We recently joined newly appointed DS Automobiles Importer Gowan Distributors to learn more about the all-new DS Automobiles line up now available here in Ireland. Current models on offer include DS 3 CROSSBACK, DS 7 CROSSBACK both f which are available with petrol, diesel and all-electric powertrains. Later this year will also see the launch of the all-new DS 9 saloon followed by a fourth model, the all-new DS 4 which will introduce another new generation of avant-garde design for the brand. In this article we focus on the DS7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 225 after a test drive that gave us an opportunity to learn more about this typically French and charismatic vehicle.
The first thing that grabs your attention when you see any DS is the styling. They are so evocative and different to anything else that graces our roads. I mean most cars you look and you can see where the brand has drawn inspiration from, but never with a DS. They stay true to their own heritage and somehow always manage to bring something different to the table. Take the nose of this new DS 7 CROSSBACK for example. The horizontal chrome DS WINGS on the front face portraits a sense of prestige with strong, well-balanced lines. Taking centre stage is the DS emblem on a new diamond-effect grille with a hexagonal surround of lines. The sculptured bonnet features subtle ribbing in the centre and the sharp edges of the front and rear wings highlight the sides to enhance the road presence of this SUV. To the rear, a wraparound tailgate with state of the art lighting offers a clean and purposeful rear end. Inside the beauty continues with a chic, contemporary design that reflects the expertise of all at DS Automobiles. Buyers can choose from three trim levels or ‘Inspirations’ as they are called which are said to reflect the lifestyles and expectations of each customer. These ‘Inspirations’ are a celebration of Paris, which is of course the birthplace of the DS brand. Pick between Opéra, Rivoli and the Performance Line for different interior styling to match your personality.
Like so many other manufacturers, DS Automobiles is moving fast with its electrification strategy. DS 7 CROSSBACK offers an E-TENSE 4×4 (4-wheel drive, 300 horsepower plug-in hybrid), and a new DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 225 model. Alongside the E-TENSE hybrid versions, DS 7 CROSSBACK is available with a choice of 2 powerful, highly-efficient internal combustion engines. The petrol power engine is a 1.2 PureTech 130 or you can opt for the 1.5 BlueHDi 130 diesel unit both of which are mated to an eight speed automatic gearbox. DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 225 has a 180 horsepower petrol engine with a healthy 300Nm of torque, backed up by a 110 horsepower electric motor fitted straight to the eight-speed automatic gearbox. At start-up only the electric motor is used, enabling zero emissions mode driving up to 135km/h. The driver can then choose hybrid mode, which optimises energy use, or sport mode, which combines all available power (225 horsepower and 360Nm combined). The 13.2kWh battery, located beneath the floor has a range of up to 55km or up to 72km in electric mode. CO2 emissions are between 31 and 36g/km and fuel consumption is between 1.4 and 1.6 litres/100km, which is phenomenal. At high speed, fuel consumption is between 6.1 and 6.5 litres/100km, according to the test equipment. The battery is charged while driving thanks to a system that DS has acquired through its Formula E program. An operating reserve enables the battery to continue supplying the electric motor if it’s required. The petrol engine is also used to charge the battery. DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 225 generates electrical energy during deceleration and braking in order to increase its range. Another function, called “E-SAVE” meanwhile enables it to keep enough energy for 100% electric driving over the final 10 or 20 kilometres of a journey, or to have a battery that’s fully charged. Like most electric vehicles the DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 225 comes with a regular mode 2 charger for occasional charging at a standard plug and a 7.4kW mode 3 for charging the battery from 0 to 100% in just 1h45 at a wall box. All this can be controlled through an app or on the 12-inch screen in the middle of the dashboard. The app also allows you to program or start pre-warming remotely which is handy for those winter mornings!
On the equipment front, all DS 7 CROSSBACK comes with stability control, hill-start assistance, tyre-pressure monitoring, rear parking sensors, a full complement of airbags, a pair of ISOFIX child-seat mounts, speed-limit recognition, emergency braking assistance and lane-departure warning. An Advanced Safety Pack standard on some cars is also optional and offers blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, enhanced traffic-sign recognition and driver drowsiness warning. Although hybrid version has yet to be crash tested it did receive the maximum five-star overall rating, achieving scores of 91% for adult occupant protection, 87% for child occupant protection and 76% for its provision of safety assistance systems on the petrol and diesel variants a few years back.
Irish prices for DS 7 CROSSBACK kick off from €42,695 which is the on road price including delivery charges etc. Adding metallic paint and the various trim options will see this base price increase. DS dealers will have a range off offers but remember this is a premium offering and possibly one of France’s finest.
We believe the DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 225 will be the volume seller here in Ireland. The DS 7 CROSSBACK E-TENSE 4×4, which provides 300hp, will be the flagship offering but no doubt the price difference will be hard to justify for most. Having a blend of electric and petrol power is an excellent combination right now and it leaves you with the piece of mind that you can go anywhere without range anxiety. Our time with the E-TENSE 225 was pleasant to say this least and this luxurious SUV does have the wow factor, particularly when you sit inside the cabin. The best feature is no doubt the ride quality. A trick suspension system scans the road for upcoming bumps ahead and adapts to keep the car as comfortable as possible. It is so silent also with a special acoustic windscreen designed to give occupants a feeling of serenity at motorway speeds. There really is a lot to like about the new DS and we are delighted to see a big push behind the brand once again here in Ireland. Soon Gowan Motors will launch a dedicated DS Store on the Navan Road but for now you can find out more on www.dsautomobiles.ie
Just be sure to charge for the best efficiency.