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New DS 7 Crossback SUV: full details, prices and pics

New DS 7 Crossback goes on sale in 2018, with a £50,000 hybrid model expected the following year

DS Automobiles has opened order books for its new Audi Q5-rivalling DS 7 Crossback, starting at £28,050.

The DS 7 Crossback comes in four trim levels, starting off with the Elegance model at £28,050. Equipped with a 1.5-litre diesel engine and a six-speed manual gearbox, it comes as standard with lane departure warning and driver attention warning.

New DS 7 Crossback review

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Starting from £31,435, the Performance Line offers 19-inch alloy wheels and a 12-inch HD touchscreen with navigation as standard. Alcantara leather interior and heated seats also feature along with a perforated steering wheel and aluminium pedals. It comes with a choice of two diesel engines and a 222bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic gearbox equipped across the range.

Next up is the Prestige trim level from £34,435. The advanced safety pack that includes blind spot detection and traffic sign recognition comes as standard, along with wireless smartphone charging. Some of the controls are finished in crystal and a luxury BRM timepiece is fitted above the HD touchscreen.

Finally, there's Ultra Prestige from £43,185, fitted with 20-inch alloys and electric sunroof with PolyAmbient LED lighting. It's also equipped with keyless entry and start, along with the DS Urban Pack with autonomous parking assist and 360-degree rear camera. The black Nappa leather interior has been stitched with pearls and the grab handles have been coated in leather.

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DS also announced a 2019 launch year for the E-tense plug-in hybrid model, which will boast 300bhp and command a price tag of approximately £50,000.

DS 7 Crossback: launch model on sale now

Earlier this year DS revealed an exclusive launch version of its new DS 7 Crossback SUV, which is still on sale now for a limited time period only. 

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It's called the DS 7 Crossback La Premiere, with prices starting from £42,650. Two engine choices are available, and for that money plenty of standard equipment is included.

The petrol engine option is a turbocharged 1.6-litre producing 222bhp. DS says it can do 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and enables a top speed of 141mph, while returning a claimed 39.2mpg. The other engine choice is a 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel. It’s not as sprightly, taking 9.4 seconds to hit 62mph and topping out at 128mph, but it promises much better fuel economy with a claimed 58.8mpg. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The equipment list is long, but highlights include two 12-inch infotainment displays lining the dashboard, unique ‘Art Rubis’ leather upholstery, LED headlights and taillights, a suite of driver aids including lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition plus unique La Premiere styling tweaks such as the 20-inch diamond cut alloy wheels. 

DS 7 Crossback: all the details

In an effort to boost the DS brand's identity - PSA's luxury car wing - the firm has pulled out all the stops for its first upmarket SUV. Iit cuts a unique character within the DS range and features a plug-in powertrain, unique suspension and various autonomous driving functions. 

Since separating from parent brand Citroen in 2015, DS has been saddled with an ageing line-up of models that used to wear the Citroen badge before being separated. However, with the DS 7 Crossback, the maker finally has its own ‘bespoke’ model to take on premium cars such as the Audi Q5 and Range Rover Evoque.

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Bosses at DS are aware that it can’t simply copy its rivals, though. And project director Xavier Savignon told Auto Express at the Geneva Motor Show: “We’re not at the same level as premium rivals in terms of profile, so we have to do something different.”

As a result, it has tasked its designers and engineers with creating a model that delivers a distinctively Gallic take on luxury and refinement. Compact SUV proportions and simple surfacing both feature, with the Crossback offering a hint of Lexus in its design.

• Four new SUVs and 600bhp hybrid supercar coming from DS

Detailing such as the chrome grille gives the car a premium appeal, while the Active LED headlamps emit a distinctive purple glow as you unlock the doors. The light show doesn’t end there, because at the rear you’ll find LEDs with a 3D pattern.

Inside, DS is once again keen to emphasise the car’s differences from more traditional models. “We want to be perfect, yet we want to be different,” said Savignon. “Comfort is also important, and we want the interior to be as relaxing as your living room.”

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The Crossback gets the same ‘watchstrap’ finish and stitching for the leather seats as in the DS 3 and DS 5, along with five massage functions. Its dash includes a pair of 12-inch screens, with the layout crowned by a large analogue clock that pirouettes as the engine is fired. Buyers can choose four cabin themes, and while a sportier Performance Line version is also available, the focus will still be on comfort and refinement.

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Underpinning the DS 7 Crossback is a stretched version of the EMP2 platform that has already appeared on various Peugeots and Citroens. The larger wheelbase results in good rear legroom, and while there’s no official info on capacity, the boot is well shaped and features a variable-height floor.

Also appearing in the DS 7 will be the E-TENSE plug-in hybrid system, which is slated to hit dealers in 2019. Combining a 197bhp 1.6-litre turbo with two electric motors, it’ll produce 296bhp and travel up to 37 miles in pure-electric mode. It should also emit less than 50g/km of CO2. Until this version arrives, buyers have a choice of the familiar 128bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol, as well as two more powerful 1.6 THP cars. A pair of diesels will also be offered, with an eight-speed auto standard on all but the basic models.

The DS 7 doesn’t feature DS’s legendary hydro-pneumatic suspension, but the clever Active Scan system is equally innovative. Using a camera mounted in the windscreen, it reads the road and instructs the adaptive dampers to soften or stiffen depending on the conditions.

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Drivers can also select Sport, Normal or Comfort modes. In addition, the Crossback showcases the latest range of autonomous driving features. Its Connected Pilot system delivers adaptive cruise control and steering, while also helping navigate traffic jams without input from the driver. Self-parking technology will also make the cut, and the semi-autonomous systems present on the DS 7 Crossback will spread across the PSA Group onto Peugeot and Citroen models not long after it hits UK showrooms next year. 

DS 7 Crossback: ride review 

We were given an exclusive passenger ride around DS’s extensive Belchamp test facility in France a few weeks before Geneva. Although we weren’t able to take a turn behind the wheel, the short drive provided us with an opportunity to test the brand’s claims for delivering class-leading comfort and refinement.

Unfortunately, the Active Scan suspension wasn’t functioning, as engineers are still calibrating the system, but our test car had adaptive dampers. With deputy project development manager Andre Louis in the driving seat, we sampled the car over various surfaces from smooth tarmac to viciously bumpy cobbles. The first thing you notice is that the ride is impressively quiet, with even big impacts reduced to a muted thud. The dampers also take the edge off sharp impacts, while the car floats serenely over bigger bumps.

The DS we rode in was fitted with the 178bhp diesel, which was punchy and reasonably muted, while the eight-speed auto delivered smooth shifts. The car appeared to have plenty of grip through the corners, but body movements weren’t fully controlled. Louis admitted engineers were still fine-tuning the car, adding: “We know there’s work to do. We have time before the launch to get it right. However, the focus will always be comfort.

What do you think of the new DS 7 Crossback? Let us know below...

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