The new DS3 Electric on test for Changing Lanes!

DS3 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 in 2022.

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 Crossback Hybrid Review (2022)

Read Caroline's DS7 Crossback 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 Crossback?

The DS7 Crossback 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 Crossback 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 Crossback

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

Inside the cabin of the DS7 Crossback 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 Crossback 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 Crossback 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 Crossback 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 Crossback 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

2019 DS 7 Crossback 2.0 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

2019 DS 7 Crossback First Drive 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


DS And Swarovski At DS World Paris

A new exhibition at DS World Paris will see Swarovski side by side with the Divine DS, a concept car studded with the company’s famous crystals.

The flagship DS World store in Paris is just a stone’s throw away from the Champs-Elysées and acts as an events venue, exhibition of DS heritage and as a showroom for the luxury DS brand.

The new exhibition will give visitors the chance to get a close-up look at the Divine DS concept car, new DS 5 and a classic DS 21 Pallas reimagined for the twenty first century.

The DS 5 is the first new DS that will hit the road without Citroen’s double chevrons on the bonnet and takes inspiration from the design language of the Divine DS concept car. The DS 21 Pallas is sixty years old this year and to celebrate this milestone, the DS styling centre has given the car a makeover to combine the car’s heritage with the modern interpretation of the DS brand. The car is finished in ink blue, inspired by the launch colour for the new DS 5. The interior has been finished in semi-aniline Criollo leather like the most luxurious models in the current DS range.

The collaboration between DS and Swarovski demonstrates how interesting and unusual design partnerships can be found outside of the automotive industry.  The Divine DS concept car was seen first at the Paris Motor Show in 2014 and shows the future of the stand-alone DS brand. Swarovski crystals feature on the exterior lines and decorate the headlights of this stunning concept. Inside the car, the crystals feature on the door panels and dashboard. Visitors can get a close-up look at this exclusive concept during the current exhibition at DS World Paris.

Aside from the lure of pretty and exclusive DS cars, design and fashion lovers can enjoy the display of Swarovski’s Spring-Summer 2015 jewellery collection. Swarovski’s artistic director Nathalie Colin says the Crystal Garden collection has been inspired by a dreamlike garden, with flowing and feminine lines and patterns. A unique DKNY dress created for the Little Black Dress charity auction in New York, hand stitched with 2,600 Swarovski crystals, will also be on display.

This unique exhibition of DS cars and Swarovski jewellery is running at DS World Paris until 10th May.

Caroline Kidd