The DS 7 has been updated, with three E-TENSE Plug-in Hybrid versions on offer; the practical SUV body style and comfortable ride remain.
The DS 7 originally appeared in 2017, including E-TENSE plug-in hybrid models. It has now had a number of updates including slimmer headlamps and a revised infotainment system. If you’re not quite ready to go all-electric, should you consider the DS 7 E-TENSE?
The DS 7 E-TENSE has a 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine together with front and rear electric motors, giving all-wheel drive. There are three versions with different power outputs of 225hp, 300hp (as tested) and 360hp. In the case of the DS 7 E-TENSE 300, there’s a 200hp petrol engine, and front/rear electric motors producing 110hp/80hp respectively, giving a total combined power output of 300hp. A 14.2 kWh lithium-ion battery provides energy to the electric motors, and there’s an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The DS 7 is a spacious SUV, with a large 555-litre boot, or 1,752 litres with the rear seats folded. There are small changes to the exterior design for the new model, such as slimmer headlamps; a diamond design theme in the interior, for instance on the window switches, is carried over.
Comfortable ride quality is a key feature of the DS 7 E-TENSE; DS will claim that this is due to the car’s ‘ACTIVE SCAN SUSPENSION’, a camera-controlled damping system. When combined with using the car on electric power, the result is a very refined driving experience overall.
Unlike some Stellantis PHEVs which have the petrol engine powering the front wheels and an electric motor powering the rear wheels, the DS 7 E-TENSE has a 110hp electric motor on the front axle and an 80hp electric motor on the rear axle, so there’s a decent amount of power and grip in electric mode, as well as responsive acceleration thanks to instant torque from the electric motor (with a 0-62 mph of 5.9 seconds). Driving the car on the petrol engine results in more noise and less refinement compared to driving the car on electric power.
The DS 7 E-TENSE has a range of drive modes: Electric, Comfort, Hybrid, Sport and AWD. There’s also an option to select ‘E-Save’, which locks the car on the petrol engine in order to save the battery charge for later, although this feature is fairly hidden away. And when in Hybrid mode, there’s nothing obvious in the driver’s instrument display to tell you which powertrain is being used, although you can view an energy flow diagram on the central touchscreen.
There’s a traditional gear selector, and steering wheel-mounted paddles can be used to change gear manually.
The infotainment system is one of the biggest changes for the new DS 7, with a wide 12-inch central touchscreen. On the home screen, there’s no satnav shortcut button; you have to swipe the screen to the side to find this. If you swipe the screen again you’ll find the controls for the heated seats. And if you swipe again, you’ll find the controls for the car’s safety systems. If you press the vehicle button, you can move a slider to switch off the lane departure warning system, but you then have to press another button to confirm this.
Temperature controls are visible on the screen at all times – except if you use Apple CarPlay, when they disappear. There are new high-resolution digital cameras to show images from the front and rear of the car when manoeuvring.
The DS 7 also features ‘NIGHT VISION’, an infrared camera that can view the road up to 100 metres ahead at night, with the aim of spotting people and animals in the dark.
The DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 300 has an official electric range of 38-42 miles, which helps to result in a WLTP combined fuel economy figure of 193-250 mpg. The average real-world electric range during a week of mixed driving varied between 26-36 miles, with average real-world fuel economy of 55.2mpg – this of course completely depends on how much driving is carried out on electric power. The overall driving range on petrol and electric was around 360 miles.
The DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 300 can be fully charged using a 7.4kW wall box in 1 hour 45 minutes.
The DS 7 E-TENSE is available as three models: the E-TENSE 225, E-TENSE 4×4 300, and E-TENSE 4×4 360, with prices from £44,190. Our DS 7 Opera E-TENSE 4×4 300 test car cost £56,540.
There are also five trim levels: Performance Line, Performance Line+, Rivoli, Opera and Opera Première. E-TENSE 225 models are capable of up to 250 mpg (WLTP) with up to 43 miles of electric-only range. The E-TENSE 4×4 300 is capable of 249 mpg (WLTP) with 42 miles of electric-only range, while E-TENSE 4×4 360 variants are capable of 161 mpg (WLTP) and 36 miles of electric-only range.
The DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 300 is a perfectly likeable all-round car. It’s comfortable to drive, with lots of performance, good levels of grip, potential for excellent economy if most driving is done on electric power, and it offers decent amounts of space. As with virtually all PHEVs, the driving experience is better when on electric power, so the main decision is whether to go for a plug-in hybrid or just go all-electric instead. The DS 7 E-TENSE 4×4 300 gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8/10.