Although the diesel is likely to be the best-selling model in the UK, we'd recommend going for the Puretech petrol version on the basis that if it gets close to the diesel in terms of fuel consumption (as promised by the official figures), then the decision is an easy one given the better driveability of the petrol model.
DS 7 Crossbacks we've tested
DS 7 Crossback Performance Line PureTech 225 automatic (Tested: May 2018 by Keith WR Jones)
That you’re considering a DS 7 Crossback is confirmation enough that you’re one of society’s non-conformists, but does the availability of a more potent petrol engine broaden the Gallic SUV’s appeal to a more mainstream audience, or is it a niche within a niche?
Visually, Performance Line-grade DS 7s have a broader charm, bereft of the lashings of chrome trim that adorn the Prestige and Ultra Prestige models.
It’s a similarly contemporary look inside the Crossback, too, with acres of Alcantara fake suede upholstering not only the seats, but the door trims and dashboard as well – and to our eyes, far more successful an application than the quilted and mottled leather alternatives.
Performance Line misses out on a few of the niceties you’ll enjoy further up the range, such as electric seats, keyless entry and a powered tailgate, but many features can be fitted optionally if you feel you can’t live without them.
One extra we’d be keen to avoid are larger alloy wheels: 19-inch rims are standard and these are plenty big enough. Up-speccing to 20-inchers – to the tune of £450 – will prove uncomfortable if you don’t then spend a further £1,000 on Active Scan Suspension, and even then the combination’s far from perfect.
Our test car, driven on the Provencal roads of southern France, was so equipped. It employs a camera to view the road ahead, which in turn informs the suspension units attached to each wheel whether to soften or firm-up. Sounds fine in theory…
Select Comfort mode and at typical A-road speeds it work wells, the ride being cushioned, if a little floaty over bumps, but elsewhere it’s less convincing.
Stick to urban routes and every pothole and grate in the road is transmitted to the occupants’ posteriors with a disappointing degree of firmness. On motorways the experience is softer, but the manner the nose dips and rises over undulations could induce motion sickness in queasy passengers.
So, what of the engine? Don’t be fooled by PureTech badging that previously denoted a three-cylinder powerplant – it’s now universal on petrols. It’s a four-cylinder configuration, 1.6-litre capacity motor producing 225hp, which means a 141mph top speed.
Maximum pulling power of 300Nm is on tap from 1,900rpm, which combined with the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox means that acceleration isn’t found wanting, whether you’re overtaking another car, or accelerating from a junction. Statistic fans should note the far-from-tardy 8.3-second 0-62mph time.
A point of caution, though: it’s brisk, but doesn’t exactly feel sporty, and the claimed 47.9mpg was nearer 37mpg on test according to the trip computer.
All isn’t lost, though, for the PureTech 225 is a refined engine, smooth in delivery, if a little coarse-sounding the harder its revved. Compared with the BlueHDi 180 diesel it feels more in tune with the unruffled ethos that DS is attempting to project.
The Parkers verdict
In Performance Line guise, the PureTech 225 will set you back £34,990 – not exactly cheap, but good value alongside the admittedly loaded-to-the-hilt Ultra Prestige range-topper that weighs in at £43,580.
It’s the become the most appealing version in the range; refined, swift and with a broadly classy interior. But they’re not exactly compelling reasons for considering one over the usual (German) suspects.
However, as a left-field choice, it’s got a character and degree of comfort that its rivals don’t attempt to compete with. Vive la différence.
DS 7 Crossback Performance Line BlueHDi 180 automatic (Tested: January 2018 by James Dennison)
DS expects its Performance Line version of the 7 Crossback to be the biggest seller in the range and it’s not hard to see why. The cabin and seats are swathed in expensive-feeling Alcantara, plus the kit list included in the price is expansive.
Among the kit count are Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, sat-nav, dual-zone climate control and cruise control – plus other features that are only standard on Performance Line cars upwards.
Chief among which are the hi-tech Active LED Vision lights and Active Scan Suspension – the latter only standard with the BlueHDi 180 engine. Both are useful features, with the Active LED Vision headlights providing excellent illumination of the road ahead.
By adapting the beam from the LED lights, the DS 7 is able to switch between a number of lighting modes depending on the driving scenario. Motorway, town and country road driving conditions all have their own settings, plus us UK buyers are also catered for with an Adverse Weather setting that spreads the beam wider and reduces the light intensity to cut reflections.
Active Scan Suspension meanwhile, works well with the standard 19-inch wheels to spot potholes and especially rough sections of road, softening the suspension accordingly. It’s not enough to bring the 7 Crossback’s ride up to best-in-class standards, however, and it’s frustrating that the technology is only activated in the Comfort driving mode.
Out on the road the 180hp 2.0-litre BlueHDi turbodiesel engine provides plenty of performance and feels quicker than its 9.4-second 0-62mph time suggests. The eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and responsive, and complements the engine nicely.
However, despite DS putting much emphasis on the perceived luxury of its SUV, the overall refinement levels are far behind the segment leaders. For example, there’s an above average amount of road noise from the 19-inch alloys, plus wind noise (especially from around the door mirrors) is excessive.
Meanwhile, the engine is clattery at low speeds, droning when cruising and raucous when you rev it hard. Compounding the matter is the bizarre augmented engine sound in Sport mode.
The Parkers verdict
We’re all for the Performance Line trim level with its alcantara-clad interior and excellent kit levels, however we’re not totally sold on the BlueHDi 180hp engine. Its lack of refinement is disappointing, but then what are the alternatives?
At the time of writing the 225hp petrol is more refined, but also more expensive to run, while the lesser 130hp diesel engine lacks outright performance.
DS 7 Crossback Ultra Prestige BlueHDi 180 automatic (Tested: March 2018 by Keith Adams)
The Ultra Prestige version of the DS 7 Crossback is an expensive car. In terms of list price and PCP/lease deals, it's playing against some frighteningly impressive rivals. Given this bullishness from DS Automobiles, we'd be right to expect that this car is going to be fundamentally excellent. But is it?
In terms of driving and overall road impressions, it's little different to the Performance Line version tested above. It's in the equipment where this car really scores, even at this price point. If you're looking for convenience features and a luxury experience, then this is the car for you.
We'll categorise this car as a capable and refined long-distance tool. The eight-speed automatic transmission offers long-legged and hushed motorway cruising, with plenty of acceleration should you need it. The seats offer excellent comfort on longer drives, too, with four-hour stints being laughed off.
DS 7 Crossback: Great on motorways
The DS Connected Pilot adaptive cruise control system works well, once you're on top of the controls. It maintains a user-defined gap between you and the car in front, as you'd expect, while the lane-keep assist system tends to discourage hands-off driving (it sits too close to lane markings for our liking), but will happily drive for long periods without driver intervention (not something we'd recommend, obviously).
The Active Scan suspension results in excellent ride comfort (impressive on 20-inch wheels), and slightly wobbly cornering, which is a good real-world compromise for those who like being cossetted.
The Parkers Verdict
In Ultra Prestige form, the DS 7 Crossback is well-equipped, comfortable and luxurious. It's an interesting choice for the left-field SUV driver, who has money to burn, as this car is really expensive to buy and to finance.
We're still puzzled why there's no four-wheel drive version of the DS 7 Crossback available – it would widen the appeal of this quirky SUV considerably.
- October 2017 – Order books open for the DS 7 Crossback, which is offered in Elegance, Performance Line, Prestige and Ultra Prestige versions, and a choice of four engines: the diesels in BlueHDi 130 and BlueHDi 180 forms, and petrols in PureTech 180 and PureTech 225 guises.
- March 2018 – UK deliveries begin for the diesel versions.
- June 2018 - Petrol-engined versions reach the showrooms.
Buying a new DS 7 Crossback
- Rapidly expanding dealer network
- Don't expect too much of a deal in the short term
- Well equipped, so you don't need to option it up
Don't expect much in the way of discounts as PSA tries to establish DS Automobiles as its premium brand – especially now they are being sold through boutique-style dealers. We'll see in the fullness of time whether this strategy works, or indeed the company sticks to this in a competitive market.
Although there may be little room to move for a discount, try to get movement on any PCP or PCH deals, and if you're trading in, try and make sure the dealer is generous…
Buying a used DS 7 Crossback
- Don't expect to be tripping over used examples any time soon
- Go for the Prestige or Performance Line models
- Diesel most numerous, but petrols are excellent alternative
Although we're not keen on speculating about the market performance of an all-new car, DS Automobiles says that residual values will be within 2% of the class-leading Audi Q3. We can say that while it remains new on the market, supplies won't be plentiful, and main dealers will be protecting resale values.
In other words, don't expect any bargains – and if you're looking for a good deal, we'd recommend looking at a Peugeot 3008 instead.
As ever, carry out a Parkers Car History Check to uncover any hidden nasties.
Selling your DS 7 Crossback
A comprehensive advert will be your best friend here. List every relevant bit of spec and all optional extras so people know what they’re coming to look at. Take lots of clear, high-quality pictures but make sure you clean the car thoroughly first.
A professional valet may be sensible if it’s particularly dirty. To find out exactly what your car is worth, carrying out a mileage and optional extras-adjusted valuation.