Review: DS 7 Crossback (2017)

Rating:

Most come with clever Active Scan Suspension that reads the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly. Hybrid from 2019.

Looks a bit peculiar. Noisy diesels. Not as good as rivals in many areas. Active Scan Suspension is less effective than deeper profile tyres.

Recently Added To This Review

14 August 2018 New options added to DS7 Crossback

These include a new interior colourway for the DS Inspiration Opera: Alezan Brown Nappa leather with watchstrap design. This is a no-cost option on the Ultra Prestige model, where the Opera Inspiration... Read more

29 May 2018 PureTech 225 engine now available

The PureTech 225 petrol engine offers power of 225PS and has a new EAT8 (Efficient Automatic Transmission 8-speed) gearbox with an ECO mode combining ‘free wheeling’ (returns the engine to... Read more

6 November 2017 DS7 Crossback prices announced

The DS7 Crossback will ultimately have five powerful and efficient engines, the DS SUV offers, at launch in the UK, four engines. Two turbo petrol engines: the 4-cylinder PureTech 180 or PureTech 225,... Read more

DS 7 Crossback (2017): At A Glance

It was easy to be sceptical when Citroen's upmarket DS brand was launched as a standalone entity in 2014. Who would buy a posh Citroen over the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, especially when its line-up included the lacklustre DS4 and peculiar DS5?

DS has been desperate for a new model - one that's never been sold with a Citroen badge. Enter the DS7 Crossback. A premium SUV that shares a platform with the Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X, the DS7 is intended to rival the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Volvo's brilliant new XC40.

So how does the DS7 stand out? For a start, it looks like nothing we’ve seen before from DS. There's more than a hint of Audi Q3 about its appearance, but details like ‘hypnotic’ 3D rear lights and divisive Byzantin Gold of our test car means it attracts a lot of attention on the road.

It’s big, too - at more than 4.5 metres long, nearly 1.9 metres wide and over 1.6 metres high, it’s bulkier than most rivals.

The DS7’s large dimensions provide a spacious interior, with a huge 555-litre boot and enough space to carry both front and rear passengers in comfort. Like the exterior, the DS7’s interior feels very different from any other car on the market, even if Peugeot-Citroen acificionadoes might spot a few obvious PSA Group features.

To drive, the DS7 is clearly designed with comfort in mind rather than sportiness. There’s excellent visibility and it’s perfectly civilised to drive as long as you leave it in Normal mode. While the engines we’ve tried have all been fine, the diesels are noisier than you may expect from a car that’s attempting to tempt BMW and Mercedes-Benz buyers in the premium sector.

The DS7 could easily turn heads as a motor show concept car, so it does an excellent job of standing out in a world of very good if slightly bland premium vehicles. The interior is unusual - if not quite up the high levels of perceived quality we’d expect from a car in the class.

Unfortunately for DS, while the 7 Crossback has more redeeming features than the DS4 and DS5, we suspect it's going to remain quite a niche model.

DS7 Crossback 2.0 Blue HDI 2018 Road Test

DS7 Crossback 2018 Range Road Test

What does a DS 7 Crossback (2017) cost?

List Price from £29,320
Buy new from £25,701
Contract hire from £276.70 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

DS 7 Crossback (2017): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4573–4595 mm
Width 1895 mm
Height 1625 mm
Wheelbase 2738 mm

Full specifications

The advantage of buying one of the biggest cars in its class is obviously the amount of room that translates to in the cabin. Unless you have more than two children, your family will find the DS7 to be roomy enough for trips away. And there’s even enough head and legroom in the rear for adults.

Middle seat passengers in the rear might feel a bit cramped, but everyone else will find the DS7’s interior to be extremely comfortable. Large windows and a high seating position means everyone gets a good view of the surroundings, no doubt helping keep child sickness at bay.

Space aside, the DS7 feels very futuristic inside. From the design of the toggles on the centre console for the electric windows to the buttons for the infotainment system, a lot of thought has been put into making this car feel special. It does fall short in some areas - it lacks some soft-touch materials compared to other models in its segment.

The large 12-inch touchscreen (standard on all models bar the entry-level Elegance) almost has the look of a tablet stuck onto the dash.

This provides access to DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as navigation. However, the iPad on dash approach won’t be liked by everyone and the system is a little slow compared to similar systems on offer by other premium manufacturers.

Specifications

Elegance has 18-inch alloys, a space-saver spare wheel, black door mirrors, black front grille, LED daytime running lights, LED interior lighting, cloth seats, two rear ISOFIX points, cruise control, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, hill-start assist, electric power steering, electric parking brake and a height and reach adjustable steering wheel.

Performance Line adds 19-inch alloys, Active Scan Suspension, high-beam assist, 12-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, navigation, aluminium sports pedals, Alcantara dashboard and door panels.

Prestige comes with front parking sensors, a reversing camera, keyless entry and start, heated front seats with massage function, Electric Seats pack, automatic ‘follow me home’ lights.

Ultra Prestige adds 20-inch alloys, electric-opening panoramic sunroof, DS Connected Pilot (with adaptive cruise and lane keeping assist), Easy Access Pack (featuring remote tailgate opening) and a premium Electra audio system.

Child seats that fit a DS 7 Crossback (2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the DS 7 Crossback (2017) like to drive?

Starting the 2.0-litre diesel engine, you’re not going to mistake it for a whisper-quiet petrol. There’s a distinctive grumble, which fortunately quietens down when the engines warms up - but it’ll soon return when you try to make a hasty getaway from a junction or pull out for an overtake.

Although we’d be tempted to wait for the plug-in hybrid, the diesel will still be more suited for most buyers unless you only cover low miles or mainly travel in urban areas.

The DS7 is the brand’s first model to get a clever Active Scan Suspension system. Available on the petrol and 2.0-litre diesel, this uses a camera to scan the road ahead. If it detects approaching bumps, algorithms combine this information with the speed, braking and steering input to prepare the suspension and provide a smoother ride.

This contributes to the DS7’s overall feel that the focus is on comfort rather than performance. That’s unless you make the mistake of selecting Sport mode, which forces the eight-speed automatic gearbox to needlessly cling onto gears while fake noise is piped into the cabin - not to mention disable the Active Scan Suspension.

While driving modes are becoming increasingly commonplace, Sport mode seems to go against everything the DS7 stands for.

Left in Normal mode, the DS7 remains composed over broken roads, although you’ll notice body roll if you try to maintain speed along twisty roads. It’s much better when you keep the speed down or are cruising along the motorway, when the 7’s visibility comes into play. Although it does feel bigger than rivals (because it is…), it’s an easy car to drive - not least because of the clever technology available.

The night vision feature is a clever gimmick. It uses a camera in the radiator grille to detect pedestrians and large animals up to 100 metres away. A display on the car’s digital instrument panel shows a brightened up version of the view ahead, highlighting any hazards. It’s useful, but a costly option as part of the Night Vision Pack (which costs between £1100 and £1600 depending on the trim level).

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2 Puretech 130 52 mpg 11.2 s 124 g/km
1.5 BlueHDi 130 72 mpg 11.7 s 104 g/km
1.5 BlueHDi 130 Automatic 72 mpg 10.7 s 105 g/km
1.6 Puretech 180 48 mpg - 134 g/km
1.6 Puretech 225 48 mpg 8.3 s 135 g/km
1.6 THP 225 EAT8 58 mpg 8.3 s 135 g/km
2.0 BlueHDi 180 58 mpg 9.9 s 128 g/km
2.0 BlueHDi 180 EAT8 58 mpg 9.9 s 128 g/km

What have we been asked about the DS 7 Crossback (2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Is the DS brand going to continue in the UK?

I've been looking at buying a DS 7 for a few months. I'm concerned that, I've never seen it advertised anywhere and have not seen any on the road. They don't seem to be selling according to classified ads of them. Do you think they're committed to their stated market strategy. Will it be around for much longer?
The DS brand is still relatively new and, while it might be a small seller in the UK, it's propped up by sales elsewhere - China, for example. The DS 7 was always going to be niche in the UK - premium SUVs from the German manufacturers dominate the market, but the smaller DS 3 Crossback has all the makings of a relatively big seller. I wouldn't be worried about the brand's future - it will be around for a while yet and, if it did pull out of the UK, we expect Citroen dealers would be able to maintain your car.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions