The DS7 Crossback was launched in 2019 & we had the opportunity to drive the petrol & diesel versions, both of which impressed. However, every new model released by the French brand from 2025 onwards will either be fully electric, or a plug-in hybrid with at least a 30-mile EV range. The first of these to be launched, are the smaller DS3 Crossback, the brands first EV, whilst the larger DS7 Crossback is the brands first PHEV, sharing it’s Hybrid petrol set up with the Vauxhall Grandland X PHEV.
Like the Vauxhall, the DS7 E-Tense, combines a 1598cc petrol engine with an electric drive system of two electric motors with a combined output 109hp, AWD & a 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery.
The front electric motor is coupled to an electrified eight-speed automatic transmission, while the second motor & differential are integrated into the electrically-powered rear axle, providing all-wheel traction on demand. It’s quick too, going from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, thanks to the 200hp on offer & the 300Nm that arrives at 3000rpm. The petrol engine, plus two electric motors offer a whopping 296bhp & 450Nm of torque
The E-Tense range is offered in three trim levels. First up is the Performance Line, which features 19″ alloys, a 12.3″ HD touchscreen, Mirror Screen with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, LED Front fogs with cornering function, Manual ‘Follow me home’ lighting, LED Daytime Running Lights, DS Active LED Vision, DS 3D LED rear lights, High beam assist & full LED interior lighting. Then it’s Prestige, with full leather seats, which are fully electric & massaging up front, electric rear seat backrests, keyless entry, a reversing camera, wireless charging & front parking sensors. Topping the range is Ultra Prestige, which adds 20″ alloys, a panoramic sunroof, a Focal sound system, a remote tailgate & DS CONNECTED PILOT with Semi-autonomous driving, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go Lane Positioning Assist.
From the outside, the E-Tense features some subtle differences to the petrol & diesel versions There’s a‘Pearl Crystal’ paint finish that’s optional & exclusive E-Tense badging, plus a charging port flap located on the opposite side to the usual fuel cap.
The DS7 PHEV offers four driving modes; Electric, Hybrid, AWD & Sport. In pure electric mode, the car has a range of 35 miles WLTP. Electric Mode can be selected up to speeds of 83mph, although is best for city traffic. In Hybrid mode, the car automatically selects the most efficient method of propulsion. AWD is for that wet grass you’ve parked on & Sport gives everything extra fizz.
To aid battery range, DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 4×4 is regenerated whenever the driver decelerates or uses the brakes (‘BRAKE’ function) to extend the range. Another function, ‘E-SAVE’, also allows the driver to save enough energy to drive in all-electric mode for the last 6 or 12 miles of a journey.
All DS E-TENSE vehicles are supplied with two electric cables for 7kW AC & 3-pin 13amp DC. On a typical home 7kWh charger its will take 90 minutes to filly charge there battery. Furthermore, all DS customers buying a new BEV or PHEV, can benefit from 6-months free subscription to Polar Plus – the UK’s largest public charging network.
CC&V were given the opportunity to spend some time in a Prestige model & mighty nice it is. Triangle shaped air vents at each end of the dashboard are noticeably different, as is the location of the starter button, smack bang in the top centre of the dash, flanked by the two central air vents. The landscape touchscreen is also a highlight & the angular electric window switches set in the centre binnacle also add to ” le difference ”. Even the graphics on the PSA Group’s 12.3″ digital instrument cluster in front of the driver, can be configured with rhombus shaped graphics. Elsewhere, the dashboard switches, door fittings, seats & steering wheel are satisfyingly all top notch, with only the lightweight plastic used on the glove box, letting things down a touch.
DS have included some useful storage in the cabin. There is a flip cover space in front of the gear stick, good for keys & your mobile phone, with the USB socket also accessible here. The centre binnacle features a pop-up open & close arm rest with storage space within. There are two cupholders in front of this plus decent sized door pockets as well. Front passenger head & legroom is excellent & in the rear there’s a flat floor, which coupled to the generous space on offer, means that you could fit five adults in the DS7 if required.There’s also a rear armrest hidden in the centre rear seat, which also features two cup holders. Because of the battery design, you get the same amount of storage as in the combustion DS7’s. So, 555 litres of boot space is on offer & when you fold the rear seats down this goes up to a quite considerable 1752 litres.
The on board tech is straightforward & we connect our mobile phone to the car’s Bluetooth Hands-Free telephone& linked it to Apple-Car-Play quickly.Our only negative, is that like many other models, the DS7 features climate controls located in the touchscreen, which can be a little frustrating.
In Electric Mode, the E-Tense is much quieter than the diesel DS7. The steering is light & precise & as a motorway cruiser it’s very impressive. The DS’s suspension makes for a comfortable ride & there is little or no body roll, even around sharp bends. We mainly utilised the Hybrid driving mode, which selects the driving mode for you. In pure Electric Mode we managed to travel 27 miles before the car switched to Hybrid. Drivers may notice the extra battery weight, but it’s not that intrusive to the handling of the car.
For fleet customers the CO2 emissions on the DS7 E-Tense are under 50g/km, which means attractive BIK. More good news is that DS claim a maximum fuel consumption of 128 mpg. As we’ve said before, the only way you’ll see any kind of fuel economy return close to 100 mpg, is if you drive in Electric Mode as much as possible, plug-in after every short journey & utilise the clever on-board charge saving that’s offered. We’d guess that if you don’t do these things regularly & many PHEV customers don’t, then 32-36 mpg is a more likely scenario.
Whilst the plug-in competition hot’s up, especially from Germany, the DS7 E-Tenses is refreshingly different. It feels more upmarket to it’s sibling the Vauxhall Grandland X & with prices starting at £47,725, so it should ! In a sector stuffed with contenders, the DS7 does a really good job of being just different enough to warrant your consideration. It’s more spacious, looks far nicer & is more interesting both inside & out, than most of it’s competitors. Add in the brands desire to look after new customers & some unique design detail & the DS7 is a serious player.