The 7 Crossback SUV advances DS’s upmarket push with new technology and a premium design; top trim model kicks off sales
17 May 2017

The DS 7 Crossback, the French brand's first European-market SUV, is on sale now exclusively in limited edition La Première guise.

The model, which is priced from £42,650 and was previewed with a special Presidential version used by new French president Emmanuel Macron, and comes with all of the 7 Crossback's highest-spec features.

It's the only model that customers can buy at the moment and will go off sale on 31 December. The rest of the range (an example of which is pictured below) is due on sale later this year, priced from less than £30,000.

The La Première's extended list of features includes 20in alloy wheels, a 12in instrument display and a 12in infotainment touchscreen and dark red Nappa leather upholstery, and it comes in just three colours: Cumulus Grey metallic, Pearl White or Perla Nera Black.

It gets DS's latest driver assist systems including lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and adaptive headlights.

DS's active suspension scanning system is also fitted as standard; it uses a high-mounted camera near the top of the car's windscreen to ‘read’ the surface of the road as it approaches, pre-setting the stiffness of the electronically variable dampers (which will be also be standard on other high trim versions) to prepare for larger bumps and compressions as they arrive.

DS claims Active Scan will be a segment first, although Mercedes-Benz does already offers a similar Magic Body Control system on its pricier models.

The most potent petrol and diesel engines are offered with the La Première. Both are turbocharged 1.6-litres, offering 221bhp and 178bhp respectively. They come mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

When the rest of the range goes on sale, a wider selection of powertrains will be offered with the DS 7. Added to the aforementioned units will be a 128bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol and the 1.6-litre petrol in 178bhp guise. A new ultra-frugal 1.5-litre diesel engine, named DVR, will be the second diesel option.

The 1.5 diesel and 1.2 petrol will have a six-speed manual gearbox. All other engines will come with the eight-speed 'box, which will also be an option on the 1.5 diesel.

For now the DS 7 will be offered with front-wheel-drive only. PSA engineers have confirmed that there are no plans for a four-wheel-drive 7 Crossback with a mechanical system.

The only model with a powered rear end will be the range-topping hybrid version, which is due to arrive a year after the rest of the range, in 2019. This hybrid model will have two 107bhp electric motors working in conjunction with a 197bhp version of the 1.6-litre turbo petrol, giving a total output of 296bhp.

DS says all models (not just the La Première) will have upmarket materials in their interiors, as well as potential for customisation that’s unprecedented for a PSA car. The amount of passenger space in the 7 Crossback is generous in both the front and rear, and plusher versions are set to get electrically tilting rear seats.

DS is keen to market the 7 Crossback as a technology leader, so even the entry-level version will get active LED headlights with three powered moving elements. These turn to give a ‘welcoming animation’ as the car is unlocked and allow different lighting modes, with longer-range beam projection at higher speeds and corner illumination (something Citroën effectively invented on its DS saloon in 1967).

Elaborate tail-lights, each with 42 LEDs, will also be standard and an infrared-based night vision system capable of identifying pedestrians and animals will be offered as an option. DS has also confirmed plans to offer the 7 Crossback with a semi-autonomous Connected Pilot driving system. A state-of-the-art Focal Electra audio system will be on offer, too.

The car, which was developed under the codename X74, is built upon the mid-sized version of PSA’s EMP2 modular platform. It's the first of what will quickly become a slew of new models from DS. A small SUV and a large saloon will be among them. However, there are no plans to bring the slightly smaller, Chinese-market DS 6 crossover to Europe.

The 7 Crossback arrives less than two years since the PSA Group split DS into a third seperate brand positioned above Peugeot and Citroën. PSA is determined to portray its newest brand as a premium player, and as such the 7 Crossback’s styling takes on plenty of upmarket cues — especially in the resemblance at the rear to the Q5. The 7 Crossback has a similar full-width tailgate with integral tail-lights.

Production of the 7 Crossback will start towards the end of the year at PSA’s Mulhouse plant in France, with first UK customer deliveries due in early 2018.

Pricing and final specification of the rest of the range won’t be confirmed until later this year. A starting price below £30,000 would give the DS 7 a notable price advantage against German rivals, such as the Q5 and BMW X3.

We ride in the DS 7 Crossback

Test track demonstrations are normally conducted at a speed designed to make the passenger feel moderate awe, but not today.

Andrea Louis, the DS 7 Crossback project manager, is driving a hard-working prototype wearing a tatty disguise at a brisk but restrained pace. He deliberately takes aim at every imperfection he can find, including some nasty artificial ridges across the surface of the track. He’s intent on proving the 7 Crossback rides like a big French car should.

Unfortunately, our 7 Crossback isn’t fitted with the Active Scan suspension, which is apparently still undergoing final tuning, and the variable dampers are working only in their default Normal mode. Yet the car feels impressively compliant from both the front passenger and rear seats when asked to digest the Belchamp test track’s modest number of rougher surfaces, although they are still some way short of the challenge of a British B-road.

We’re told that PSA engineers are fully aware of what Tarmac in the UK can be like, apparently having been moderately appalled after a group of them was brought over to encounter our potholes, and DS is determined to reclaim the reputation for ride quality that French cars used to enjoy. 

Additional reporting by Sam Sheehan

Read more:

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Comments
20

28 February 2017
CLICK BAIT FOR REVENUE FROM ADVERTISERS, AGAIN

28 February 2017
[quote=devil's advocate]CLICK BAIT FOR REVENUE FROM ADVERTISERS, AGAIN[/quote] I've only seen 2 today????

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

28 February 2017
Most if not all Q5 cars ar eawd this article state sonly the hybrid version is awd.the engines are small also,this looks like Sportage,tucson and Quashkai or whatever it is called competition.

28 February 2017
Where do you get these ghastly expressions? Have you been talking to those awful rough boys from the village again?

28 February 2017
Most of the car and interior looks good - but that awful screen inside! I can hear the conversation now: Marketing: "Everyone else is adding 10 inch screens but ours is only 7 - we need a bigger screen" Engineering: "We've all tooled up, no room or time" Marketing: "JUST STICK A BIGGER SCREEN IN" Engineering: "Done"

 

 

 

28 February 2017
Outside looks good. Interior dire, whats going on with all the plastic up the middle flowing into the dash? looks cramped and claustrophobic. And the ipad stuck on with Bluetack? just don't! - the hybrid will be the one to wait for, depending if they go easy on the battery size and keep the boot intact then a 300bhp 4wd cheapo Citroen tax dodger with a cushy ride would get me off to the dealer for a looksie.

28 February 2017
I'm no particular fan of the Audi Q5, but at least it sits on a sophisticated mixed-material architecture with a proper drivetrain and independent suspension. This sits on a creaking and basic platform from a £15k hatch, plus carry over drivetrains. No thanks.

28 February 2017
are you generally against modular platforms?

1 March 2017
@russ, Nope, but I expect a car to have an appropriate level of engineering for its price point.

28 February 2017
Gawd knows what the designers are on. The 'styling' is crass, bling-tastic, of-its-time, formulaic and asks no questions other than: where exactly is any Frenchness in this ? I presume the Chinese don't care but paid-up members of the DS/CX/GS-appreciation society will cry into their glass of Bordeaux.....Moi inclu.

BertoniBertone

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