DS 7 E-TENSE 225 2023 TEST

DS 7 STRENGTHENS ITS GAME

Refined, elegant and technological with its hybrid-rechargeable engines, the DS 7 premium SUV has played the French luxury card since its launch, even becoming the car of the President of the Republic. The new restyled version maintains its strengths, but goes again in the top market and adds real dynamism to its register, stylistically with a more confident and mature look, and under the hood with the introduction of a sporty 360 hp version that fills the range.

First 100% DS vehicle launched in 2018, four years after the creation of the brand, the DS 7 SUV enters its second part of life with a tenfold ambition in a segment where it has found its place and especially in France since it is the best-selling plug-in hybrid premium SUV. A strategic model for the young premium brand, which is not yet 10 years old (in 2024), the 2023 DS 7 gets rid of its Crossback suffix to be in line with the latest DS 4 and DS 9. elsewhere more than the DS 3, which uses Crossback in its name, and this until its facelift scheduled for next year. But the DS 7 also changes its philosophy. Farewell to luxury and long live the French lifestyle! To put it simply, the king is dead, so long live the king!

A NEW LOOK AND JUICE UNDER THE HOOD

After a busy first part of its career, the DS 7 stands out from its predecessor with its reworked front end in the spirit of the DS 4 and 9. The wider, sloping grille connects directly to the new headlights. The lighting signature also evolves with the integration of vertical lights called DS Light Veil and inspired by the Aero Sport Lounge concept. A luminous element worthy of a concept car that benefits from a complex technique to diffuse the light produced by 33 LEDs. Aesthetically, the biggest change is therefore at the front end, while the profile does not change, and the rear end, still all round, benefits from a new molding on which DS Automobiles is inscribed and which forms the junction with the reworked lights.

REALLY PREMIUM

On board, the DS 7 goes upmarket again with a perceived quality that is evident at first glance. The digital dashboard benefits from new graphics, while the central screen of the multimedia system is wider (12 inches) and now provides a good overview of the information and the map. This multimedia system is also more intuitive with a swipe of the pages like on a smartphone. The last nice surprise in this restyled version is under the hood with the installation of the 360 ​​hp hybrid rechargeable engine and four-wheel drive taken from the DS 9 E-Tense 360 ​​​​and the Peugeot 508 PSE cousin. What to do at the level of the powerful German premium SUVs, especially since the range offers no less than three electrified E-Tense engines with powers of 225 hp (4×2) our test model, 300 hp (4×4 ) and now 360 hp (4×4). The only full-thermal survivor, the 130 hp BlueHDi diesel block is the entry model to the DS 7 universe and will satisfy big riders and fleets with its absence of ecological penalties and its affordability.

225 HP E-TENSE, THE GOOD COMPROMISE

If the DS 7 E-Tense 360 ​​excites you with its sportiness, it will not represent a large percentage of sales with its starting price of €68,700 in Performance Line+ finish. On the other hand, the E-Tense 225 hp and 2-wheel drive will probably establish itself as the most attractive electrified model by its price (from €53,900) and its good performance in thermal as in electric driving with an increase in its autonomy as thanks to a new 14.2 kWh battery (+ 8% capacity) can drive in all-electric mode up to 65 km, i.e. a gain of 10 km compared to the predecessor. If this value is that of the homologation and therefore theoretical, during our test we covered 55 km in electric driving normally on the small roads of the hinterland of Cannes, proof of the efficiency of this DS 7 E-Tense 225 hp, which offers real driving pleasure with its sharp chassis for dynamic driving. Although you sometimes feel the considerable mass of 1,760 kg in corners, it is clear that the chassis remains rigorous in its behavior by turning flat and erasing all surface irregularities thanks to the Active Scan suspension, which manages permanent damping of the four wheels of sensors and a camera that scans the road in real time.

The DS 7 takes a new step and doesn’t have to blush in the face of German competitors with a nice technological update and a more confident and really more mature exterior style. Its extended electrified range with the E-Tense 360 ​​version is good for the brand’s image and shows that a French manufacturer can compete with the powerful German SUVs.

Photos Laurent SANSON

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