The DS 7 Crossback is a stylish alternative to more conventional German SUVs. It’s practical and comfortable to drive, but the infotainment system may send you loopy and you can’t get it with seven seats
The DS 7 Crossback might not have quite the same badge kudos as big-name models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes, but it certainly has the style to match these more established alternatives.
Jump inside, and you’ll find the DS 7 Crossback’s interior is a very nice place to sit. There’s a variety of interior finishes to choose from, but you’re best off with a Performance Line model. The suede-like Alcantara on the dashboard, doors and seats gives fancy German models a serious run for their money.
All but Elegance versions come with a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle and a 12-inch central infotainment screen that has clear and colourful graphics. The latter can display a multitude of things including a huge sat-nav display that makes it a piece of cake to follow directions. However, it’s not the easiest system to use, and the DS could learn a thing or two from the more intuitive infotainment systems in BMWs and Audis.
Take the buttons under the DS 7 Crossback’s infotainment screen, for example. They are touch-sensitive, but they don’t give you any feedback, so it’s hard to know if you’ve pressed them correctly. Meanwhile, the car’s various safety systems beep incessantly at you, with no obvious way to turn them off.
It’s as if the DS 7 was designed at Paris Fashion Week – its interior’s cool mix of shapes and materials make it look and feel like no other car for the price
The DS 7 Crossback does the basic stuff pretty well, though. Getting a clear view of the big driver’s display is easy because you get a height-adjustable driver’s seat (and passenger seat) and a steering wheel that adjusts for reach and height. Both front seats also get adjustable lumbar support to see off backache on long journeys.
The news is just as good for your tall passengers in the back – they’ll have plenty of head and legroom, even if you and your front-seat passenger are more than six-feet tall. Prestige models and above go one step further, with electrically reclining rear seats – just like in a luxurious saloon such as the Mercedes S-Class. Better still, the DS 7 Crossback’s impressively practical boot is bigger than you’ll get in an S-Class and larger than the ones in direct alternatives such as the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC.
You won’t have any trouble driving the DS 7 Crossback, either. You get a good view out, and the direct steering and light pedals make it relatively easy to manoeuvre around town. Basic models do a good job ironing out bumps, but to feel like you’re wafting along on a magic carpet you’ll want to pay extra for the optional active-scan suspension. This monitors the road ahead for potholes and primes the car accordingly. It’s especially good at making long motorway journeys as comfortable as possible.
The DS 7 Crossback’s mid-range 180hp diesel engine also helps make light work of long drives. It’s perkier than the cheaper 130hp diesel and cheaper to run than the range-topping 225hp petrol. This model also comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard and plenty of advanced safety kit designed to prevent avoidable accidents.
The DS 7 Crossback is a good all-rounder, and certainly deserves a place on your shopping list if you’re looking for a stylish SUV that won’t have any trouble standing out in a crowd of less eye-catching BMWs, Mercedes and Audis.