DS 7 Review & Prices
It looks good, but the DS is handicapped by only having one non-plug-in option, and that’s a diesel
Find out more about the DS 7
With alternatives like the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes GLC and Volvo XC40, the DS 7 is up against some seriously impressive models in the family SUV market. But with its stand-out design that has some added quirks, it’s a lot like the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
You’ll find a large grille at the front with the DS badge, while there’s slim headlights and funky daytime running lights below them. It’s fairly simple at the side with 19-, 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels, while the rear has some interesting elements, such as the crystal-like tail lights and chrome detailing.
Although the exterior design is pleasing, the interior is a bit fussy. There are different material finishes, diamond shapes and strange touch-sensitive buttons under the infotainment screen, while the gear lever is too large – it’s all a bit mismatched.
You’ll find there’s plenty of space though, with decent-sized cup holders and storage bays in the centre console, while the door bins are very sizeable. Top-level quality is good too, although there’s scratchier plastics lower down.
In both the front and the rear, there’s good leg and headroom, although sitting three across the back bench is a bit of a squeeze. The door opening isn’t the widest, so getting a child seat in is a little tricky, but the ISOFIX points are simple to access despite being a little hidden.
The boot is one of the best in the segment, at 555 litres. No alternatives can match that figure, but DS has taken away the adjustable floor. The supports for it are still there, but there’s now an awkward ridge between the seats and boot floor, so it’s not as practical as it could be.
For long distance drives, the diesel will perform very well and you’ll be comfortable with the Rivoli trim. The hybrids will be better in town though
You get the choice of either diesel or plug-in hybrid power, both of which come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The DS 7 E-Tense gets up to 43 miles of all-electric power depending on the PHEV version you choose.
In town, the DS 7 takes advantage of its special suspension, which scans the road ahead to alter the settings. That helps by soaking up most bumps, while the light steering and 11.8m turning circle helps with manoeuvring.
With either the diesel or PHEV setup, driving on the motorway is rather relaxed. Acceleration is better with the hybrid, but it’s comfortable in the cabin and allows you to go long distances with little fuss or noise from outside whichever engine you choose.
Take it to a twisty road and you’ll find the DS 7 is capable of holding its own – but it’s no performance car. It doesn’t lean too much through the bends, while you have enough punch out of the corners in ‘Sport’ mode. You don’t have to push too hard for the front end to lose grip though.
Although alternatives have a design that isn’t as bold and smaller boots, the DS 7 doesn’t quite make its mark on the mid-size SUV market as much as the BMW X1, Audi Q3 or Mercedes GLA. It’s not as polished or refined on the whole as the German alternatives.
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The DS 7 has a RRP range of £36,785 to £40,230. However, with carwow you can save on average £2,449. Prices start at £34,460 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £310.
Our most popular versions of the DS 7 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.5 BlueHDi Performance Line 5dr EAT8||£34,460||Compare offers|
Only the diesel versions of the DS 7 cost less than £40,000, while all the hybrid versions cost above and beyond that. The starting price for all the alternatives, like the BMW X1, Audi Q3, Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40, are all lower than the DS 7.
Saying that though, the DS 7 can stand out more than those other options with its funky design and it does offer the most boot space.
You get high levels of comfort in town and on the motorway, the suspension can feel a bit bumpy at times
Being a family-focused SUV, it’s good that DS has set the 7 to be more about comfort than anything else. The DS 7 has a camera looking forward that scans the road looking for potholes and bumps to soften the suspension, and in town, it mostly does a good job preventing road imperfections crashing through the cabin. There will be some holes that it misses and it does unsettle the car a fair amount when that happens.
With the light steering, you can make manoeuvres fairly easily and it allows for relaxed progress around traffic. The turning circle of 11.8m is not too bad, but the Volvo XC40 and certain versions of the Mercedes GLA are able to better that figure at 11.4m.
Visibility is okay all-round, with large wing mirrors helping down the sides, but the rear window isn’t the best with chunky pillars either side of it.
The diesel isn’t the quickest and the gearbox can be a little lazy when changing gear. If you’re after smoother progress and can charge it up regularly, the PHEV will be the version to go for.
On the motorway
With the comfort suspension, you can make very smooth progress over longer distances. You can have adaptive cruise control as part of the Drive Assist, which makes that process even simpler, with distance control helping you keep a safe margin from the car in front.
Getting up to speed with the 131hp diesel is fairly simple, although as with in town, the gearbox can be pretty slow to change in the standard driving mode. Using the PHEV is much easier, with the electric motor and petrol engine working together for good acceleration.
On a twisty road
The DS 7 isn’t a performance SUV, but it isn’t terrible when you want to go for a more spirited drive. The camera scanning the road surface in front reacts quickly enough to make it comfortable over bumps, but it only suffers when you corner a bit too quickly.
The DS 7 does manage to limit body roll well when you go through a corner at a higher speed, while the light steering does offer enough feeling about the grip from the front tyres.
The tyres lose a bit of grip and you start to push wide, but that’s only when you’re going at a higher rate of knots.
The diesel engine is much better suited at being relaxed and when you try to go faster in ‘Sport’ mode, the gearbox does start to work better, but it certainly isn’t as rapid as the PHEVs with the electric motors assisting performance.
While there’s a good level of boot space, the area isn’t as good as it could be because of the shape and the rear seats could also be a bit tight for some
Being a mid-size SUV, you’ll have a decent amount of space in the front and DS has done a good job making sure you have enough storage. The doorbins are deep and lined to stop things rattling around, while the centre console has a couple of cupholders, a space under the touchscreen for your smartphone and a spacious bin under the armrest.
Something that is rather bad though is the glovebox. Normally, the fuse box is transferred to the side of the steering wheel when being converted to right-hand drive, but DS hasn’t done that. You have half the glovebox you should have, and that’s annoying.
For the driver and front passenger, you get a good amount of adjustment and all but the entry-level model gets electrical adjustment for the seats. The manual adjust for the steering wheel gets you reach and angle to make sure you’re comfortable.
Space in the back seats
While there’s good knee room for most, adults don’t get a lot of headroom – especially with a panoramic sunroof installed. It’s also tricky to get three adults across the back seats, as there’s not a lot of shoulder room and space in the footwells isn’t the best.
You get netting on the seat backs, while there are charging points in the centre under the climate controls. That being said, the unit itself is quite sharp on the edges. The door bins are smaller than in the front, but they’re both lined and practical enough for most.
Compared to its alternatives, the DS 7 has the largest boot space. The 555 litres is the same for both the diesel and plug-in hybrid versions, and no other car in the segment can get close. BMW’s X1 and the Audi Q3 get the closest (540 litres and 530 litres respectively), while the Peugeot 3008 (520 litres), Mercedes GLA (495 litres) and Volvo XC40 (460 litres) all lag a fair way behind.
Where the DS 7 isn’t as practical though is with the shape and structure of the space itself. While there’s a step in the floor to have an adjustable panel, you don’t get that piece anymore. That means when you fold the seats down, there’s a massive ridge and you’d need to put in a lot of effort to get things over that when sliding things.
Folding the seats down does open up a 1,752-litre area for you to use. But with the structure of the adjustable floor still there, the rigid plastic surround to the floor can be quite impractical. There’s also no through loading.
Another issue is that if you have the car without the automated tailgate, the boot itself is very heavy. For some, closing it could be a bit of a struggle.
While you get a decent amount of equipment as standard, the interior styling is a bit over-the-top and buttons are in strange places
The cabin of the DS 7 is a bit over-designed to our eyes, with too many textures and potential materials covering the main surfaces. With the two Performance Line models, there’s alcantara on the dashboard, which doesn’t really suit a family SUV, while the leather surfaces on the rest of the trim levels are a bit too intricate at times.
Overall quality is good, though, as the dashboard and centre console feel solidly put together. The materials used are nice too, as the leather is soft and the plastics aren’t too brittle. You will find scratchier plastics lower down though.
Something that can be quite confusing is the layout of the cabin. The wing mirror adjustment is down behind the steering wheel, the electric window buttons are by the gear lever and the touch-sensitive buttons under the infotainment touchscreen disappear if the power is off.
Thankfully, the steering wheel has conventional buttons and scroll wheels that are simple to use, while the stalks don’t feel too plasticky.
You get two screens with the DS 7, a 12.3-inch driver’s display and a 12.0-inch infotainment touchscreen – both of which have rather dark graphics, which isn’t the easiest to use at times. The driver’s display is not the most advanced and the amount of configurations you can do are quite limited, while the touchscreen itself is fairly simple to operate.
There are a fair amount of options and extras you can choose from, including an upgraded stereo system, a towbar and even a night vision system if you want that.
The diesel engine is the only unelectrified option available and the 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit develops 131hp and 300Nm of torque. The 0-60mph time is a rather sedate 10.7 seconds, so you’re better off taking it easy.
With efficiency figures of up to 53.3mpg, you can make the most of the 55-litre fuel tank that can offer over 700 miles between the pumps. You’re only likely to get to that kind of range if you do more motorway driving than anything else, though
Emissions are up to 161g/km CO2, so your tax level will be middle of the road and only the Rivoli version costs more than £40,000, which would incur an additional yearly cost on top of your annual road tax between the second and sixth year of ownership.
If you have easy access to a charger though, the DS 7 E-Tense PHEV options can offer cheaper running costs – if you can make the most of the battery – as well as all-electric running when it’s charged up. You can only get 4x4 with the E-Tense models too, so if you want that assurance in all conditions, you would need to look at the PHEVs.
When tested back in 2017, the DS 7 Crossback scored five stars on Euro NCAP’s safety tests, with high scores in both adult and child occupancy. Safety assists and pedestrian safety both scored above 70% as well.
As standard, all DS 7s get the Advanced Safety Pack, which includes emergency safety braking, blind spot assist, lane keeping assistance and driver attention alert. The DS Drive Assist – fitted as standard on the top two trim levels and optional on all but the entry-level car – adds adaptive cruise control and lane positioning assist to take the strain out of long distance driving.
Cars also get ISOFIX points on the outer rear seats, rear parking sensors and all-round airbags from the entry level trim, with a reversing camera and front sensors introduced on Performance Line+.
Since the update in 2021, the DS 7 has yet to have any major issues. But before that, when it was known as the Crossback, there were some issues that you may want to look out for if you’re looking at a used version. Rear suspension bolts weren’t up to the correct standards on some models, while a plastic component in the exhaust could damage the particulate filter on diesel models.
As standard with each new DS, there’s a three-year warranty that also includes DS assistance 24 hours a day.
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