2023 DS 7 Crossback Opera E-Tense 4X4 300 Automatic

2023 DS 7 Crossback Opera E-Tense 4X4 300 Automatic

The DS 7 Crossback first made its debut back in 2017 and was the first purpose-built car to wear the DS Automobiles badge, rather than having previously featured a double chevron Citroën logo up front. Recently, the DS 7 Crossback model range has come in for some fettling with trim levels now based on areas of Paris. So out goes Prestige and Ultra Prestige, and instead there’s names like Rivoli and Opera. Here we try out the flagship edition, paired to the E-Tense four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

With the battery pack fully charged, there’s up to 36 miles of silent, pure electric power. With both powertrains operating together, there’s swift performance off the line, but when the battery is depleted, you’re piloting a large SUV with a punchy 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine that has similar power to a 2.0-litre diesel unit. And while DS Automobiles quotes an official mpg figure of 188.3mpg, that’s with battery pack and engine working in unison. Once depleted, in our tests, we achieved just over 41mpg when driving quite leisurely. The joystick like gear selector allows you to select the ‘B’ mode which delivers maximum brake regeneration, harnessing more of the kinetic energy that is lost when braking or slowing down. Pleasantly weighted steering helps around town and there’s tidy handling through the bends, with not much in the way of body lean or excessive weight transfer, like some SUVs suffer with. The Active Scan suspension that uses cameras to adjust the ride comfort works quite well on small and moderate bumps, but like most systems, gets caught out on the bigger potholes and undulations. Refinement is excellent, with low levels of road and wind noise, with the engine only heard when you’re giving it a real workout.

Compared to other SUVs, the DS 7 has always cut a dash in the interior department, with plush materials, intricate detailing, a prominent widescreen infotainment display and a stylish clock. The watch strap-style seats look distinctive, but aren’t as softly cushioned as you would like over longer distances, especially when new and not so supple. We like the bevelled metallic inserts along the central console, but the electric window switches being placed in the middle, and not on the doors, takes a bit of getting used to. We like the relatively small diameter steering wheel as it amplifies the sense of agility, particularly when winding through busy city streets. Head and legroom are excellent both front and back and there’s generous storage around the cabin, including a large lidded bin in front of the gear selector, a huge area underneath the central armrest and deep door pockets. Boot space is exemplary, too, with 628 litres of carrying capacity with the seats up and 1,752 litres with the chairs folded down. There’s even a double height divider and levers in the boot to tumble the seats forward more easily.

FACTS & FIGURES2023 DS 7 Crossback Opera E-Tense 4X4 300 Automatic

  • Price £54,550
  • Built in Mulhouse, France
  • Codename eX74
  • Generation 1
  • Platform EMP2
  • Bodystyle 5-door SUV, 5-seats
  • Layout Four-wheel-drive
  • Powerplant 1,598cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged petrol with electric motor and 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack
  • Transmission 8-speed automatic
  • Max power (engine) 197bhp @ 6,000rpm
  • Max power (electric motor) 219bhp
  • Max power (combined) 299bhp
  • Max torque (engine) 221lb ft @ 3,000rpm
  • Max torque (electric motor) 249lb ft
  • Max torque (combined) 384lb ft
  • Top speed 149mph
  • 0-62mph 5.9secs
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP) 35g/km
  • Economy (WLTP combined) 188.3mpg
  • Fuel tank size 43 litres
  • Range (electric motor) 36 miles
  • Recharge time (Domestic socket/7.2kW home charger) tba/1 hour 45 minutes
  • Insurance group 39
  • BIK rate (2022/2023 tax year) 12%
  • Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,573/2,098mm
  • Boot space (min/max) 628/1,752 litres
  • Kerbweight 1,825kg
  • Max towing weight 1,200kg
  • Euro NCAP rating
  • Spare wheel (full-size/spacesaver/run-flat/selfseal/ repair kit) No/no/no/no/yes
  • Warranty 3 years/60,000 miles
  • What’s Hot Distinctive looks. Plush, roomy cabin. Big boot. Lots of oddment storage.
  • What’s Not Centrally mounted electric windows difficult to get used to. Leather seats look beautiful, but can become hard over longer distances. Expensive price tag.
  • Also consider Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 e 4Matic AMG Line, Volvo XC60 Plus Recharge T6 PHEV AWD
  • Verdict The DS 7 cuts a distinctive dash, clearly setting itself apart from other more mundane premium competitors.
  • Rating ■■■■■■■■■■8/10
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