DS 7 – read before buying your next car
When Citroen decided to introduced as a standalone luxury brand in 2015, it knew that breaking into the market would be tough. After all, despite having some incredible cars in the past, the French company’s reputation for luxury wasn’t great. But now, with the DS 7 firmly established as a true DS model, it’s provided a compelling alternative to SUVs from BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
DS 7 design and looks
At first glance, you could easily mistake the DS 7 for an Audi Q3 or even a Lexus NX. With the same basic body shape and high waist seen on all of these cars, DS hasn’t tried to break the basic mould for a small to mid-sized SUV.
When you take a closer look, the small details start to come through. There are LED lights front and rear, as well as a narrow line of vertical daytime running lights, on either side of the front bumper. Then there’s the distinctive DS logo on the big front grille as well as chrome elements around the slit-like headlights and the gently rounded roofline that looks like a development from the DS 5.
Are used DS 7s good to drive?
The original DS, which Citroen stopped making in 1975, was legendary for its comfort and handling – thanks mainly to the hydropneumatic suspension that was unique at the time. The brand has tried to capture this in the DS 7, albeit with a more conventional setup, by giving higher specification cars suspension that actively adjusts according to the road ahead, using a front-facing camera for sight.
The technology is especially effective on motorways and country roads, where it smooths out potholes and bumps effectively, but it’s less effective in the city at lower speeds. Still, even the most basic DS 7 is honest in its approach and never attempts to mimic the sportiness of other offerings. The DS doesn’t need to.
Higher specification cars get suspension that actively adjusts according to the road ahead, using a front-facing camera for sight
DS 7 interior space, storage and style
The interior of the DS 7 is where the designers have really gone to town. Expect plush materials all around and look out for the tell-tale diamond motif that is repeated throughout. The seats are well-padded and very adjustable to achieve the perfect, commanding SUV driving position. Admittedly, rear visibility could be better, but cars with an optional 360-degree reversing camera will always come to your rescue.
The dashboard is dominated by a pair of 12-inch screens, one with the instrument panel and the other featuring an infotainment centre that controls many features of the car. It might be large, but the latter isn’t always that easy or intuitive to use, with better ones in BMW and Mercedes SUVs. But thanks to full connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, many users won’t venture outside their phone’s menus anyway.
Higher spec models also get an analogue clock from BRM that pops up on the dashboard when the car starts, adding a very neat designer touch.
There’s plenty of room in the back, and the cabin feels airy when an optional panoramic sunroof is fitted.
DS 7 practicality and boot space
The DS 7 boot is large enough to swallow a family’s suitcases for a weekend getaway or trip to the airport. The floor isn’t flat, but it’s pretty shallow, making loading and unloading easier.
Fold the rear seats down and there is a serious amount of space and, in cars that have been fitted with the Modularity Pack, there’s a variable boot floor, side storage spaces and a 12-volt socket too.
Inside the car, there are deep door pockets that are even lined with carpet to stop those bits and bobs from rattling around as well as a large centre console between the front seats that can hold plenty too.
DS 7 running costs and reliability
Choose the popular DS 7 Blue HDi 130 diesel engine and you could squeeze around 68mpg out of the SUV. If you go for the E-Tense hybrid engine this could go up to around 128mpg on shorter journeys. On a fully-charged battery it will even do 31 miles on electric power only – although you should also be aware that the extra 300kg weight of the batteries makes the fuel consumption rise steeply when you’re driving the car on petrol-power alone.
Citroen hasn’t always been known for its reliability, but it seems like they’ve upped their game with the DS range – so there shouldn’t be any issues on this score.
What cinch loves
We love the way that DS has dared to be just that little bit different with the7 SUV and made it stand out from the rest of the crowd in some quite subtle, but important, design decisions. Go for a model with Active Suspension and it also promises a very smooth ride too.
What else to consider? DS 7 alternatives
If comfort trumps handling and performance for you then the DS7 should definitely be one of the cars that you check out. And if a little Parisian style is also what you fancy then it should make it all the way up to the top of your list.