By Ian Strachan
The cars in the DS Automobiles range might be built by Citroen, but you won’t find a mention of Citroen anywhere. The DS range is being developed as a brand in its own right and has moved away from Citroen branding in a big way.
And the distinction has just got bigger with the introduction of the striking DS7 Crossback – an SUV firmly aimed at upmarket executive motoring.
The DS7 Crossback is a thing of beauty, picking up on design cues from the sporty DS3, the stylish DS4 and the sleek DS5. This car is big, capable and practical. At the same time it is eye-catching and attractive with style in spade loads.
The DS7 Crossback has head turning good looks and feels like a very big car when you’re in the driving seat. Despite that it has exciting performance and -some Citroen=like innovative styling ideas. A sculpted diamond-cut design is carried over from the exterior to the interior, with controls and switches using the same pleasing cues. Most functions are controlled via a 12-inch high definition touchscreen.
I test drove the 2.0 litre diesel powered DS7 in Performance Line trim. It came in sophisticated platinum grey with smart roof rails and good-looking chrome trim. Black and silver 19 inch alloys complete the look.
The 180 horsepower engine is willing, smooth and gutsy – perfectly adequate for a car of this size. With an eight-speed automatic gearbox it has effortless performance.
Inside the DS7 has an elegant but upmarket sporty feel, with an electric panoramic sunroof (£1,000 option), high quality seats, leather dashboard and door panels, aluminium pedals and aviation-inspired dials. With the large sunroof it feels bright and airy, helped by large expanses of glass. Heated and electrically adjustable seats are nicely contoured and supportive, and controls are easy to reach.
Storage space is generous, with decent sized door bins as well as an illuminated glove-box. Leg and headroom is more than adequate and load space is very generous.
Fuel economy is impressive for a big car, returning 57.6 miles to the gallon in mixed driving.
On the road, the DS7 handles extremely well. Cornering is positive and effortless, and the suspension absorbs bumps well. The suspension set-up provides for a very comfortable ride without being too soft.
Dual-zone automatic air conditioning, remote central locking with immobiliser and automatic door-locking, front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, Eight-speaker DAB digital radio with MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, leather steering wheel with controls for the radio, electric windows and electric door mirrors are all standard.
You also get hill-start assist, lane departure and speed limit warnings, remote tailgate opening and high-beam assist.
This is an excellent package but all this specification and performance doesn’t come cheap. The DS7 Crossback Performance Line Blue HDi Auto is £36,380 0n the road. In addition my test car came with a host of options including an advanced safety pack (£875) and easy access pack including electric tailgate (£800)and metallic paint at an extra £550.