DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Thomas Cortesi


For high-end models, rechargeable hybridization becomes a must. The luxury brand of PSA, DS, is logically the one that releases the new engine designed by PSA on its high-end SUV. We were able to put it to the test for the first time.

Presentation of the DS7 Crossback E-Tense

Let's start with a truism: the French manufacturers came late to hybridization. Renault will only launch its Clio Hybrid at the end of the year, nearly a quarter of a century after the launch of the first Toyota Prius.

On the side of PSA, the diesel hybrid proposed in 2011 on some Peugeot did not really convinced. The group nevertheless returns in 2020 with a brand new engine more in line with market standards. Based on the 1.6 petrol engine and the EAT8 transmission of Aisin origin, it combines two electric motors, one per running gear, powered by a battery of 13.2 kWh.

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Complex, this kinematic chain allows the French group to kill three birds with one stone. Not only will it lower its CO average2 by range in 2020, but it brings two benefits that were missing in its most posh models: a high-power version (300 hp cumulative) and the all-wheel drive of which none of its SUV are equipped. It is precisely on these aspects that competition, especially in Germany, makes the difference.

Honor to all honor, it is the flagship of the luxury brand of the group, the DS7 SUV, to inaugurate the plug-in hybrid powertrain. 4.57m long, it is between the Audi Q3 and the BMW X3, two competitors who will also move to the hybrid in 2020. It is therefore a high-end, which even crosses summits rarely reached by a hexagonal mark.

At € 54,550 in basic price and up to € 70,000 for an all-options model, he joined the Alpine A110 and … the Bugatti Chiron in the club of the most expensive French cars of the moment. It should be noted, however, that a more modest, two-wheel-drive version with a cumulative power of 225 hp will be available in the course of 2020.

DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Thomas Cortesi

A technology festival

German luxury brands are distinguished less and less by their powerful engines but more than ever by the profusion of equipment they offer on their models. DS is well aware of this and the DS7 is taking up the challenge. Night vision, digital instrumentation, camera-controlled suspension, semi-autonomous level 2 driving, head-up vision … the list of available functions has something to occupy a beautiful winter evening.

DS, however, is still a little behind in its navigation system signed TomTom, which does not offer connectivity competitors: no Google Earth map or search for connected place. However, it offers a satisfactory guidance and takes into account the vagaries of traffic. As it should, the system is however compatible with AppleCar Play and Android Auto. At the best level at launch, the autonomous driving system is already starting to be overtaken by the most recent, like that proposed by the latest Renault Captur and Clio. Less responsive, it is however one of the rare to offer the memory of placement in the way, very practical to leave the interfile free for motorcycles. The DS is also distinguished by the care given to the graphism of digital instrumentation, which takes the theme of diamond dear to the brand.

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

It is also inside that the DS7 plays the most originality. DS insists a lot on the quality of the materials used, indicating that the dashboard and doorframes are lined with real leather and not synthetic material as is the case for many competitors. For those who use animal skins, the intermediate finish Performance Line is instead called Alcantara, fabric made from synthetic fiber. However, some plastics used in the lower parts remain unworthy of a car of this price.

For smartphones, note that the DS7 Crossback E-Tense has its own application, which allows to activate the remote heating and to learn about the remaining capacity of the battery and to start charging, or to identify the parking space.

DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Camille Pinet

Driving

The DS7 Crossback e-Tense always starts on the electric mode, even when the battery is discharged: the car always keeps a reserve of charge. The silence is then total, and the comfort of walking in town remarkable. Note the presence of a blue light behind the rearview mirror indicating that the car is running in electric mode: a way to anticipate future zero emission zones that will not fail to be imposed by the legislator.

By default, the SUV rolls in hybrid mode, which favors electric traction, unless a long trip is programmed in the GPS: it adopts the most efficient strategy given the distance envisaged. The maximum power delivered by the battery, 90 kW, or 122 hp, allows the DS7 to drive in zero emission mode while maintaining a good level of performance up to 130 km / h. When you press a little harder on the accelerator, the engine is triggered discreetly. It is more present than when you crush the right pedal.

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

Photo credit: Thomas Cortesi

In these conditions, the accelerations impress and completely forget the mass of the machine, very talented for passing lightning. Even if we have discharged the battery after about forty kilometers, the DS7 has always kept enough electrical energy to maintain its maximum capacity of acceleration: it is only in very intensive use, without phase of regenerative braking, which can be overcome.

On the winding paths, the DS7 is competent and even more comfortable than the thermal versions, with softer suspensions. Nevertheless, do not expect sports agility: a 1825 kg SUV always ends up obeying the laws of physics! We were not convinced by the camera-controlled suspension, only activated in comfort mode.

DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Thomas Cortesi


Even if the car responds better to the speed bumps, the effect announced flying carpet is not at the rendezvous. We were able to test the DS7 on an extremely wet off-road course. Paved with snow tires, it has highlighted the interest of 100% electric propulsion in crossing. In 4X4 mode, it is possible to measure the acceleration to the millimeter without any jerk.

We have crossed very slippery slopes with great ease despite the lack of specialized driving assistance. An argument that will undoubtedly bear in the mountainous regions, where we favor the SUV all-wheel drive. Note also that the 4X4 mode is also available when the battery is discharged. To finish with this profusion of modes, note that it is possible thanks to the e-save function to keep part of the battery charged, for example to roll without emission at the end of the trip.

DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Thomas Cortesi

Consumption and recharge

If the powertrain DS7 is very successful, it shows its limits in the energy chapter, as is almost always the case for rechargeable hybrids. If the silence is golden in electric mode, the energy consumption is indeed high. We have raised the figure of 29 kWh in the city in all-electric mode, which quickly compromises the battery life: it is difficult to reach 40 km in these conditions instead of the 53 km announced.

Once the battery is emptied, fuel consumption rises logically soaring, reaching 9.5 liters per 100 km highway. A figure much higher than an equivalent model running on diesel. Here, the additional mass of the hybrid system is involved: the DS7 Crossback e-Tense weighs nearly 400 kg more than an automatic Puretech 225 gasoline model with the same engine. It can not be repeated enough: a rechargeable hybrid makes sense only if it is recharged daily to make maximum use of it in electric mode.

The DS7 has a maximum recharging power of 7.4 kW which allows it to recover 100% of its capacity in 1:45 on a dedicated wallbox (500 € off installation) and 8 hours on a conventional 8 amp.

DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Thomas Cortesi

Price and taxation

As we have said, the DS7 Crossback E-Tense is a high-end model and its price chart reflects it. Nevertheless, it has significant tax benefits that will undoubtedly be a star among the cars of business leaders.

It is not subject to the ecological penalty and is definitely exempt from the TVS, the tax that affects private vehicles purchased by companies. Finally, registration is free in many French regions. Side tariff, the DS7 Crossback E-tense is proposed in all the finishes of the range except that of access reserved for the small petrol engine.

Its prices range from 54,550 € for the business allocation reserved for companies to 61,200 € for the premium endowment Grand Chic, that of our test model. All versions come standard with camera-controlled suspension, 19-inch wheels, 7.4 kW charger, navigation and digital instrumentation.

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Photo credit: Camille Pinet

Only the high-end equipment Grand Chic has the main driving aids and it is necessary in all cases to go through the catalog of options to enjoy the semi-autonomous driving (€ 1,150) or night vision (1,250) €). In terms of equipment price ratio, the DS7 is favorably compared to the proposed BMW X3 xDrive 30e from € 58,940, but with a lower capacity battery.

At Mercedes we offer the GLC 300 e, which announces 43 km of autonomy in WLTP mode but displays prices worthy of the Star: 63 649 € minimum!

DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Camille Pinet

Review of the DS7 Crossback E-Tense

The DS7 Crossback E-Tense succeeds its technological demonstration. Its new engine appears very accomplished and provides a high level of performance, commensurate with the high-end ambitions of its manufacturer. And this despite the extreme complexity of this SUV, which embeds an impressive number of embedded systems.

Versatile, comfortable, roomy and frankly luxurious, it is a high-end, at the level of German references. However, it should not be taken for what it is not, that is to say for a paragon of energy efficiency. Even if the rechargeable hybrid is favored by taxation, this solution again shows its limits on long journeys, where this DS7 proves to be as voracious as a comparable petrol model.

Tax benefits aside, so it is recommended only for those who can recharge for small daily trips. Is a large SUV the most suitable vehicle for this type of use? The question is asked.

DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Thomas Cortesi

Data sheet DS7 Crossback E-Tense Grand Chic

Dimensions L x W x H (in m)4.57 x 1.90 x 1.62
wheelbase2.74
Rear trunk volume555 liters VDA
Unloaded weight1,825 kg
Number of places5

Thermal motor4 cylinders in turbo line
Displacement1,825 cm3
Electric motorTwo permanent magnet synchronous motors
Total cumulative power300 ch
Total cumulative torque520 Nm
Fiscal power9 CV
Drums13.2 kWh
Propulsionintegral
DirectionElectric rack-and-pinion
Front suspensionNickname McPherson, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers
Rear suspensionMultibras, telescopic shock absorbers

0 to 100 km / h5.9 seconds
Maximum speed235 km / h

DS7 Crossback e-Tense

Thomas Cortesi

Price and equipment

Grand Chic DS7 Crossback E-Tense Price: € 61,200
Ecological bonus: 0 €

EquipmentSeriesOption
Metallic paintOption1,000 €
360 ° Reversing CameraYes
Semi-autonomous drivingOption€ 1,450
Alloy wheelsYes (19 inches)
Keyless entry and startYes (18 inches)
NavigationYes
LED lightsYes
Leather upholsteryYes
Heated seats and steering wheelOption550 €
Automatic parkingOption1,000 €
Hi-Fi focal systemOption
SunroofOption€ 1,450
Night visionOption€ 1,250