The top-model diesel, while quiet at idle, is noisy when the revs rise and it throws a lot of vibration into the cabin, mainly through the throttle pedal. It's powerful, though and with the eight-speed automatic, which slurs changes quickly and positively, it takes the sting out of long journeys.
You can only select the Active Scan system with Comfort suspension setting. That's logical enough, but this setting gives a weird over-centre feeling to the steering system and quite a lot of body float at speed. That said, potholes and sleeping policemen are comfortably accommodated by this highly effective system, which seems ideal for round-town travel.
Best for more ambitious travel plans is the Normal setting, which gives more natural-feeling steering, excellent bump absorption and well-controlled body roll. DS 7 isn't as sporting as say, Jaguar's E-Pace, or Porsche's Macan, but you can make good progress in it and (apart from the highly variable wind noise in the cars we tested), it's refined and quiet. Make note, however, that the 19-inch wheel option is the one to go for, as the 20-inch tyres set up a deafening racket.
With prices starting at £28,050 rising to £43,535 and a hefty options list (our test car was priced out at £45,535), it's difficult to see just who this car is aimed at and what it really offers over premium German rivals such as BMW's X1, Mercedes-Benz's GLA, or Audi's Q3. It drives reasonably well and the ride is comfortable, the cabin is certainly different, but from outside the DS 7 looks like a profoundly conventional mid-sized SUV. One feels the DS isn't quite living up to its promise here and that its future models will need to have the looks to match their cabins if this new kid on the block is to have any chance of success.
Engine: 1,997cc, four-cyl turbodiesel
Transmission: eight-speed torque converter automatic, front wheel drive
Bhp/lb ft: 180PS (176bhp) @ 3,750rpm/300Nm (295lb ft) @ 2,000rpm
Top speed: 134mph
Price as tested: £45,505