It may appear somewhat oxymoronic however this explicit DS seven Crossback isn’t solely the greenest version of the French brand’s curiously mid-sized titled SUV, however it’s conjointly the fastest. this is often the seven Crossback E-Tense 4×4: the long-awaited plug-in hybrid variant which will purportedly hit 62mph from a standstill in five.9sec, emit simply 33g/km of greenhouse emission on the average and manage a WLTP-certified combined fuel economy of 235mpg.
With moderately potent plug-in SUVs changing into more and more common, so, too, ar the equally broad spreads of alleged ability that go along with them. Volvo’s XC60 T8 and Audi’s Q5 TFSIe manage to conjure similar on-paper stats, though recent expertise highlights that if you fail to remain on prime of keeping their batteries charged, real-world average economy will simply drop into the 20s. identical can little doubt apply to the current new seven Crossback.Anyway, its technical specification makes for comparatively acquainted reading. Up front, there’s a one97bhp version of the protein Group’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder gasoline, that is paired with a 109bhp motor. each drive the front wheels via AN eight-speed transmission system, whereas a second, 110bhp motor at the rear shaft endows the DS with four-wheeled drive. Combined, these 3 engines work a complete system output of 296bhp and 332lb foot.The electric motors draw their power from a thirteen.2kWh battery, that is housed to a lower place the ground thus as to not obtrude upon rear traveller area or boot area. while not its gasoline motor running, DS claims, the E-Tense ought to be able to travel between thirty four and forty miles on electricity alone, at speeds of up to 80mph.
What’s it like?
The powertrain is, err, curious. At low speeds and below low masses, it operates tolerably, with the electrical motors providing the sleek, correct variety of acceleration you’d expect them to. Provided you unbroken the battery topped up and were able to complete most of your journeys victimisation these motors alone, progress would be pretty sleek, if not notably swift. However, bury the throttle pedal a bit deeper in an exceedingly bid to evoke the combustion engine from its slumber and things before long begin to unravel.
First of all, the transition from electrical to gasoline power isn’t specifically seamless. There’s not solely an obvious bump because the one.6-litre motor begins to perform the lion’s share of the work, however during this application, the engine conjointly looks to be roughly on a par with an inexpensive bottle of red for refinement. A conspicuous quantity of vibration passes through the handwheel, even below light-weight throttle masses, and therefore the engine itself features a tendency to form its presence detected even once sitting still. The transmission will hesitate once you hit the kickdown switch, too.
Admittedly, the take a look at automotive we tend to drove wasn’t quite up to full-production specification. on condition that the protein Group’s gasoline motors tend to be rather sweet, automatically refined things, maybe there’s an opportunity that these problems are addressed . We’d actually hope thus. however in its current semblance, this powertrain isn’t on identical level as what you’d get in an exceedingly equally priced Audi Q5 TFSIe for mechanical refinement.
Then there’s the manner it rides. The seven Crossback has perpetually erred on the softer facet and therefore the extra weight of its 2 electrical motors and battery pack (nearly 400kg) doesn’t sleep with any favours. At speed, this further mass looks to form it harder for the car’s suspension to bring its vertical body movements back in restraint – a characteristic that’s amplified on notably undulating roads. Its damping doesn’t appear quite as refined because it ought to be, either, with scarred stretches of road being capable of causing fairly vociferous, sharp-edged thumps through the cabin.
In corners, there’s tons of body roll and front-end grip may be a restricted trade goods. Couple that with steering that’s slow, not notably communicative and extremely quite light-weight, and therefore the result’s a automotive that doesn’t inspire abundant within the manner of confidence through corners. Admittedly, the Q5 makes its mass felt in such instances, too, though it makes up for this with marginally additional committed grip levels and a additional assertive, adroit steering rack.The seven Crossback will have a additional distinctive sense of identity regarding it, with the cabin especially providing a additional visually attention-grabbing style than that of the Audi. Even so, it’s the Audi’s that sounds like the sturdier proposition in terms of fabric richness and build quality. As for area, with a bird’s-eye sunshine-roof nominative, the DS doesn’t quite provide identical level of rear head area because the Q5, however leg area is even so smart. Boot area stands at a really helpful 555 litres, too, particularly compared with the Audi’s fairly woeful 395-litre effort.Even so, supported this drive the DS seven Crossback E-Tense may be a powerful automotive to advocate. except for outright usefulness, AN Audi Q5 TFSIe outperforms it in just about each respect, and on the grounds of its refinement and dynamic capabilities, it’s leagues ahead.
Admittedly, the DS will claw back some territory once it involves value. In Performance Line semblance (which is anticipated to be its hottest trim level) it starts at £47,725 versus £49,735 for the 295bhp version of the Audi Q5 TFSIe. Our range-topping extremist status model, however, weighs in at a tough-to-swallow £56,075.
Hopefully, DS can kind the associated refinement niggles enter time for next year’s client deliveries. still, till we tend to get an opportunity to check a totally fledged production-spec model on United Kingdom soil, it might appear that DS – which can provide solely electrified models from 2025 – features a little bit of work to try to to nevertheless.