New DS 7 Crossback vs Audi Q5 vs Volvo XC60
The new 7 Crossback is a crucial model for DS. Can this stylish French car compete with large five-seat SUVs from established premium brands, in the form of the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60?...
Normally we eulogise about Audi’s MMI system, but less so here. It’s still dead easy to use, thanks to its rotary dial controller down by the gear selector and its snappy menus, but it’s not that well specified in SE trim. You don’t get the handy touchpad for handwriting sat-nav addresses, the screen is a relatively small 7.0in and sat-nav isn’t standard. The stereo sounds decent, while a 19-speaker, 755-watt, surround-sound Bang & Olufsen system is optional.
You get all the bells and whistles on Performance Line models, including sat-nav and smartphone mirroring, which allows you to use phone’s apps via the car’s huge touchscreen. But DS’s system is the worst to operate; it’s laggy and jerky as you scroll through lists, the menus are overly complicated and the touch-sensitive buttons along the bottom simply don’t respond at times. The standard stereo sounds good; a 14-speaker, 515-watt Focal upgrade is also available.
Volvo’s portrait screen is unique here in that it operates like a tablet computer; you sweep from side to side or down to access different screens. That sounds fab, but using a tablet while driving would be illegal, and Volvo’s system is certainly fiddly on the move – especially because the software isn’t as responsive as it could be. At least the menus are easy to work once you’re used to them. The optional Bowers & Wilkins stereo is pricey but sounds superb.