MHH International Trials The DS7 Crossback
Not Radical But Interesting
The DS7 is the first in a second-generation wave of six models set to appear in the French premium brand's line-up by 2023. The low-slung, air-sprung DS saloon of old will get it’s modern counterpart in due course apparently but the company are starting off by riding the rising tide of SUV popularity.
The DS7 Crossback is a plush SUV that is built for comfort. It floats along. About the same size as an Audi Q5 inside and out, it is nevertheless a less expensive alternative to the German brand and is a viable and different alternative to the regular herd. UK prices start at £28,000 and rise to £43,000 depending upon trim and options. The model tested here costs £34,000 and is powered by a somnambulent 1.5L four-cylinder 130bhp diesel engine. Not quick, but full of purpose would be the best description for this unit.
Additionally, there’s choice of two other engines; a 225bhp 1.6L petrol (the preferred option) or 180bhp, 2.0L turbo-diesel. We learn that in early 2019 DS will introduce a plug-in hybrid, combining a 1.0L petrol unit coupled to not one, but two, electric motors delivering up to 300bhp. This version will also introduce all-wheel drive.
Comfort Not Speed
The car’s overall styling is not particularly cutting edge. As is common place now, the front end offers the ‘family’ face with the current DS look where the lights flow into the big, grinning grille. At first glance the DS7 looks similar to most SUV’s but investigate a little closer and the detailing is much more impressive. It is a very attractive package. Inside, it’s plush and roomy. Very contemporary and smart, the Crossback interior is an expression of the brand’s intention to appeal to the prestige market. The cockpit stands out thanks to the attention to detail. Dash, door panels, and centre console are all wrapped in the same leather that is tightly fitted to each seat and sewn together with precision. As usual controls are duplicated on the steering wheel and the stitching is incredibly detailed. Two digital 12” screens offer clear graphics with all the usual infotainment kit on board.
Oddly, for this writer, the B.R.M R180 clock nestling in the centre of the dash doesn’t fit in with the modern décor and the sub-Porsche central tunnel switch gear doesn’t quite come off although others may well approve. Still, you can’t have it all ways and this attractive car is, as mentioned, is less costly than some high-end rivals.
To drive, the DS7 Crossback boasts safe rather than sharp driving characteristics. Body roll is kept in check, but the steering and the suspension is soft; not encouraging lively driving. Utilising the Sport mode doesn’t add a lot to the package so it is best to stick with comfort and really enjoy that DS ride. An interesting alternative and, like their football team, the French company might be on to a winner.