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DS 7 Crossback E-Tense Hybrid 4×4

This new SUV from the Citroën breakaway brand DS is a fine family vehicle, but 4x4 expert Ed Coles investigates its off-road credentials

Crossback DS7

DS 7 Crossback

Overall Rating: 70%

Pros: Hybrid engine, roomy boot, good traction

Price as reviewed: £56,540

Cons: Limited range, mild pitching on corners

I was a little unsure what was going to turn up as I waited for delivery of the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense Hybrid 4×4. No, that’s not a typo, DS is a stand-alone brand now, much like Cupra. The DS 7 is the brand’s mid-size SUV, which boasts some eco credentials and could tick some Shooting Times boxes.

Five specs for the DS 7

It’s available in five specs: Performance, Performance+, Rivoli, Opera and La Premiere. We’re taking a look at the Rivoli hybrid, which is in the middle of the range. So, without further ado, let’s see how the suburban family wagon gets on around the shoot — just remember not to call it a Citroën.

On first impressions, it’s a bit white. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; other colours are available. Despite the not-so-practical colour, it does look smart and the silhouette is very pleasing as far as SUVs go. I would describe the look as bold and futuristic with a dash of class, maybe verging on blingy. It does look quite a beast with its large grille and never-ending bumper. As bumpers get bigger, headlights get smaller, but don’t be fooled — their retina-scorching capacity has increased in tandem with the bumper size.

The fang-like running lights and wedged LED headlights finish off the front with some interesting angles. Underneath, standard black plastic covers the interesting bits, but there is an encouraging 190mm of ground clearance. At the rear, the large bumper and small light theme continues. The curves and angles work well with the LED rear lights. Underneath, we can see some glimpses of tiny driveshafts and a bit of the fancy rear motor. Taking in the side profile it does look like a higher-end SUV, and the look is completed with those contrasting chrome trims and diamond-cut alloys.

Under the bonnet we have a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine combined with an electric motor, and another electric motor driving the rear wheels for good measure. The 1.6-litre engine produces 200bhp and 300Nm of torque. It provides drive to the front wheels, as well as charging the batteries for the motors. The front motor produces 110hp and the rear motor gives us another 113hp. Combined, that gives the DS 7 a total of 296bhp and a whopping 520Nm of torque — more than enough for propelling the nearly two-tonne SUV, and plenty to tow more than one tonne, too.

The DS 7 can launch itself to 60mph in 5.9 seconds and, with the eight-speed automatic gearbox, it has a top speed of 146mph.

Full charge

Charging the DS 7’s battery takes seven hours on a domestic socket, or 90 minutes on the 7kW accelerated wall charger. Full charge gives up to 42 miles of electric range, and driving with ‘e-save’ setting tops the power up. In electric mode, we can get up to 80mph.

The boot offers a decent space. To use the standard unit of measurement, it fits six bags of wheat with a bit to spare, so more than enough room for kit and luggage. The rifle just squeezes in at an angle, and would probably be better on the back seats.

The sleek black dash with futuristic centre console and screen are laid out well, and the black diamond-stitched seats and chrome trims give it a sense of bling, but it’s not overly tacky.

All the usual gadgets and driver aids are all present: sat-nav, DAB, parking cameras, lane departure and automatic braking, among many others. There are five driving settings, which adjust the engine, and DS ‘active scan’ suspension: 4×4, sport, hybrid, electric, and comfort.

Crossback DS7

The inside is sleek, without being too showy

Around the country roads the ride is very good for an SUV, and the instant traction from the motors is impressive and fun. It holds the road well and, even without the massage seat going, it’s exceptionally comfy and quiet, especially on the open road. There’s a mild bit of pitching if you’re pushing through the turns, but it’s not built for track days.

With the regenerative braking turned on, I don’t have to do much braking; as soon as you let off the accelerator, it feels like you’ve thrown an anchor out of the window. Nevertheless, it’s exceptionally comfortable and impressive as an urban family vehicle.

Time to test it off-piste. Selecting 4×4 traction isn’t a problem on the gravel track up to the wood. Stomping your foot on the accelerator soon gets all four wheels spinning with a cloud of dust, and it performs well over the lumps and bumps. Negotiating the woodland track involves a deep breath and a bit of finger-crossing.

Despite some slipping in the change from gravel to wet grass and mud, the DS 7 soon pulls itself straight and the electric motors do well with the added bonus of stealth. I’m very tentative over the larger ruts and bumps, and after seeing the next wet track churned up by tractor tyres, I graciously decided to call the off-piste excursion a day.


The DS 7 crossback is a good family SUV. It’s comfortable, stylish and comes with an impressive amount of kit. It’s fun to drive and capable of a mild bit of off-roading, but nothing too taxing. The electric range isn’t massive, but the overall hybrid system is pretty good. The overall quality is fine, and the DS brand is aiming to be slightly higher-end. The Rivoli Crossback 4×4 starts off at £56,540 on the road, which is quite steep, but it’s a good effort for the DS 7.

DS 7 – Need to know

  • Manufacturer DS
  • Model DS 7 Crossback E-Tense Rivoli
  • Class Hybrid 4×4
  • Engine 200bhp, 300Nm of torque
  • Front motor 110hp
  • Rear motor 113hp (max torque 320Nm)
  • Combined 296bhp, 520Nm of torque
  • Top speed 146mph
  • 0-60 mph 5.9 seconds
  • Emissions CO2 26-33g/km
  • Economy Electric 42-35 miles Combined 191.1-249.8 mpg
  • Towing weight Braked 1,200kg, unbraked 750kg
  • Ground clearance 190mm


A good family SUV