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01 Oct 2022

MOTORING REVIEW: DS 7 Crossback E-Tense is best DS yet for Limerick drivers

MOTORING REVIEW: DS 7 Crossback E-Tense is best DS yet for Limerick drivers

The New DS7 Crossback E-Tense has an annual road tax of €140

DS AUTOMOBILES is a French marque introduced in 2009 to become a luxury premium brand by the PSA Peugeot-Citroen group, now expanded by new owners Stellantis to include Peugeot, Opel, Citroen, Honda, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Dodge which is a very considerable line-up. All are part of the Gowan Group here.

Just how important the marque is in France was demonstrated by President Emmanuel Macron being driven to his first and second inauguration ceremonies as President of the French Republic in a DS 7 Crossback.

On a more personal front, I have driven DS cars here over the years mostly with Citroen and later under DS’s own banner but never quite regarded them as being premium offerings. That may well change in the near future under the Stellantis ownership.

DS 7 now uses the same platforms and powertrains from its Stellantis stable companions of Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel.

It is offered with a choice of three grades and petrol or diesel engines (Euro 6.3) and as an E-Tense hybrid. E-Tense cars signify performance and efficiency with 225bhp and 300bhp engines, so this is an electric powered high performance car, also available as a 4x4.


And yes, it is a beautiful looking muscular - yet elegant SUV - with lots of lovely styling touches. A distinctive large grille with diamond shapes on the mesh with the DS badge at its centre. Unique Performance Line badging front and rear and on carpet mats; sculpted shapes of the sides show the car’s muscular appearance. Beautiful jewel lights (front and rear) are deserving of special mention. Front fog lights come with a cornering light function. The big 20-inch diamond-cut alloys were not standard spec.

My crib with the previous DS 7 was the amount of diamond shaped bling on board. This time, the diamonds are more muted but the diamond shape appears all over the interior, even on the instruments. I can live with it.

The interior is a very good blend of materials and craftsmanship, but for me, the Peugeot 5008 still leads the way when it comes to fit and finish.

This is a very spacious car with plenty of head and leg room in the rear. Fear seats can recline for extra comfort on long journeys and the low tunnel makes sitting in the middle seat comfortable. Front seats can be heated or ventilated and the driver’s has two memory settings.

Black suede-like Alcantara trim features on the dash and door panels. My car had black Basalt Nappa leather which is not standard spec. There’s also a Performance Line monogram on the dash and on mats. Aluminium sports pedal add to the sporty look.

Press the Start button, and a neat little B.R.M. R180 analogue clock pops out from the dash top.

Dominating the sweeping dash is the 12-inch infotainment screen which gives you all the driving information you need for comfort, media and Bluetooth connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Adjusting the temperature is easily achieved by pressing on the large current temperature readings on each side of the screen and then selecting the up or down arrows accordingly. A row of short-cut buttons are located beneath this screen.

Two rows of switches on the flat of the central console are for opening the windows and for door locks.

The driver’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster allows you to scroll the menu via the steering wheel providing a read-out of all the driving information you need. Your current speed is displayed digitally along with Power, Eco and Charge graphics.

Storage areas include a good sized glovebox, huge door bins, and a cavern below the front armrest.

Another area below the central console has a 12V socket and USB port. There are two more USBs in the rear.

Batteries are located beneath the floor so don’t impact on boot space leaving luggage capacity at 555 litres which DS claims to be class-leading. You get a flat floor when the seats are folded down. My car had a power tailgate.

Power is from a 1.6 turbo petrol engine originally a joint development by Peugeot-Citroen and BMW. The powertrain includes an 80kW motor and 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery giving a combined output of 225km/h and 360 Nm torque. The transmission is the smooth 8-speed Aisin automatic.

When you start the engine, the default is electric power. When the battery charge is almost empty, it reverts to being a self-charging hybrid running on petrol. DS claims an electric-only range of 50km EV which I found to be accurate on my trip home after collecting the car, a similar distance, before the car seamlessly changed to petrol use. PHEVs come into their own using battery power on short commutes but really, owners should charge the battery every night. Charging the battery from 0-100pc with a 7kW home charger takes around in 1 hr 45 mins. A Mode 3 charging cable is provided.

Hybrids are generally frugal and the official combined fuel consumption figure is 1.3-1.4 L/100km. Annual road tax is €140.

My car had a big amount of standard equipment like dual zone air conditioning, parking aids, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, Hill Start Assist, Emergency Braking System, DS Connect Navigation, Voice Control, black roof rails, heated windscreen, ambient interior lighting, and a big amount of driver assist packages. But no blind spot warning.

I found the DS 7 a very comfortable and easy drive with big acceleration on tap when needed such as for joining the motorway and for overtaking. Hence the 0-100km/h time of 8.9 secs. The flat bottomed steering wheel is well weighted and is responsive. Paddles allow you drive in manual mode for certain driving conditions.

DS will shortly be introducing the DS 4 and we will be able to report on its upcoming launch at the end of this month.

The only DS store in the ROI is located at Gowan Motors, Navan Road, Dublin 15.

The OTR price incl €995 Delivery + €700 Metallic Paint is €58,940.00 (incl SEAI grant).

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