Two years after DS Automobiles split off from Citroën as an independent brand, the manufacturer unveiled the DS 7 Crossback at the Geneva Motor Show on 28 February 2017. February 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show, the manufacturer unveiled the DS 7 Crossback, a five-seater mid-size SUV with plenty of French charm and premium aspirations, which was finally delivered to the first customers in January 2018. A facelift followed in 2022, with the "Crossback" suffix disappearing. And what else?

What is that?

Like its current Group relatives (Opel-Vauxhall Grandland, Peugeot 3008, Citroën C5 Aircross), the revised DS 7 model is still based on the EMP2 platform, which was developed before PSA became Stellantis.

While little has changed visually, the cards under the bonnet have been reshuffled. The turbo petrol engines with 130, 180 or 225 PS have been dropped from the range. Now only PHEV versions (called E-Tense) with 225, 300 or 360 PS are available. The latter variant is with all-wheel drive, and if you prefer a more classic style, DS also offers the number 7 with a 130 PS diesel engine. This is now almost a rarity in this segment.

DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test
DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test
DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test

The only new model at the time was therefore actually the plug-in hybrid model with 360 PS. The DS 7 E-Tense 4x4 360 accelerates to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds. It also has a chassis that is 15 millimetres lower, a wider track and larger brake discs. Exciting. So exciting, in fact, that we only took this DS 7 for a test drive at the dynamic premiere around 1.5 years ago. The result? A good mix of comfort and sportiness. But do you need it?

Fast data DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024)
Engine 1.6-litre R4 turbocharged petrol engine + Electric motor + 14.2 kWh battery
Gearbox 8-speed automatic transmission
Drive Front-wheel drive
Power output 225 PS at 6,000 rpm
Torque 360 Nm at 3,000 rpm
Base price from £43,950 (E-Tense 225 Performance Line+)

In order to get to the bottom of this question, we asked for the variant listed in the table. Although it has no sporting ambitions, it is significantly weaker and has no all-wheel drive, it is also almost £10,000 cheaper in the base version. Does "Vive le travelling comfort" still apply and is the age of the model now noticeable? Let's go...


Exterior | Interior | Driving report | Things to know | Conclusion


Exterior

DS fans will have noticed that the headlights have lost their rotating mechanism. Instead, there is now a new LED matrix technology. This system has a more powerful, more even and more finely controllable light beam with a greater high beam range of up to 380 metres. In addition, DS has given the car a more angular radiator grille, a new tailgate, narrower rear lights and the brand name as lettering. It all looks very fine and classy, especially if you put a Grandland or a 3008 next to it in your mind's eye.

Dimensions DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024)
Length x width x height 4,593 mm x 1,895 mm x 1,637 mm
Unladen weight 1,760 - 1,821 kg
Boot capacity 555 litres
Payload 414 - 575 kg
Towing capacity 750 kg (unbraked) / 1,250 kg (braked, 12%)

However, the dimensions have remained virtually unchanged, which is why the feeling of space in the interior has not changed. But they don't have to be, because the amount of space with a boot volume of 555 litres, for example, was already good before the facelift.

DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test
DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test

Interior

Which brings us directly to the interior, where the changes are even less noticeable than on the exterior. Nevertheless, they are there, of course, once you can tear your eyes away from the wonderful materials and the even more wonderful workmanship, which is clearly a matter of taste.

Some of the younger passengers will find the inflationary leather insert with diamond quilting or the analogue clock above the start button, which turns out and is difficult to read, a little exaggerated and no longer really contemporary.

The biggest update (in the truest sense of the word) concerns the screen of the infotainment system, which now measures 12.3 inches, but size isn't everything. Although the software runs faster and the graphics look nicer, it is still complicated to operate. The digital instrumentation behind the steering wheel works with a slightly smaller 12-inch screen.

DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test

The optics can be adjusted within the frame and visualises all driving-relevant information. But no more than that. There is no head-up display. Bright spots? Apple CarPlay and Android Auto run wirelessly, the inductive charging cradle is well positioned.

We also wonder how long you have to drive the DS 7 before you stop habitually reaching towards the door to find the buttons for the electric windows! And what else we (and our passengers) would have liked: heated seats, and as a person behind the wheel, a heated steering wheel, especially on the last few cold days in conjunction with the otherwise comfortable, opulent (but arse-cold) leather seats.

Driving report

The DS 7 with the E-Tense 225 drive looks and drives like a French saloon. Unlike the 360 model with all-wheel drive, we are miles away from sportiness in this front-wheel drive version. Especially when cornering. Around 1.8 tonnes is now the industry average in this class with PHEV drive, but when a chassis and steering are trimmed for comfort in this way, the vehicle quickly and undefinedly starts to sway when changing direction more quickly. So ... just don't let yourself be rushed.

DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test
Driving performance DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024)
0-62 mph 8.9 sec.
Top speed 140 mph (84 mph in electric mode)
Fuel consumption (WLTP) 1.2 - 1.3 l/100km + 16.3 - 16.6 kWh/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP) 28 - 29 g/km
Electric range (WLTP) 64 - 65 km
Charging performance 3.7 kW onboard charger, 4h 15min (0-100%)

However, the drive itself is perfectly capable of accelerating Emmanuel Macron's state car with dignity and without acoustic intrusiveness - if the battery still has juice. In practice, however, this ends after just over 28 miles and it would have to be recharged (in our test version) with the slow 3.7 kW onboard charger. 7.4 kW is also available, but costs extra, however, it theoretically halves the charging time from 4:15 to 2:09 hours.

This means that on long journeys (where the cosy DS 7 somehow makes the most sense) we are usually on the road without additional power in the battery and instead chase an average of 8.4 litres of premium petrol through the combustion chambers every 62 miles (100 km). The range with a tank that only holds 43 litres is therefore not necessarily great. Even after the "Munich - Frankfurt" route, you have to fill up with petrol on departure and arrival.

However, the tuning of the PHEV drive is still successful and you notice little to nothing of how the combustion engine, electric motor and the smooth automatic transmission (which could also be controlled via somehow out-of-place paddle shifters behind the steering wheel) are currently working together. And even the assistance systems don't tell you that this car is already seven years old. Whether it's adaptive cruise control or lane departure warning. Everything works flawlessly and inspires confidence.

DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test
DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test

Worth knowing

It is not yet known when the new generation of the ageing DS 7 will be launched. However, the new edition should not be too far away. This is mainly because the Group's competitors with less premium aspirations have already made their mark. Opel-Vauxhall, for example, has just unveiled the new Grandland, while Peugeot has already shown the new 3008 and the new 5008.

All three vehicles are based on the new STLA Medium platform, which was primarily developed for electric drives, but also allows for MHEV or PHEV versions. This means that the Opel-Vauxhall and Peugeot models are available with a 130 PS petrol engine and electrified 6-speed DSG as well as with various electric motor configurations, different battery sizes and a range of up to 435 miles, but in future also with plug-in hybrid motorisation. And the new DS 7 will mirror these drive systems 1:1 paired with more French premium character, so that the brand differentiation also makes sense.

Conclusion: 7/10

If you like comfort, can do without the latest technological chic and instead appreciate a French, pompous ambience, the DS 7 is still a good choice that sets you apart from the automotive masses. For frequent drivers, however, we would definitely recommend the diesel. Commuters with charging facilities could also be happy with the more expensive PHEV.

Gallery: DS 7 E-Tense 225 (2024) in the test