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DS 7 Crossback prestige SUV fashionable flagship full of French flair

DS 7 Crossback is the flagship SUV to promote the upmarket image of the standalone DS Automobiles brand. Picture: DS Automobiles

DS 7 Crossback is the flagship SUV to promote the upmarket image of the standalone DS Automobiles brand. Picture: DS Automobiles

DS Automobiles

DS Automobiles is making a fashion statement with its DS 7 Crossback to stand out from the SUV crowd and help establish its standalone brand identity, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

DS 7 Crossback benefits from eye-catching design and clever features. Picture: DS AutomobilesDS 7 Crossback benefits from eye-catching design and clever features. Picture: DS Automobiles

To get noticed in a stream of new SUVs, a model has to stand out from the crowd. DS Automobiles’s DS 7 certainly does and also helps create its own image as a standalone brand rather than Citroen subsidiary.

Looks and image

The DS 7 is radical, real fashion statement flagship full of quirky French flair.

DS 7 Crossback is the flagship SUV to promote the upmarket image of the standalone DS Automobiles brand. Picture: DS AutomobilesDS 7 Crossback is the flagship SUV to promote the upmarket image of the standalone DS Automobiles brand. Picture: DS Automobiles

It’s SUV shaped but it’s how DS Automobiles has delivered its luxurious ambience.

Some might call it over-engineered, or over-contrived, but some features are a joy to behold – the DS Active LED Vision headlights, on all but entry model, with three swivelling jewel-like modules when the car is unlocked, and six adaptive lighting modes, while rear lights look like fish scales.

Then there are two modern 12in screens for infotainment and instruments, on all but the entry model, and a more traditional BRM analogue clock which rotates out of the fascia on top models.

The interior has a diamond theme running through it – the customisable instrument cluster, switches, door and trim panels – all very cohesive but equally fussy and divisive.

The 555-litre boot is better with the two-position floor panel. Picture: DS AutomobilesThe 555-litre boot is better with the two-position floor panel. Picture: DS Automobiles

Under the bonnet

The DS 7’s refined image is best suited to 180hp and 225hp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engines rather than gruffer 130hp 1.5-litre and 180hp 2.0-litre turbo diesels.

The 225hp petrol offers brisk, smooth performance – pop it into sport mode (there are also eco, normal and comfort) and it feels particularly lively with the standard eight-speed automatic transmission’s quick, slick shifts – but still returned 38mpg

DS 7 Crossback is the flagship SUV to promote the upmarket image of the standalone DS Automobiles brand. Picture: DS AutomobilesDS 7 Crossback is the flagship SUV to promote the upmarket image of the standalone DS Automobiles brand. Picture: DS Automobiles

How it drives

Even with 20in wheels, the ride is smooth, if a little firm in sport mode. DS Active Scan Suspension, on higher-spec models, uses a camera in comfort mode to monitor the road and adjust damping.

The DS 7 is more about ride comfort than rewarding roadholding but it’s competent on the twisty bit but there’s noticeable body roll.

Space and comfort

The sumptuous interior feels as good as it looks, especially the soft leather ‘watchstrap’ design seats, on range-topping Ultra Prestige.

Passengers will also enjoy cabin space, with leg and headroom for five six-footers, while the 555-litre boot swallows luggage. The 60/40 split rear seat backs fold flat but needs the two-position floor panel, standard on top models, to create a long, sill-level load deck.

Final say

The DS 7 Crossback brings serious bling to the prestige SUV sector – a love it or hate style statement but this is a niche car you’ll buy with your heart.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: DS 7 Crossback Ultra Prestige Pure Tech 225 EAT8 £43,190 (range from £28,095)

Engine: 1,598cc, 225hp, four-cylinder turbo petrol with eight-speed automatic gearbox

Performance: 0-62mph 8.3 seconds; top speed 141mph

MPG: Urban 37.7; extra urban 56.5; combined 47.9

CO2 emissions: 135g/km

Benefit-in-kind tax rate: 28pc

Insurance group: 30E (out of 50)

Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,570mm; W 1,895mm; H 1,625mm

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