A refined, relaxing, luxurious-feeling driving experience would have been quite distinguishing for the DS 7 Crossback in a compact SUV segment made up of an increasingly high proportion of cars marketed for their relative handling dynamism.
It’s what you might expect of a big, premium-branded French family car and it’s also what the DS 7’s Active Scan camera-linked suspension seems to promise that you might get.
However, we should remember that DS Automobiles struggled to produce a distinguishing and laid-back ‘big French car’ dynamic vibe the last time it tried, with the DS 5. This time out, despite doing better than on that last occasion, it has faltered a little.
The ‘handshake’ of the DS 7’s driving experience – that impression it makes over the first 50 yards – is moderately promising. It steers with lightness but also fairly gentle gearing so the rack doesn’t feel too over-assisted, and those front driving wheels seem isolated but not discouragingly remote.
The DS 7 rides softly and with adequate comfort at low speeds. The car’s suspension conducts plenty of road noise into the cabin, however, and while it deals with bigger, softer-edged lumps and bumps well enough, it too often allowed the 19in wheels and 50-profile tyres of our test car to thump and crash a bit over sharper scars and imperfections.