3.4 out of 5 3.4
Parkers overall rating: 3.4 out of 5 3.4

Quirky alternative to a Q3 or GLA – nice details, comfy, but so-so to drive

DS 7 Crossback SUV (18 on) - rated 3.4 out of 5
Enlarge 18 photos

At a glance

New price £33,125 - £54,550
Lease from new From £369 p/m View lease deals
Used price £15,145 - £42,735
Used monthly cost From £378 per month
Fuel Economy 33.6 - 235.4 mpg
Road tax cost £155 - £490
Insurance group 19 - 41 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Decent ride quality and safe handling
  • Cabin materials are very pleasing
  • Petrol, diesel and hybrid options

CONS

  • Hefty price and PCP/lease costs 
  • Screen-based controls aren't great
  • Refinement lags behind rivals

DS 7 Crossback SUV rivals

Audi
Q3
4 out of 5 4.0

Written by Keith Adams on

This is the DS 7 Crossback, a well-appointed SUV for those looking for an alternative to the more popular alternatives. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz can't make enough premium crossovers to meet demand, and the French manufacturer is good enough to take a slice of the pie for itself.

It's a plush SUV that comes with an Audi Q5-sized cabin, but you can buy it at Q3 prices. It's not cheap, though. Priced from around £33,000 to more than £53,000, it isn't cheap and cars such as the Kia Sorento and Skoda Kodiaq seriously undercut it, while the top-of-the range models are mid-hierarchy Volvo XC60 money.

The DS 7 Crossback's closest rivals are the similar-looking Lexus NX, the Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1 as well as the popular Audis mentioned above. As such, it's a car that needs to impress, and offer something over and above its well-honed opposition. Does it have what it takes?

Read the DS 7 Crossback verdict

What's it like inside?

The dashboard is dominated by twin 12.0-inch screens – one in front of the driver, the other in the centre of the dash. From there, you can control all aspects of the infotainment, climate control, navigation and driver aids. There is also a bank of switches beneath the screen for some of the more commonly used controls.

The choice of materials is impressive, though, with lots of care lavished on the quality of the leather and suede that's used. Almost every touch point feels pleasant, and the use of quilted leather for the seats and padded armrests is very appealing.

But we can report that it’s very roomy, both front and rear. The driving position is good, the seats are comfortable, and the rear is a pleasant place to spend time. Just watch out for the optional glass sunroof, which significantly impacts rear headroom for taller passengers. The boot is a decent size, at 555 litres with the rear seats up or 1,750 with them stowed flat. The tailgate is electrically operated.

Read more on the DS 7 Crossback interior

What's it like to drive?

DS Automobiles has dialled-in a fair degree of comfort. Central to this is the company's Active Scan suspension system, which uses a forward-facing camera to read the road and tune the car's suspension and damping to cope with the surface accordingly. It's soft and better the faster you go. 

In corners, it generally feels flat and stable, although the steering lacks precision and consistency of weight and feedback, so you never feel as confident as you should going into a corner you perhaps entered too quickly. It's not a driver's car in any sense of the word – which given the suspension technology that's gone into it, is a little disappointing.

Read more on how the DS 7 Crossback drives

What models and trims are available?

Available in Performance Line, Performance Line+, Rivoli, Opera and Louvre forms, there's a wide range of models and personalisation options. There's an equally wide range of engines to choose from, encompassing PureTech 130, 180 and 225 petrols, the BlueHDI 180 diesel and T-Tense 225 and 300 4x4 Plug in hybrids. Some choice.

All models are front-wheel drive, aside from the range-topping E-Tense hybrid, which has electrically powered rear wheels for improved traction on slippery surfaces. Given the profusion of four-wheel drive rivals in this market and price sector, this is a disadvantage for anyone who regularly tows or needs a modicum of off-road capability.

What else should I know?

A real party piece of the DS 7 Crossback is its lighting system, standard fit on the Performance Line, Prestige and Ultra Prestige models (and an option on the entry-level Elegance). Traditional bulbs are banished in favour of LEDs and they’re active beams that swivel 180deg on start-up in an unusually arresting routine.

Lost your car in a car park? The beams light up and do a merry dance, strobing to help you locate your car or settling to a deep purple glow. On the move, they massage the beam shape to suit the environment, weather and type of road.

DS 7 Crossback SUV rivals

Audi
Q3
4 out of 5 4.0