DS 7 review - Interior, design and technology
Distinctive exterior details, a flamboyant cabin design and lots of technology help the DS 7 stand out in a crowded class
As the first true DS product in its own right, the DS 7 showed us what the French firm’s design team could do when presented with a blank sheet of paper. It sits on the Stellantis Group’s EMP2 platform, shared with the Peugeot 3008, Citroen C5 Aircross and Vauxhall Grandland.
At launch it revealed a relatively clean and conventional look but the 2022 facelift brought a little bit more visual interest in the form of those striking DS Light Veil daytime running lights that drop like fangs from the headlight units and some sharper creases around the tailgate.
Looking at the car’s side profile reveals a tall beltline mated to rounded roof and rear window lines. There’s less chrome on the latest cars for a less busy appearance, although there’s still probably too much badging on the rear end with ‘DS Automobiles’, ‘DS’, ‘DS 7’ and (on the hybrids) ‘E-Tense’ logos all squeezed in and using various different fonts.
The car’s interior is more interesting still. The cabin is dominated by a large centre console, which pours down seamlessly from the dashboard and cocoons both the driver and front passenger in their own separate areas. Material quality is on par for the premium SUV class at hand height, but you’ll be disappointed to see that the angular, metallic looking switchgear lining the centre console is actually plastic. Lower quality plastics can also be found if you go looking for them.
Sat-nav, stereo & infotainment
As standard, the Performance Line model features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch HD touchscreen. The system runs the DS Iris software with a widget-based user interface and features DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s capable of receiving over-the-air updates, too.
Connected navigation is also offered across all variants, as are two rear USB sockets and an eight-speaker audio system. Wireless charging comes on the Opera models while an upgraded Focal Electra stereo with 14 speakers and a subwoofer comes on the La Premiere cars.
The system is straightforward enough, although there are menu systems out there that are easier to grasp quickly. The graphics are crisp and the touchscreen is responsive. It’s helpful to have a single view which shows map and climate controls because the shortcut keys under the screen can be tricky to use.
In this review
- 1DS 7 reviewThe DS 7 SUV offers a touch of French luxury to take on its established German rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe DS 7 has low-speed ride quality issues but it’s quiet and comfortable on faster roads. The E-Tense 360 flagship actually handles very well due to its unique suspension settings.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsIt’s not a cheap car to buy and residual values are weak, but at least the reliance on diesel and plug-in powertrains means that no DS 7 should be too expensive to fuel
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingDistinctive exterior details, a flamboyant cabin design and lots of technology help the DS 7 stand out in a crowded class
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe DS 7 sizes up as a spacious compact SUV, with a generous boot to match
- 6Reliability and safetyA decent amount of standard safety kit contributes to a five-star Euro NCAP rating