Road Test Review: DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE Ultra Prestige
Independent review by Peter Keenan
- Very generous equipment
- Economically friendly
- High quality looks inside and out
- Comfortable driving experience
With us constantly being warned of our calamitous impact on the planet, it's timely for French luxury brand DS to reach a notable milestone.
It recorded average fleet carbon dioxide emissions of just 79.9g/km in the first half of 2020 – making the company the only premium brand to meet the European Commission’s current 95g/km emissions target.
Models including the DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE have made the company a stand-out performer for those who need a luxury SUV but would also like to have a relatively low carbon footprint.
The company has become the poster-boy among premium auto manufacturers for low emissions thanks to its electrification strategy, with a move since 2019 to ensure models like the DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE are available with a range of plug-in powertrains.
Indeed, the company has committed to the target of offering only electrified powertrains by 2025 and boasts extensive EV experience in the Formula E racing championship with the DS Techeetah team.
And beneath all the green technology flaunted by DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE Ultra Prestige – allowing it to emit just 35g/km of CO2 and deliver up to a claimed maximum 235mpg if battery levels are kept fully charged – there's definitely a high performing car ready to be unleashed.
Under the bonnet, you'll find a 1.6-litre petrol engine, which allows the SUV to reach 62mph from a standing start in a shade under 6.0 seconds on the way to a claimed top speed just shy of 150mph. An 8-speed automatic transmission ensures mostly seamless gear changes.
The ride is as smooth as silk thanks to an efficient suspension system, while the handling is confidence-inspiring with lots of grip in corners.
There are different driving modes to suit your mood and the prevailing conditions – called Electric, Comfort, Hybrid, Sport, and 4WD – which alter the way the car reacts. It can be driven in electric-only mode for 34 to 40 miles and takes less than two hours to fully charge from a 7.2kW home charger.
Design and Equipment
The price-tag for the top spec Ultra Prestige model may raise eyebrows for something that isn’t German, but as far as exterior and interior styling and equipment levels are concerned, it's a quality package.
There's plenty of kerb presence guaranteed by 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, smart LED headlights, snazzy tail lamps plus E-TENSE badging on the bonnet and tailgate. The rock-star feel continues with the privacy glass at the rear, a panoramic sunroof and a gloss black grille resplendent with the DS logo.
The cabin is plush with quilted leather upholstery and powered heated seats that offer a massage on demand. A pleasant atmosphere is assured thanks to the dual-zone climate control, while other nice touches include aluminium sport pedals and crystal roller controls. A hi-tech digital instrument display offers the driver a raft of information to choose from.
The kit list is extensive, with a 12-inch touchscreen providing access to the digital radio and sat nav, while smartphone connectivity is assured via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also wireless phone charging and Bluetooth.
When you finish playing with the many toys and want to load up the DS with luggage or shopping, you’ll find the powered boot lid opens off the key fob to reveal 628 litres of storage space – rising to 1,752 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped down.
A raft of safety features include an emergency braking system, driver attention warning, active blind spot detection, lots of airbags, front and rear parking sensors plus a reversing camera.
From striking looks inside and out to extremely high levels of practicality, the DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE Ultra Prestige is a large SUV that manages to keep up with its luxury rivals well. With a range of hi-tech equipment and a roomy interior for the whole family, it's a versatile motor that's hard to beat.