

The interior of the new DS 3
The interior of the new DS 3

Interior

DS has lightly revamped the interior of the DS 3 to make it more modern. There are some new features like the new multifunction steering wheel and a glossy 10-inch touchscreen that is a big improvement on the previous version. The new DS Iris System is built in, offering connected navigation and intelligent voice recognition, as well as customisation of the central screen and the 7-inch instrument panel. The cabin of the DS does feel more plush and sophisticated than many more mainstream rivals, though the overall feel and quality is still some way off the new DS 4. The layout is also quite quirky with the door handles not where you expect them to be and the controls for the windows embedded in the centre console. Rivoli models get full leather seats as standard, which do make this car feel more luxurious than most. Standard features include a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic air conditioning, folding electric mirrors and automatic headlights.

Practicality

The DS 3 is a compact vehicle with a 350-litre boot that is only really average for this class of vehicle. It's smaller than what you will find in a Puma, and premium rivals like the Q2 and Countryman. But the rear seats can be folded down for more space. Rear legroom is adequate but some rivals feel more spacious in the back of the car.

The DS 3 is one of the most upmarket compact crossovers on sale
The DS 3 is one of the most upmarket compact crossovers on sale

Battery

The new DS 3 E-Tense debuts the Stellantis Group's new 54kWh battery. The previous model used a 50kWh battery. The range has increased from 320 kilometres to up to 404 kilometres (WLTP). This makes it more competitive against rival compact EVs like a Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Niro EV. The new electric motor benefits from the brand's expertise acquired in Formula E. Power is up from 136hp to 156hp, though on the road this doesn't impact the performance of the car too much. There's still 260 Nm of torque and the DS 3 E-Tense feels good in all driving scenarios.

DS also offers the DS 3 with a 1.2-litre petrol engine that puts out 100hp in models with a manual gearbox and 130hp with the automatic gearbox.

Charging

Charging speeds remain the same with DC fast charging available up to 100kW (10% to 80% in 30 minutes). There’s also an 11kW on board charger for faster AC charging (0-100% in 5 hours).

Driving

The electric powertrain suits the DS 3 very well. The DS 3 moves over the tarmac with real elegance, and is one of the most comfortable and refined small electric crossovers you can buy. There's plenty of sound insulation, which adds serenity to the cabin and it never gets too noisy on the motorway. Some EVs can feel quite firm on the road, but the DS is admirably softly sprung. The car doesn't feel too heavy on the road so handling feels quite natural also.

Boot space in the new DS 3
Boot space in the new DS 3

Pricing

Pricing for the new DS 3 range will be announced closer to launch. The current DS 3 range kicks off from about €31,000 for a petrol manual and from about €42,000 for an electric DS 3 E-Tense.

Verdict

The DS 3 E-Tense has had a little more than just a facelift. A number of design improvements make the DS 3 E-Tense more efficient, while the new battery makes it more competitive overall with more electric driving range than ever before. It's a compact car and some rivals offer better value overall, but the DS 3 bites back with its upmarket styling and premium driving experience. The cabin is more modern and some versions feel more luxurious than others but the DS 3 still has some way to catch up with the larger DS 4 for interior quality. Still, the DS 3 E-Tense makes a charming electric compact crossover and is something a little more chic and different than the competition.

The new DS 3 E-Tense has more electric range than before
The new DS 3 E-Tense has more electric range than before

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

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


The new DS 4 on test for Changing Lanes

DS 4 Review

Read Caroline's DS 4 review for everything you need to know about buying the new premium hatchback from DS.

DS Automobiles has made a comeback to Ireland now under the stewardship of Irish multi-brand motoring distributor Gowan Auto. The first ever DS Store is now open in Dublin giving the brand a home in Ireland that was missing during previous attempts to gain traction in the Irish market.

The range of DS cars and SUVs has also expanded in the right direction. Already the brand has brought new crossovers and SUVs to market like the quirky DS 3 compact crossover and the large DS 7 SUV, as well as a new flagship saloon - the DS 9. Their range is also notable for all-electric models like the DS 3 E-TENSE and plug-in hybrid technology.

Now part of the Stellantis Group, DS is positioned as a French premium brand to rival the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Tough competition. What we've seen so far from the brand has been good but has not always fully lived up to those premium aspirations.

But now DS looks set to be launching their most premium car yet - the new DS 4. Priced from €37,295, the DS 4 takes on other high-end hatchbacks like the Audi A3 Sportback and the BMW 1 Series.

But can it deliver? It was time to take the new DS 4 for a drive to find out!

What's so special about the DS 4?

The DS 4 is a glorious hatchback with some serious style and road presence. At the front, there is a large grille bearing the DS logo flanked by slim LED headlights and dramatic daytime running lights. Some versions like the top of the range Performance Line+ and Rivoli get more advanced matrix LED headlights, as well as scrolling rear indicators.

It does stand out well against competitors like the Audi A3 and the BMW 1 Series. Maybe it's the slightly more flamboyant French style - cue the jewel-like rear LED lights and flush chrome door handles that pop out to meet you as you approach the car. There's a lot of detail in this car, so it does continue to surprise as you get to spend more time with it.

There are a range of paint colours to choose from with some of the best being Velvet Red Metallic, Lacquered Grey and Pearl White. For Ireland there is a great selection of trim levels. They vary in equipment, alloy wheel designs, interior trims and upholstery, with very French names like Bastille, Trocadero and Rivoli. Performance and Performance Line+ are the sportiest looking of the bunch with exterior trim in black and black alloy wheels.

All but the very entry model get 19-inch alloy wheels, with the option of 20-inch for maximum impact.

The DS 4 is also available with a fine complement of engines including high-powered petrols and plug-in hybrids.

But it's inside where the DS 4 has moved up a gear and now feels like a new breed of premium car from the French brand.

The new DS 4 on test for Changing Lanes
The new DS 4 on test for Changing Lanes

Inside the DS 4

A premium car should instantly make you feel safe and comfortable behind the wheel. The DS 4 does that and feels more luxurious inside than anything we've seen from the brand to date.

There is an avant-garde finish to the interior of the DS 4 with a generous use of Alcantara across the dashboard, doors and seats of Performance Line models. This gives the cabin a plush and high-end feel that moves it above more mainstream hatchbacks. There's no scratchy hard plastics visible and the fit and finish feels worthy of the car's positioning.

The design is also full of interesting details like the subtle air vents and discrete buttons for operating the windows and the climate control. It's certainly different but this layout is not immediately logical and does require a little bit of getting used to.

There is a small digital instrument cluster for the driver and Trocadero models and above also get a useful head-up display. In the centre of the dash there is a slim touchscreen with DS-specific graphics and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Cloth seats come as standard but it's worth going up to Performance Line for the gorgeous Alcantara version with Performance Line branding.

The interior of the new DS 4
The interior of the new DS 4

The DS 4 offers seating for five and offers adequate space in the back for a compact hatchback. It's not quite as roomy as the DS 7 for example, but adults will easily be able to get comfortable with just enough headroom and legroom.

The boot is at its biggest in petrol and diesel models offering 430 litres of space. That's good for this class of vehicle. But go for a plug-in hybrid and it dips to about 390 litres, which is a bit more average - but not completely useless either!

Driving the DS 4

DS Automobiles Ireland is selling the DS 4 with a range of engines from launch. The range kicks off with the 1.2-litre Puretech turbo petrol engine with a modest 130hp. However, go up to Performance Line and the range expands to offer a 1.5-litre diesel with 130hp or a 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid with 225hp.

Opt for Performance Line+ or Rivoli and you'll find what is my pick of the bunch - the 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine with 180hp.

But no matter which version you go for, all come with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

The DS 4 is a good-looking car with a classy interior to match
The DS 4 is a good-looking car with a classy interior to match

Buyers expect more power from a premium car and the DS 4 Puretech 180 offers all that. It's a four cylinder engine so is naturally more refined than the 1.2-litre three cylinder option in the DS 4. It's feels more smooth and powerful on the road and it sounds better.

The DS 4 Puretech 180 can still post some very impressive fuel figures as the engine is never under huge effort to deliver power across motorway, town and country driving. Over a week of driving I averaged about 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres.

On the road, the DS 4 offers impressive levels of grip and offers a mature and comfortable drive. The refinement is excellent helped by acoustic glazing in the windscreen (some models have it in the front windows too). So it offers a very high-end driving experience behind the wheel.

Hybrid models come with the DS Scan Suspension, which uses a camera to monitor the road ahead and then adjusts the suspension settings based on that for a smoother and more comfortable drive.

But even on standard suspension the DS covers the tarmac like a true professional without any annoying firmness. Yet it's a controlled drive, offering plenty of grip and stability through corners.

Rear seating in the DS 4
Rear seating in the DS 4

Did you like it?

The DS 4 is the DS brand's most convincing model to date.

The DS 4 is a good alternative now to premium hatchbacks like the 1 Series, A Class and A3 - with a refreshing French twist. The interior technology may not be as glamourous as the A-Class or as user-friendly as the 1 Series, but it is upmarket and distinct enough to be considered in the same company.

It's the driving experience that really helps the DS 4 to stand out, offering excellent comfort, power and refinement from behind the wheel in the 1.6 petrol model tested for Changing Lanes.

Like rivals, the DS 4 carries a premium for style and quality, but this time DS delivers.

Model tested: DS 4 Performance Line+ 1.6 Puretech 180
Price: 
€52,445
Engine:
1.6-litre turbo petrol
Power: 181hp
Torque: 250Nm
Top speed: 230 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 8 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€270 per year

The DS 4 is on sale now
The DS 4 is on sale now

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

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


The new DS3 Electric on test for Changing Lanes!

DS 3 Electric Review

Read Caroline's DS3 Electric review for everything you need to know about buying the new electric compact crossover from DS in Ireland.

Well, to give this car its official title, it's the DS3 Crossback E-TENSE. The E-TENSE badge is applied to electrified cars across the new DS range, including full battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

DS has a new distributor in Ireland and will bolster their range here with the arrival of the new DS4 and DS9 in the coming months.

However the DS story starts with the DS7 Crossback, previously reviewed for Changing Lanes. And now the more compact DS3 Crossback, which has been on sale in Europe since 2019.

The new DS3 Electric on test for Changing Lanes!
The new DS3 Electric on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the DS3 Crossback?

Available now for the first time in Ireland with the option of petrol, diesel or an electric powertrain, the DS3 Crossback offers exclusive DS style in the popular B-SUV segment.

DS is positioned in the market as a French premium brand. Pricing for the new DS3 Crossback range starts from €29,170. It rises to €42,058 for a top of the line version of the charismatic crossover. The electric DS3 Crossback E-TENSE goes on sale from €37,816.

DS is not the most recognisable brand yet on Irish roads. But the DS3 Crossback impresses on approach with an elegant and classy compact presence. At the front, the DS3 is characterised by a big grille, flanked by thin strips of almost pearl-like LED daytime running lights.

Premium features like flush fitting door handles glide out of the bodywork. The DS diamond motif appears in all the details. The rear LED light signature is complemented by a surround that in the centre spells out C R O S S B A C K.

There are many options to customise the DS3: the roof and body in contrasting colours, different alloy wheel designs and eight body colours, including Pearl Crystal, exclusive to the DS3 E-TENSE.

There are three grades on offer to Irish customers – Elegance, Performance Line and top of the range Prestige.

The DS3 Crossback goes on sale from €37,816
The electric DS3 Crossback E-TENSE goes on sale from €37,816

Inside the DS3

Build on the PSA Group's (now part of Stellantis) CMP multi-energy platform, the DS3 was designed from the very start to integrate a combustion engine or battery and electric motor, just like the Peugeot e-2008 and Opel Mokka-e.

The DS3 is undoubtedly a compact car for the B-segment. Nevertheless it feels roomy up front. The crossover style gives the driver and passengers a slightly elevated feeling with good headroom. Rear legroom is tight, though children should be fine back there.

The quirky little 'kick' in the window line is cool from the outside, but it makes it feel a little more dark and enclosed in the rear. There's a 350 litre boot. It's comparable with a typical hatchback of this size.

The cabin of the DS3 Crossback is where DS stands out. It is quirky and well-appointed with lashings of soft touch materials. There is an unusual layout. The door handles for example are not where you expect them to be. The switches for the electric windows are on the centre console. Quilted leather effect seats come as standard on this E-TENSE Elegance model. You'll struggle to find a B-segment crossover quite as chic as this one!

The touch controls and the central air vents are diamond-shaped beneath a 7" touchscreen. The driver gets a small but modern 7" digital display. Equipment levels are high with heat pump, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Park Assist, automatic air conditioning, 17" alloys, parking sensors, reversing camera, and leather steering wheel included as standard.

Inside the DS3 Crossback
Inside the DS3 Crossback

What are my options?

The DS 3 Crossback is the first car to feature the latest upgrade of the PureTech petrol engine with a 155 hp petrol engine matched to the EAT8 (Efficient Automatic Transmission with 8-speeds). That engine is reserved for the top of the range Prestige model.

Of more interest to Irish buyers will be the two other 1.2-litre PureTech turbo petrol engines (130 hp and 100 hp). There's also the 1.5-litre BlueHDi, diesel engine with 110 hp available from launch.

But with Irish buyers increasingly exploring their options in new electric vehicles, the electric DS3 Crossback E-TENSE is definitely worth some attention. Starting from €37,816, it does carry a premium in an increasingly competitive market for electric vehicles.

The DS3 Electric uses a 50 kWh battery to give a range of up to 320 km (WLTP), though in real world driving 250 km is a more realistic target.

Driving the DS3 E-TENSE

On the road, the electric DS3 E-TENSE is a delight to drive. The electric DS3 has increased door panel thickness, thicker glass and an acoustic windscreen. The transmission is smooth, noise is well-suppressed, giving a serene cabin experience. This model offers a more refined and slick experience behind the wheel than the DS3 Crossback 1.2 petrol, so electric suits it very well.  It's compact and fun to drive, an ideal city car or second car - but it has long distance comfort too.

It's delightfully conventional too, a plus from developing a car from the start with the same interior and exterior as petrol and diesel versions.

100 kW rapid charging is available, with 80% charge in just 30 minutes or roughly one hour with a 50 kW fast charger. There's also an 11 kW on board charger for faster AC charging. This car can be charged to full in about 7.5 hours from a 7 kW home charging unit.

The DS3 Crossback petrol on test for Changing Lanes
The DS3 Crossback petrol on test for Changing Lanes

Did you like it?

The DS3 Crossback arrives in Ireland with premium ambitions, offering a chic and quirky alternative in the small SUV segment.

Driving the DS3 is certainly a unique experience. This car dares to do things a little differently in the cabin. Visually DS has lashed on the soft furnishings in the cabin to make this car feel special for its class.

It won't be to everyone's taste, but if you like it, you'll probably love it after spending more time with it.

Sure it is an expensive small car with some very closely related rivals on the Irish market like the excellent Peugeot 2008 and Opel Mokka. But the DS3 is more exclusive than either car with a very distinct style. Not 'better' per se; but different.

The electric DS3 Crossback E-TENSE is my favourite of the range, with a slick transmission and silent, refined cabin ambience that measures up better against the car's premium billing.

This is a fun, compact car, with plenty of style. Expensive but extremely likeable all the same.

The new DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE is available now from the new DS Store Dublin at Gowan Motors on Navan Road in Dublin 15.

The DS3 Crossback is a chic alternative in the small SUV segment
The DS3 Crossback is a chic alternative in the small SUV segment

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: DS3 Crossback E-TENSE Elegance
Price:
€37,816 including SEAI grant
Battery: 50 kWh
Power: 
136 hp
Torque: 260 Nm
0-100km/h: 
8.7 seconds
Top speed: 150 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year


The new DS 7 Crossback on test for Changing Lanes!

DS7 Hybrid Review

Read Caroline's DS7 review for everything you need to know about the brand's flagship plug-in hybrid SUV in Ireland.

It's just over ten years since DS landed in Ireland in the shape of a number of Citroen DS models, including the cute and compact Citroen DS3. The cars were essentially Citroens with some more exclusive badging and opulent trim.

By 2014, DS Automobiles was spun off from Citroen. But it wasn't until 2019 that we got the first brand-specific model, the DS7 Crossback, which I reviewed shortly after it arrived in Ireland.

DS is now owned by motoring behemoth Stellantis. The French premium car brand has found a new home in Ireland with the Gowan Group, who import a suite of Stellantis brands to Ireland including Peugeot, Opel, Citroen, Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Fiat.

The new DS 7 Crossback on test for Changing Lanes!
The new DS 7 Crossback on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the DS7?

The DS7 is special. It's the best of what the DS brand has to offer right now. Designed as a large premium SUV in the brand's 'spirit of avant-garde', it is everything DS wants to be known for. French luxury, opulence, avant-garde design and the most magnificent detailing inside and outside the car.

The DS7 also leads with the brand's 'E-TENSE' plug-in hybrid technology, as well as other petrol and diesel options. Front wheel drive and four wheel drive models are available. With pricing starting from €44,995 rising to €63,200, the DS is up against some well-established competition in the busy large family SUV segment. But the DS7 is a considerable car.

DS is still a relative newcomer to the Irish market. The brand does not have a massive presence here yet. But a new DS Store opened in Dublin in 2021 at Gowan Motors on the Navan Road. So the DS7 will give its owner the gift of being different for the moment until the brand gains more visibility on Irish roads.

This car is a beauty with a large imposing presence set off perfectly in the Nera Black of the test car, and the Performance Line+ trim. Wheels are 19" as standard. That big grille has beautiful detail with the jewel-like DS badge in the centre. Flanked on either side by magnificent headlights with DS Active LED vision as standard. Each contains three rotating modules and a main LED projector, which unwrap themselves like beautiful diamonds every time you unlock the car. The light show is spectacular at night.

The DS 7 goes on sale in Ireland in 2022 from €44,995
The DS 7 goes on sale in Ireland in 2022 from €44,995

Inside the DS7

The signature diamond motif features from the grille to the rear lights and the theme continues inside.

Inside the cabin of the DS7 is covered in swathes of luxurious Alcantara - the seats, the door cards, the dashboard. It suits the sporty feel of the Performance Line perfectly. It gives a feeling of luxury and quality to the cabin. All this standard on the Performance Line entry point into the DS7 range. There are some harder plastics lower down in the doors but generally the overall impression is good. The car is packed with high end features.

The centre console sports an intricate collage of metal buttons to operate everything from the controls for the powered electric windows to the electronic handbrake. It is beautiful detail and very distinct for DS, though takes a bit of getting used to. It's anything but conventional.

The cabin feels modern with a full digital instrument cluster for the driver and a large 8" touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The DS7 is a five seat SUV - there is no seven seat option. It's big inside. The rear bench is very accommodating with large footwells. This SUV has a longer wheelbase than competitors so rear seating space feels much more generous. The boot is also very large and practical considering the price of the vehicle. There's 555 litres available and a powered tailgate.

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

What are my options?

In Ireland, DS offers the DS7 with a range of petrol and diesel engines, and a plug-in hybrid. The petrol option is a 1.2-litre unit with 130 hp (from €45,795). The DS7 1.5-litre diesel has 130 hp and goes on sale from €44,995. All models are automatic for a premium touch.

The DS7 plug-in hybrid is badged 'E-TENSE' and is available from €52,295 for a front wheel drive model and from €61,700 for a four wheel drive model.

So while the hybrids are the most expensive of the range, they offer considerable more power with 225 hp from a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor. They also sound and feel more refined. The 13.2 kWh battery means you can charge the DS7 hybrid and drive on a pure electric range for up to 58 km. This is ideal in urban environments, where potentially the car could be ran on electricity alone, only dipping into the fuel tank on longer runs.

Driving the DS 7 Plug-in Hybrid

Without charging, my average fuel consumption was 7.0 litres per 100 km so it's certainly advantageous if you can charge frequently and run on electricity for the battery range on trips around town for example. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to charge from a 7 kW home charger.

Elsewhere, the DS7 E-TENSE hybrid does impress with a suitable amount of power and performance for a flagship SUV.

The DS7 is built on the EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform), which is used by other Stellantis models. The flexible rear beam was replaced by a multi-arm arrangement to obtain a smoother ride and minimise noise. DS engineers also extended the wheelbase by 5.5 cm and widened the front track.

There is also high-end insulation 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.

Power is delivered to the road smoothly, with a premium quality to the ride quality. The Active Scan Suspension is standard on the E-TENSE hybrid models. It monitors the road ahead using a camera and adjusts the four shock absorber settings accordingly, making them firmer or softer in response. So what you have behind the wheel is a large SUV that handles tight twisty country roads with a professional finish, as well as motorway tarmac, and the rough and tumble of road surfaces around many Irish towns and cities.

The DS 7 is available as petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid
The DS7 is available as petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid

Did you like it?

The DS7 is an intriguing vehicle. For a while at least it will still be a mysterious but rare presence on Irish roads. The car looks the part. The devil is in the detail. There is a sophistication and elegance to this car that does demand attention. The spirit of avantgarde!

The petrol and diesel models form a more affordable entry into the DS7 range. And buyers will enjoy the salubrious spec of the Performance Line models, with that beautiful interior swathed in Alcantara. This is a spacious family SUV, with a huge boot and very comfortable seating.

But the hybrid somehow fits the bill for a flagship SUV with a power output that the DS7 seems more worthy of. It won't suit everyone, and will be at its best in urban environments where it can zip around on electric power. But with the DS Store in Dublin, DS are strategically placed for this customer.

DS is hitting its stride now with a new distributor, DS Store, and the upcoming arrival of the exciting new DS4 and DS9. So backing a DS has never looked so good.

The DS 7 Crossback is a new French premium SUV priced from €36,000
The DS7 Crossback diesel on test for Changing Lanes in 2019

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: DS7 E-TENSE Performance Line+
Price:
€57,245 (Range from €44,995)
Engine: 1.6-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power:
225 hp
Torque:  320 Nm
0-100km/h: 
8.9 seconds
Top speed:  225 km/h
CO2 emissions:
31 g/km
Motor tax: 
€140  per year


The new DS 4 is expected to go on sale in Ireland in early 2022!

DS 4 To Make Comeback To Ireland In 2022!

The new DS 4 is expected to go on sale in Ireland in early 2022!
The new DS 4 is expected to go on sale in Ireland in early 2022

The Irish distributor of DS Automobiles has confirmed that the brand will relaunch in Ireland in 2021, with their line-up of cars to be bolstered by the arrival of the all-new DS 4 hatchback in early 2022.

Gowan Group, who already distribute Peugeot, Honda and Opel cars in Ireland, has been appointed as the new distributor for the French premium carmaker.

DS 4 hatchback debuts plug-in hybrid tech

The new DS 4 will compete in the market as a high-end, C-segment hatchback and will be available with a choice of powertrains, including the 'E-TENSE' plug-in hybrid (PHEV). This exciting new model has been designed to combine some aspects of a coupé-SUV with a traditional compact hatchback.

A new DS 4 CROSS will also go on sale with some cosmetic enhancements to give the perception of a more rugged crossover-style vehicle. This model will also have the exclusive option of Advanced Traction Control for improved grip, with sand, snow and mud modes, and Hill Assist Descent Control.

The DS 4 CROSS will have a more crossover inspired look
The DS 4 CROSS will have a more crossover-inspired look

A DS 4 PERFORMANCE LINE will crown the line-up with a sportier appearance, distinctive black alloy wheels and exclusive interior finish.

In fact, the bulk of the range will sit on 19" alloys, but 20" can also be accommodated thanks to a “Tall & Narrow” offering designed to limit aerodynamic disturbance and lower CO2 emissions, while maintaining an attractive design and comfort.

Inside the 2021 DS 4

There is a new interior design that features the latest in touchscreen and digital technology for the DS brand. With the DS 4 aimed at the higher end of the market, we are promised a mix of leather, Alcantara®, forged carbon, wood and new upholstery techniques inside the new French mademoiselle.

Technology features will include a completely re-imagined 10-inch infotainment system controlled by voice and gesture, and an extended head-up display touted as an 'avant-garde visual experience' that is a first step towards augmented reality. With new immersive technology, vital driving information is projected directly onto the road. Using an optical illusion, data is displayed four metres ahead of the windscreen.

The interior of the new DS 4
The interior of the new DS 4

We're told that the new DS 4 will also have a competitive 430 litres of boot space, with hands-free opening and a powered tailgate available.

Developed for high-end refinement

According to DS, the DS 4's 'EMP2' platform - already shared with some other Peugeot and Opel cars - has 70% new or exclusive parts.

Plug-in hybrid technology is offered from launch, with the DS 4 E-TENSE promising 225 hp and a pure electric range of up to 50 km (WLTP).

'PureTech' turbo petrol engines will also be offered with 130, 180 and 225 hp, though we don't know yet if all these will come to Ireland. There will also be a BlueHDi diesel engine offered in the new DS 4. All these models will be exclusively available with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

To ensure premium levels of comfort and refinement, DS has used techniques like bond-welding, as well as completely redesigned suspension and steering components. The new DS 4 will also feature the brand's suspension damping technology that uses a camera to anticipate irregularities in the road surface and makes the suspension harder or softer depending on what’s required.

Plug-in hybrid technology debuts for the first time in the DS 4 range
Plug-in hybrid technology debuts for the first time in the DS 4 range

Anything else to know about it?

Seven colours will be available, including Pearl Crystal, Platinum Grey, Red Velvet, Pearl White, and Perla Nera Black, and two new ones, Copper Gold and Lacquered Grey.

DS was founded in 2009 as a spin-off of Citroen, with the DS 3 the first vehicle launched for the brand, followed by the DS 4 and DS 5. In 2015, it became a standalone brand and later moved into the SUV market with the launch of the DS 7 Crossback, the DS 3 Crossback, and all-electric DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE.

The new DS 4 will support the company’s continued growth in markets around the world.

A spokesperson for DS Ireland confirmed that a dealer for the brand will be appointed soon, allowing the start of sales of DS 7 and DS 3 Crossback in Ireland to begin once again. A new DS 9 premium saloon will follow later in 2021, before the first DS 4 cars begin to arrive in the first quarter of 2022.

DS Ireland is making a comeback with new models to launch in 2021
DS Ireland is making a comeback with new models to launch in 2021

The new DS 7 Crossback

DS 7 Diesel Review

The new DS 7 Crossback
The new DS 7 Crossback

2019 marks something of a new era for the DS brand in Ireland. DS is not 100% new to Ireland, since Citroen did market a number of DS models here since 2010.  But at parent group PSA, DS has now been spun off into its own standalone, premium French brand. And that means that the 2019 DS 7 Crossback is the first DS to be developed ‘from the ground up’ as a contemporary French premium vehicle.

DS has chosen to make this grand entrance in the form of a very on trend, large SUV. Priced from €36,000, the DS 7 Crossback has presence, making it a suitable flagship for the brand. The new SUV gets the latest engines and technology from the PSA Group, yet the design is distinctly new and different also. The DS motto is 'the spirit of avant garde', and a lot of detail has gone into the design of the car. The signature diamond motif features from the grille to the rear lights and the theme continues inside. Some might call it busy, but there's no doubt that the DS 7 will not be mistaken for any other SUV.

Available as a five seat SUV only, the DS 7 Crossback is still very, very rare in Ireland - the DS brand will not be immediately recognised! The  Performance Line model I had on test is the sportiest of the trims and is distinguished by 19" 'Black Onyx', diamond-cut alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, and a large gloss black front grille. The striking LED light signature adds menace to this car, and the Black Perla finish gives the car just the right attitude!

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

Inside the new DS 7 Crossback

The interior of the 2019 DS 7 Crossback is a real treat in that you probably have never seen anything like it. The diamond motif synonymous with the new generation DS features heavily in the switchgear and textiles. Performance Line models get swathes of expensive-looking Alcantara, probably the most Alcantara you will find this side of €50,000! The DS 7 Crossback is a 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. This is a highly detailed interior that might take you some time to find your way around. For example, while the metal buttons either side of the centre console look cool, it takes some fiddling to find out what they all do! The cabin is well kitted out in terms of digital technology with a full digital instrument panel and an 8” touchscreen display.

In Ireland the new DS 7 Crossback is offered in four trim levels: Elegance, Performance Line, Prestige and Ultra Prestige. Standard features include 18" '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, Bronze Harmony cloth, dashboard and door panels, and a leather steering wheel.

The Performance Line model on test added high beam assist, 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster, the DS Active Scan Suspension (2.0-litre diesel only), front parking sensors, reversing camera, Alcantara® dashboard and door panels with stitching, and an AGR–certified ergonomic driver’s seat.

The DS 7 Crossback is a new French premium SUV priced from €36,000
The DS 7 Crossback is a new French premium SUV priced from €36,000

How practical is the DS 7?

In terms of size, the new DS 7 Crossback straddles the C and D segment. It has a longer wheelbase than competitors so rear seating space feels much more generous. There's loads of headroom and large footwells. The boot is also very large and practical considering the price of the vehicle with 555 litres available.

DS is a sister brand to Peugeot and Citroen, which means that the brand has access to some popular and well proven 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.

My test car was a DS 7 Crossback Performance Line BlueHDi180 Automatic with a list price of €49,745. This model is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel and uses an 8-speed automatic.

Rear legroom in the DS 7 Crossback
Rear legroom in the DS 7 Crossback

Driving the 2019 DS 7 Crossback

The DS 7 Crossback is built on the EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform), which is used by other PSA Group models. However, DS has made some changes for their new DS 7. The flexible rear beam was replaced by a multi-arm rear suspension for a smoother ride and less noise. The wheelbase was also extended by 5.5cm and the front track is wider. High-end insulation is 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.

On the road the DS 7 is agile for its size and holds the road well, though it could not be described as a sporty vehicle. The diesel engine has plenty of power with 180 hp, though the automatic gearbox is not the silkiest of transmissions. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.2l/100km. My test car had the Active Scan Suspension. The ride on the suspension is mostly good and the car reacts well in bends and changes in direction.

The DS 7 Crossback is the best product DS has produced to date with a significant enhancements in design and quality. The premium billing of the car raises standards considerably. In that regard, the DS 7 still has some way to go in terms of refining the driving character. Yet the DS 7 makes all the right moves in terms of a charismatic road presence - it is something distinctly different in the large SUV segment. DS 7 offers value in terms of space and specification, with some great petrol and diesel engines on offer. The DS 7 Crossback for now will be a more off-beat choice compared to traditional premium SUV rivals, but early adopters will find a stylish, bespoke SUV.

DS cars are exclusively sold from DS Airside in Swords, County Dublin, with two more stores planned.

Pricing for the 2019 DS 7 Crossback ranges from €36,000 to €60,245.

The DS 7 Crossback is a stylish new option in the family SUV market
The DS 7 Crossback is a stylish new option in the family SUV market

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: DS 7 Crossback Performance Line BlueHDi180 Automatic
Price:
€49,745 (Range from €36,000)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
180 hp
Torque: 400 Nm
0-100km/h: 
9.9 seconds
Top speed: 216 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.5 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
173 g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year

 


The new DS 7 Crossback has just arrived in Ireland

DS 7 Crossback Review

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


The DS3 supermini, which was badged as a Citroen when first launched

DS 3 Pricing For Ireland Announced

The DS3 supermini, which was badged as a Citroen when first launched
The DS3 supermini, which was badged as a Citroen when first launched

The separation of the DS brand from Citroen is now complete and after the launch here of the DS 5 and DS 4, the smallest car in the DS range has reached Ireland. The DS 3 is the car formerly known as the Citroen DS 3, but DS is now a standalone brand and the premium arm of the PSA Group, which also accounts Peugeot as one of its brands.

We spent some time with the DS 3 when it was a Citroen back in 2014. We liked it for its style and agility. It's a fun small car that stands out on the road.

All Citroen badging has been removed and a new grille bearing the DS emblem is the most significant visual update.

The range has been streamlined into two trim lines, Elegance and Prestige, and there is enhanced standard equipment.

DS 3 Pricing

The range kicks off at €21,345 for Elegance with 1.2-litre Puretech (82bhp) petrol engine, and this model features brand new ‘Blade’ 16” alloy wheels, LED front fog lights, sports seats with new ‘Dinamica’ cloth trim, automatic air-conditioning, rear parking sensors and the DS Connect Box emergency and assistance system.

Prestige is available from €27,295 with a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 130bhp. Equipment includes eMyWay satellite navigation, additional front parking sensors, Alcantara upholstery and 17” alloy wheels.

Other engine options for the new model include the 1.2-litre Puretech (110bhp) and 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel with 100 or 120bhp.

Small petrol engines really suit the DS 3.

In 2019, the DS brand returned once again to the Irish market with a new product spearheaded by the flagship DS 7 Crossback. This large SUV is aiming at the premium market. The five seat SUV features numerous luxurious features and an extensive engine range borrowed from PSA group stablemates.

Caroline Kidd