In-depth reviews

DS 7 Crossback SUV review

“The DS 7 Crossback is the first French luxury SUV, with suspension that looks out for bumps, and even night vision. It’s also economical and practical”

Carbuyer Rating

3.9 out of 5

Owners Rating

1.8 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Suspension that reads the road
  • Affordable running costs
  • Plentiful equipment

Cons

  • Relatively unknown brand
  • Top versions are expensive
  • Some cheap-feeling materials

In the past, DS models were based on cars made by Citroen, but the DS 7 Crossback is at the head of a queue of new DS models that are exclusive to the brand. The DS 7 Crossback also has the honour of being the first French luxury SUV, plunging it into a market with a lot of established and popular rivals.

The compact premium SUV class is one of the most hotly contested in the car market. The DS 7 Crossback goes up against models including the Jaguar E-Pace, Volvo XC40, BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque.

DS is aiming to become an upmarket luxury brand, appealing to fashion and design-conscious buyers, and the DS 7 Crossback is a vitally important car in helping to establish the marque’s place in the market.

Designers at DS have included many of the successful SUV styling features we’ve grown accustomed to, from a large front grille with chrome surround, to angular LED headlights and big, bold alloy wheels.

Seats are upholstered in upmarket fabrics like Alcantara and leather, and in top-spec models, the dashboard and door trims also get these luxurious finishes, too. A trick suspension system can sense upcoming bumps in the road ahead and adapt to keep the car as comfortable as possible, while a special acoustic windscreen maintains a feeling of serenity at high speeds.

The 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine has now been withdrawn but a more economical 128bhp 1.5-litre diesel is still available – it’s cheaper to buy and offers decent claimed fuel economy of up to 53.2mpg.

The petrol range starts with a 1.2-litre PureTech turbocharged engine with 128bhp and a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine with either 178bhp or 222bhp sits above that - the latter is the fastest non-hybrid DS 7 (0-62mph takes 8.3 seconds) and promises fuel consumption of 36.2mpg.

For company-car drivers especially, the E-Tense plug-in hybrid is a better option if your budget can stretch to the higher asking price. It’s available with either 222bhp or 297bhp, an all-electric range of up to 36 miles, and it's both faster and cheaper to run than petrol variants. It shares its powertrain with the plug-in hybrid Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X.

On the road, the DS 7 feels stable and doesn’t suffer from too much body lean, but the steering is somewhat numb. It’s not as engaging as the Jaguar E-Pace, then, but it does have a trick up its sleeve in the form of Active Scan Suspension. Cameras monitor the road surface for bumps and adjust the suspension to try and soak them up, providing a plush ride. In practice it’s not perfect and works best at cruising speeds, but it gives the DS 7 Crossback’s ride quality an edge over the Peugeot 3008 with similar underpinnings.

Trim levels used to be called Elegance, Performance Line, Prestige and Ultra Prestige. However a recent update saw these changed to Performance Line, Performance Line+, Rivoli and Opera. Performance Line models are well kitted out, with 19-inch alloys and a 12-inch touchscreen with DS Connected Nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto among the desirable list of features. The range-topping Opera model has 20-inch alloy wheels, a Nappa leather interior and DS Connected Pilot - a suite of semi-autonomous driver aids including Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Positioning Assist.

Until the DS 7 features in our annual Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, it's premature to judge it for reliability. Safety is more clear-cut, though – a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test result means it’s among the safest cars in the class.

Overall, the DS 7 appeals for its individual nature and interesting design, but can't beat rivals for comfort, driver appeal, technology or value. It's an interesting alternative to the premium SUV establishment, but hasn't taken the class by storm.

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
Fiat 500 electric
Deals
24 Sep 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

More on 7 Crossback

DS 7 Crossback E-Tense SUV: second plug-in hybrid revealed
DS 7 Crossback
16 Jun 2020

DS 7 Crossback E-Tense SUV: second plug-in hybrid revealed

New DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 225 promises 34-mile electric range
DS to unveil all-electric SUV later this year
DS 3
22 May 2018

DS to unveil all-electric SUV later this year

September's Paris Motor Show to host reveal of first all-electric DS
Every DS model will be hybrid or electric by 2025
DS 7 Crossback
2 May 2018

Every DS model will be hybrid or electric by 2025

DS will only develop new hybrid or electric cars and debut its first EV at the 2018 Paris Motor Show

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks