What is it?
It may seem somewhat oxymoronic but this particular DS 7 Crossback is not only the greenest version of the French brand’s curiously mid-sized styled SUV, but it’s also the quickest. This is the 7 Crossback E-Tense 4x4: the long-awaited plug-in hybrid variant that can supposedly hit 62mph from a standstill in 5.9sec, emit just 33g/km of CO2 on average and manage a WLTP-certified combined fuel economy of 235mpg.
With moderately potent plug-in SUVs becoming increasingly common, so, too, are the similarly broad spreads of alleged ability that come with them. Volvo’s XC60 T8 and Audi’s Q5 TFSIe manage to conjure similar on-paper stats, although recent experience highlights that if you fail to stay on top of keeping their batteries charged, real-world average economy can easily drop into the 20s. The same will no doubt apply to this new 7 Crossback.
Anyway, its technical spec makes for relatively familiar reading. Up front, there’s a 197bhp version of the PSA Group’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol, which is paired with a 109bhp electric motor. Both drive the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, while a second, 110bhp electric motor at the rear axle endows the DS with four-wheel drive. Combined, these three engines make for a total system output of 296bhp and 332lb ft.
The electric motors draw their power from a 13.2kWh battery, which is housed beneath the floor so as not to intrude on rear passenger room or boot space. Without its petrol motor running, DS claims, the E-Tense should be able to travel between 34 and 40 miles on electricity alone, at speeds of up to 80mph.