The DS 7 Crossback SUV reviewed, refreshingly different

In Car Reviews, DS Automobiles by Lisa Richardson-Humphrey

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

Milton Glaser celebrated American Graphic Designer

Husband and wife team Jonathan and Lisa from both had plenty to say about the designer mid-size SUV from DS.
This style of this car makes you want to talk about design philosophy and how great critical design is. The French understand that excellent Design makes life so much better every single day.

Considering how much time we are all spending in our cars now due to commuting and congestion thank goodness that the interior of the Crossback oozes ‘va va vroom’ and offers a calm, spacious and glamorous haven from the everyday stresses.

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for,” said Milton Glaser, the celebrated American Graphic Designer.

And we said WoW! We loved this luxurious French car. The DS 7 Crossback is a premium family SUV - but don’t worry there is no need to give up your identity as a stylish human being just because of the children or the dogs in the back. ‘DS’ stands for Different Spirit or Distinctive Series as well as being a play on the word ‘déesse’ goddess in French. Who doesn’t want to be French Goddess on the school run? Bring it on! Lisa felt like she needed to put on her best red lipstick, smarten up and practice her French accent. It's a car that makes you feel together.

The DS 7 Crossback makes rather a lot of the other SUV’s on the market look rather dull in comparison. We loved the tactile, quality feel of the materials used within the interior cabin of the car, the massaging seats, sensory smells and the sheer 'blingyness' of the extraordinarily sparkly lights and the rotating dashboard BRM clock.

The design team at DS have taken influence from fashion, architecture and art - celebrating French savoir-faire, This car marks the real beginning of DS’s journey towards being the brand that expresses ‘the spirit of the Avant-Garde’. DS wants to stand out from the crowd – reminding us of the extraordinary 1955 Citroën DS (1955-1975) by Flaminio Bertoni and André Lefèbvre.

The range of DS models extends to a choice of four model styles, Elegance, Performance, Prestige and Ultra Prestige with four distinctly different styling treatments Bastille, Performance line, Rivoli and Opéra. There is a choice of between nine flat, pearlescent or metallic, exterior body colours on the DS7.

On the road in the DS the luxury feeling abounds, with plenty of room, the animated displays and digital instruments are very easy and intuitive on the 12-inch HD infotainment touchscreen. Much of our days driving included back country roads, and we were particularly impressed with the option of infra-red Night Vision which can spot wildlife and people on the dark, twisty country roads.

From the choice of four interior inspirations, our favourite was Rivoli, a padded look along the lines of a quilted Barbour jacket, all very good looking hard wearing and unique to the DS. The difference in the range of interior treatments and external styling makes all the DS7 variations quite unique.


The high-end leather seats were extremely comfortable in the time we spent in the car, we particularly liked the massaging seats for the driver and front passenger, with a choice of five massage settings including 'Cat Paw' which has the feeling of cat walking-up your back. Another of the more creative additions from DS is Sensorial Drive, with a choice of two scents that can leave a posh fresh smelling fragrance in the air.

Another notable solution in the comfort mode is the Active Scan Suspension which by the use of a camera, four height sensors and three accelerometers react to adjust the dampers to smooth out lumps and bumps or potholes ahead. The ride is refined, just as you would expect from a French car, comfortable and quiet. Only the comfort mode actions the active scan suspension. The Sports mode tightens it all up and returns with a more athletic engine note.

On the road, DS has on offer the choice of one petrol 1.6-litre engine and two types of diesel a 1.5-litre and 2-litre. The petrol and higher powered diesel are available with the preferable eight-speed auto transmissions, and the lower powered diesel comes with a six-speed manual.

The launch of the DS 7 Crossback marks a pivotal moment for DS as a standalone premium brand within the PSA Group, highlighting DS as being a brand with ambition. It had its public premiere at the 87th Geneva Motor Show in March 2017. And this 2018 car will be followed by six new products. DS leads the way regarding customer care through advancing the 'Only You -The DS Experience'. Customers will be able to encounter the all-new DS range through the stores and salons. There are various DS customer benefits
and DS Privileges that relate to fashion, food and travel.

DS has done very well with the DS 3 in the UK and now clearly want their place amongst the luxury manufacturers with this family SUV. This car offers so much more than mere transportation it is a lifestyle choice, ok, maybe the Avant-Garde boat wasn't entirely pushed out far enough, but as a new brand DS is synonymous with style and iconic French design, there are more exciting times ahead.

On his inauguration the elected French president Emmanuel Macron chose the DS 7 Crossback as his presidential car. And if it is good enough for president Macon and his super-stylish wife it’s certainly good enough for us!

The bolder performance DS7 E-Tense 4x4 PHEV plug-in performance model with 300hp and 0-62mph is around 6 secs will be available by mid-2019.

Rarity appeals to many and with DS style and pizzazz, the DS7 is a genuine luxury SUV worthy of consideration.

Car reviewed: DS 7 CrossbackUltra Prestige BlueHDi 180 Automatic - On the road £42,645 0-62mph 9.9 secs Top speed 134mph Fuel Economy combined 57.6mpg CO2 emissions 128g/km Engine 1997cc 4-cylinder diesel EU6.2 Max Power Engine [email protected] Engine Torque [email protected] Transmission 8-speed automatic with manual mode

  • Rarity, stylish and original

  • High quality interior

  • Comfortable and well specced

  • There's tough competition out there

What the others say about the DS 7 on YouTube...

About the author
Lisa Richardson-Humphrey

Lisa Richardson-Humphrey

Lisa Richardson-Humphrey is a Fine Artist and car enthusiast based in Dorset. She studied Sculpture at The Slade School of Art (UCL) and has exhibited at various galleries including The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London, The Serpentine Gallery, London and The Royal College of Art. The car bug seriously took a hold after buying her first convertible in 2010, attending various Goodwood, Salon Privé and Silverstone car events. She currently owns an old silver Porsche Boxster S and loves its performance and sculptural form.

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