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07 Dec 2021

Kildare motoring: Ultra-chic French flair from the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense

Motoring review: The DS 7 Crossback E-Tense is a charasmatic hybrid

Kildare motoring: Ultra-chic French flair from the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense

The DS 7 Crossback E-Tense

From its creation in 2014, the French automotive brand DS drew on an outstanding heritage — that of the DS 19 launched in 1955. That legendary car embodies the values of innovation, excellence and avantgardism. DS is the ultimate symbol of French high-end automobiles, as today’s DS models combine remarkable design, technology, comfort, performance, premium materials and refinement. Around the world, as history marches on, the two letters continue to stand for the very best in automotive luxury.

Beyond Expectations

As a brand, DS challenges established codes, to go beyond expectations of automobile customers. A DS car is sensual and spectacular in its styling, refinement, and attention to detail. From 2025, all new DS models will be available exclusively in electrified versions, either hybrid or fully electric, while DS promises six new cars by 2023. The DS 7 Crossback is the first of the second-generation models from DS Automobiles. This sophisticated SUV asserts itself with a stunning front end that is instantly recognisable. From the side, its sculpted shape, and the intricate aesthetics of its alloy wheels, emphasise its dynamism.

Fashioned like a piece of jewellery, DS Active LED Vision is the exterior design’s ‘piece de resistance’. At the back, DS signature 3D style LED taillights are found, connected by a chrome strip spanning the width of the tailgate, while some chunky black cladding endows the car with a rugged, off-road look.

The new DS 7 Crossback is available in three highly-specified trim levels — Performance Line, Performance Line Plus, and range-topping Prestige. Engine options consist of a 130bhp (PureTech) 1.2-litre petrol unit, and a 130bhp (BlueHDi) 1.5-litre turbo-diesel, along with an E-TENSE plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with 225bhp in two-wheel-drive format, or 300bhp in four-wheel-drive guise. A technologically-advanced eight-speed automatic transmission (EAT8) comes as standard across the entire model and engine range.

Ultimate Luxury

The cabin of the new DS 7 Crossback is a luxurious place to be, with obvious attention being lavished upon all occupants in the form of ultimate comfort and convenience. In the tradition of quality craftsmanship, each detail and material used is carefully chosen and worked with, leading to an interior that oozes style and sophistication. Stunningly designed, metal-look switchgear for the electric windows and driving modes button add a real sense of occasion to every journey.

Additional distinctive dashboard features include a revolving clock from French horologists BRM, and a Swarovski-style crystal barrel for the volume dial. Contemporary and chic, the DS 7 Crossback’s interior is an expression of the expertise DS designers, engineers and craftsmen have put into it. Each material and every detail bears testament to the inspiration of Haute Couture. Additionally, the cockpit was designed so that every control falls neatly to hand, enabling the driver to concentrate fully on the joy of driving, and allowing passengers to relax in luxurious surroundings.

With 555-litres of space on offer, the DS 7 Crossback enjoys the biggest boot in its class, as well as a flat floor when the rear seats are folded down. In this configuration, a massive cargo capacity of 1,752-litres is available for the transportation of bulky items when the need arises. For ultimate versatility, an electric tailgate (which can be opened and closed by simply moving your foot beneath the rear bumper) allows easy access to the boot, even when your hands are full.

Test Car Details

My test car was a DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 225 Prestige and was finished in striking Byzantin Gold grey metallic paint for maximum visual impact. Billed by DS as being the ‘High Fashion & Advanced Technology’ model of the range, the DS 7 Prestige comes with standard features such as 19” ‘Rome’ alloy wheels, black basalt grained leather seats, an Electric Seat Pack (massage function with passenger pneumatic lumbar control, electric front seats and electrically adjustable rear seat backrests), an Advanced Safety Pack (Blind Spot Detection, Extended Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Attention Alert), chrome roof rails, gloss black front grille, and chrome inserts on the DS bonnet badge, along with many more comfort, convenience, infotainment and safety features. Additionally, a mode-three charging cable and bag are included for E-Tense variants of the DS 7.

Road Test

On the road, the DS 7 delivers a decent burst of electric energy to the drivetrain upon initial take-off, and the car remains pleasant to sit in and easy to drive in all situations — especially in the low-speed environments that occupy so much of modern motoring.

The innovative DS Active Scan Suspension system in the DS 7 uses a camera and sensors to prime each wheel for imminent changes in the road surface, enabling the car to benefit from a magic carpet ride quality. The eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth and unobtrusive in its operation, allowing my front-wheel-drive test car to sprint from 0-100km/h in just 8.9-seconds, with a top speed of 225km/h achievable, where permitted.

With the battery fully charged, the DS 7 can energetically surge away from traffic lights without triggering the petrol engine, and is happy to sit at a motorway cruising speed for long periods in pure electric mode too (up to 58kms in fully-electric mode).

Regenerative braking can be selected to harness kinetic energy back into the battery, thus helping to maximise range. Around town, the range can be increased by up to 20% with regenerative braking.

Pricing & Warranty

Pricing for the new DS 7 Crossback (PureTech Performance Line) starts at a competitive €42,695 (on the road), with the E-Tense PHEV range starting at €49,590 (inclusive of an SEAI grant – subject to Ts and Cs). For ultimate peace of mind motoring, a five-year unlimited mileage warranty comes as standard across the entire range.

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