Handling and Performance of the DS 7 CROSSBACK
I tested the 1.6-litre 180hp petrol DS 7 CROSSBACK on busy motorways and town traffic, as well as on country lanes, and I can report that the DS 7 CROSSBACK performed well in all three environments. I mainly used the Drive mode, but options also include Comfort, Eco and Sport. The latter, as you’d imagine, is a slightly firmer, more engaging ride. Suspension generally is very good and I felt cushioned from potholes and sleeping policemen. In Comfort mode, the useful active scan suspension is engaged. This uses a camera to read ahead and calibrate suspension response to each changing road surface.
The eight-speed automatic transmission in the DS 7 CROSSBACK soars effortlessly along the motorway, especially once you’ve reached third gear. Not intended to be the fastest SUV ever as ride comfort and all-round performance is its raison d’être, it takes 10.2 seconds to reach 62mph. I used the paddles either side of the steering column for more driver engagement, which is very smooth. In addition, I experienced zero wind noise inside the cabin, despite the autumnal weather, and the DS 7 CROSSBACK felt steady despite its elevated centre of gravity.
All-around visibility is also very good, and so is the road holding. In the DS 7 CROSSBACK, the steering is one of the most agile I’ve experienced, due to its 10.45m turning circle (3.0 lock to lock). It gave me extra confidence in handling a vehicle that weighs 1.4 tonnes. The DS 7 CROSSBACK turns on a dime and makes on-street and multi-story parking (often a nightmare in large SUVs) a relative doddle. The front parking sensors and reversing camera are especially useful in getting out of tight spots.
The display is very clear and the audio warning particularly useful. The Stop/Start function works especially well and the front-wheel-drive on the DS 7 CROSSBACK was very grippy, although I didn’t get to test it in wet and slippery conditions.
I cannot drive without music and am happy to report that the FOCAL Electra® Hi-Fi system with its eight speakers is excellent: the bass deep and punchy, and the treble crisp and clear with no tinny reverb. It was easier for me to change stations using the dials on the steering wheel since the touchscreen doesn’t always respond to my fingering – which means I have to take my eyes off the road. Ditto for the air conditioning which is only controllable via the touchscreen. Though by putting three-fingers on the screen quickly brings-up all choices to view.
The DS 7 CROSSBACK brake system was also responsive, but my foot was pressing on the pedal for what felt like a while before it engaged, and it is not the smoothest at slower speeds.
In addition, the fuel tank holds a generous 62 litres (15.84 gallons), sufficient for a decent road trip as well as multiple school drop-offs and shopping trips.