DS 7 restyled (2022) E-Tense 4×4 360: does the French sports premium have any in its legs?

AND BREF

360 hp, 520 Nm plug-in hybrid engine

0 to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds

57 km of autonomy in 100% electric

1.8 l/100 km and 40 g of CO2 per km

From €68,700

The DS 7 Crossback was the best selling DS in France, before the arrival of the new DS 4, the brand’s compact sedan. In 2022, it remains just behind it in terms of sales, and it is an important model for the very young French premium brand, which is still struggling to carve out a brand image, despite having products which, in our opinion, deserve it today more than yesterday.

In any case, this DS 7 Crossback was coming to a little more than halfway through its career, and it was time to offer it a few strokes of the scalpel. It’s done today. Along the way, it loses its “Crossback” designation to become DS 7 short. We were told that in any case, almost no one pronounced this qualitative…

But it also gains in passing a state-of-the-art version, which takes up the mechanics already seen under the hood of the flagship of the range. DS 9but also under that of… the Peugeot 508 PES (Peugeot Sports Engineering). After the test of the 225 hp plug-in hybrid versionwhich will be the most sold, here is the test of this “sporty” model, or rather GT shall we say, with 360 hp and a 4×4 transmission.

The DS 7 Crossback before restyling.
The DS 7 Crossback before restyling.
The DS 7 for short, after restyling.
The DS 7 for short, after restyling.

For playground, the small roads of the hinterland of Nice. The Napoleon road in particular, a true potential revealer of the qualities or faults of automobile chassis, by its winding, narrow, sometimes mountainous side. And the landscapes are more sumptuous.

But we first start from Nice at the wheel of this revised and corrected DS 7. Passers-by can then observe that it is undeniably modernized. It’s not a small facelift we’re dealing with. On the front, the grille is enlarged, and has “diamond point” inserts, the finer DS wings, the revised shield. And the optics adopt matrix LED technology, called “Pixel vision 3.0” at DS.

At the front: grille, optics, shield, daytime running lights, everything has been revised.
At the front: grille, optics, shield, daytime running lights, everything has been revised.
At the rear, the tailgate has been redesigned, the lights refined, the mention
At the rear, the tailgate is redesigned, the lights refined, the words “DS automobiles” appear between the lights.

But above all, the daytime running lights are completely transformed. The small vertical garland of LEDs gives way to the “DS light veil”. It’s clear, this laser-engraved surface, painted on your body on the inside but which lets the light of 33 LEDs pass through the 5 translucent spaces on each side, gives personality. We don’t like it or we don’t like it, but it’s noticeable, as are the Z-shaped daytime running lights of the little sister DS 4.

The new daytime running lights
The new “DS Light Veil” daytime running lights are a very distinctive sign of this restyled DS 7.

At the rear, and it’s rare enough to be noted, the tailgate is redesigned (but not the bumper, for once). It is less smooth, body creases appear under the bezel and under the lights, themselves refined.

Inside, the changes are more subtle. The multimedia screen, still 12 inches, has an enlarged usable surface and a new operating system called “DS Iris system”. We already know it, it equips the DS 4. More fluid, more reactive, configurable, it indeed improves the multimedia experience, with in addition improved voice recognition. Of course, it offers full connectivity. As for the digital instrumentation in front of the driver, it displays finer graphics.

No big changes in the cabin.  The presentation is still luxurious, the extended leather has new and attractive relief embossing, the screen has an enlarged useful surface.  But the ergonomics are still quite special.
No big changes in the cabin. The presentation is still luxurious, the extended leather has new and attractive relief embossing, the screen has an enlarged useful surface. But the ergonomics are still quite special.

We still rail against the ergonomics of the controls, with several actions to be taken to adjust the air conditioning, window lift buttons still located on the central console, or volume buttons on the steering wheel located on the left, while the controls for the radio are on the right, go figure…

The rear roominess is still quite generous for the size, and the boot volume shows 541 liters with the bench seat in place and 1,752 liters with the bench seat folded down, excellent values.

The rear seat is comfortable, the leather is of good quality, and the legroom is generous for the size.  The easement tunnel is quite discreet and slightly inconvenient.
The rear seat is comfortable, the leather is of good quality, and the legroom is generous for the size. The easement tunnel is quite discreet and slightly inconvenient.
The trunk volume of 541 liters with the bench seat in place is also generous.  Seat folded down, the floor is not flat.
The trunk volume of 541 liters with the bench seat in place is also generous. Seat folded down, the floor is not flat.

A bigger hybrid battery

But we will curse less against the driving pleasure in 100% electric. It is in this mode that we begin our test, in an urban area. On the program, silence, responsiveness, sufficient power offered by the two electric motors with which this version is equipped. These are the same as those of the E-Tense 4×4 300, namely an electric block in the gearbox (110 hp) and a block on the rear axle (113 hp). In 4×4 drive mode, selectable via a button on the center console, they work together. In comfort mode, the rear axle is deactivated.

The autonomy promised in 100% electric is 57 km for this E-Tense 360. And good news, with the restyling, the gross capacity of the hybrid battery has been improved, going from 13.2 to 14.2 kWh (from 11.9 to 12.9 useful kWh). It recharges at best in about two hours on a suitable socket, thanks to the integrated 7.4 kW charger. No fast charging on the program, however.

These 57 km, difficult to achieve in real life. We found about 45 km before restarting the thermal, the well-known 1.6 Puretech, here in 200 hp definition.

When the 3 engines work in concert, as was the case then, once out of town, the cumulative power is 360 hp, the cumulative torque of 520 Nm (like that of the 300 hp version). And the performance is nothing short of ridiculous. The 0 to 100 km / h is shot in 5.6 seconds, the 1000 m standing start in 25.4 seconds, the maximum speed is set at 235 km / h. This is very close to an Audi Q5 55 TFSI e of 367 hp, which announces 5.3 s. for 0 to 100 km/h, and 239 km/h.

On the road: this athlete has legs!

But this DS 7 with an athlete’s heart has also worked on its legs. Indeed, the chassis is specific, and sharper than that of the others. The tracks are widened, by 24 mm at the front and 10 mm at the rear, the suspensions are firmed up, including in comfort mode, the ride height is lowered by 15 mm and the brakes are increased. They go from 330 to 380 mm in diameter. The anti-roll bars have also been revised for a better compromise in maintaining the body.

On the road, the DS 7 E-Tense 4x4 360 displays much more dynamic behavior and consistent performance.  But he's not a sportsman.  It is typed rather GT.
On the road, the DS 7 E-Tense 4×4 360 displays much more dynamic behavior and consistent performance. But he’s not a sportsman. It is typed rather GT.

Finally, the 21-inch rims are shod as standard with excellent Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, which offer formidable grip.

We were able to see this by increasing the pace on the winding route of the Route Napoléon. Already, yes, the legendary comfort of the DS 7 is firmer. The suspensions knock a little on the fittings. The “flying carpet” effect of the other versions is no longer relevant here. But it’s honestly still very livable, not uncomfortable, just firm. And this is especially the case in Sport mode, while the comfort mode remains much softer for the seants.

The thrust of the 360 ​​hp is not violent. As with the 300 hp version, it still feels like a few horsepower is missing. We had already noticed it on the DS 9, it hasn’t changed here. But the fact remains that the speedometer needle still climbs with great ease, accompanied by a noise that unfortunately has nothing flattering about it. On the contrary.

The behavior is precise, the body roll controlled, the braking powerful.  This revised chassis level DS 7 is a pleasure with the wheel in hand.  We can drive fast and well.
The behavior is precise, the body roll controlled, the braking powerful. This revised chassis level DS 7 is a pleasure with the wheel in hand. We can drive fast and well.

In any case, the grip is impressive, you go through curves at surprising speeds, especially for an SUV with a higher center of gravity. In 4×4 mode, the overshoot when exiting a curve is more serene, with a trajectory that widens much less than in comfort mode, where the DS 7 tends to pull much straighter.

Braking is powerful. However, it is necessary to apply strong pressure on the pedal, because at the start of the race, the braking is too light. The steering is supple at low speeds but firms up nicely as the pace picks up. She is very precise. The platform, which is also used for the Peugeot 3008 for example, has always been known for that. She is dynamic. And the Audi Q5 or Mercedes GLC suddenly appear heavier and less agile.

Consumption difficult to gauge, but which seems quite correct

And consumption in all this? Well, not easy to gauge. As we said, we traveled 45 km in all-electric mode. Then we switched to hybrid mode. And with a tough ride, it settled on empty battery at just over 8 liters per 100 km.

After the lunch break, and leaving with a 100% charged battery and remaining in hybrid mode, we found just over 5 liters on average. Figures that will depend anyway on your routes, and the frequency of your recharges.

Finally, let’s finish with the equipment. Our trial version in Opera finish is billed at €74,800. It’s expensive, very expensive in absolute terms. But it must be said that the endowment is particularly complete: all driving aids are present, including level 2 autonomous driving. electric tilt, hands-free electric tailgate, inductive phone charging, connected navigation, smartphone connectivity of course, the chassis controlled with the camera which scans the road and automatically adapts the damping (in comfort and 4×4 mode), the panoramic sunroof, the 360° reversing camera, the BRM rotating watch, etc, etc.

So when you put the competition at the same level of equipment, it is more expensive, which helps to pass the pill.