First things first. This wasn’t how I wanted to introduce our new DS 7 to you. A mere three days prior, she was looking box fresh after spending quite literally hours in the sun washing, cleaning and sprucing up – I even bought a new spray on polish that Instagram told me to buy that specifically suited dark colours. Amazingly, it had worked. All that was needed was the weather to hold out so that I could take quality photos after I finished work, three days later. Needless to say, that didn’t happen, and an unexpected downpour on my way down to the Cotswolds, as well as flash floods, followed by what could have been mistaken for a luxury quarry. Add into the mix that there wasn’t a car wash around, and the fact that I was travelling straight from that work event to the airport. This is why the first photos you are seeing of our DS 7 is of a filthy car and sat in an airport car park. Normal service will be resumed for next month.
This is the new, refreshed and facelifted DS 7, which brings with it quite a few changes and enhancements in the usual technology department, but also the way the car looks. It also unusually brings with it a slight name change, with the original called the DS 7 Crossback, while the latest car is simply DS 7. It’s a lot sharper, especially at the rear, thanks to some added crease lines to take away the slug look – I always thought the back looked too rounded, but now it’s excellent. The excellence continues with tweaked rear lights and my favourite aspect – the full company name of DS Automobiles proudly displayed across the back in classy three-dimensional lettering. It looks good, albeit it’s a pain to clean. Sticking with the outside, there’s new wheels and two new colours. One of them is a lovely grey that’s not so lovely in direct sunlight, and the hue attached to our car, Sapphire Blue. That’s the opposite, it looks beautiful when the sun is shining, but at other times it looks a bit dark. The car’s front has had a nip and a tuck, with a wider, more imposing grille that stretches across the nose, and the old daytime running lights have been switched for fancier items that appear as through the light is cascading through the front bumper. DS Automobiles says that it was inspired by the DS X E-Tense concept car. But there’s actually more to those lights than first appears, with laser etching and a look that is similar to jewellery when light is shone upon it. But one detail on the DS 7 disappoints, and that’s the headlights, as the rotating animation of the original has been ditched, and that was one of my favourite touches on the original car. Instead, they’ve gone for ‘conventional’ LED lights, albeit with a fancy DS Pixel LED Vision 3.0 name. I have no complaints about how they operate, though, I just miss the majesty of it all.
Step inside, and the DS 7 is largely the same as before, apart from the new screens. For the instruments there’s a 12.3-inch display, while the central touchscreen has been upgraded to 12.0-inches. Both of them are customisable, with a variety of different appearances to suit. Behind the scenes, it’s largely the same software as before, so it’s not the most intuitive or simple of systems, but spending time with it, and taking the tutorials is a big help. I will say, though, that the central touchscreen is crystal clear and is fast to react, which is ideal when you’re on the move.
You can choose a variety of different plug-in hybrid powerplants from 221 to 355bhp, with and without four-wheel drive, or you can plump for a rock-solid diesel unit that develops 129bhp from its 1.5-litres. We’ve chosen the latter option and it’s the same unit that was in my previous Peugeot 308 SW and Vauxhall Grandland before it. I know this engine inside and out, and I like it – not perhaps as much as the now discontinued 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 engine, though. In my experience the BlueHDi 130 unit gets better as the miles mount, and it’ll be interesting to see if it is the same in this DS 7.
Date arrived 7th July 2023
Economy (combined) 53.3mpg
Economy (On test) 48.7mpg