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DS7 attracting attention

Created on 25/02/2019 @ 12:25

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

Judging by the number of inquisitive looks and probing questions in crowded car parks the DS brand has some way to go before being fully recognised in Wales.

Driving the DS7 Crossback for a week proved an interesting experience on the roads of Mid Wales, with constant queries about the heritage of the stunning looking vehicle.

The easiest explanation was to describe DS as the posh arm of Citroen but really that’s just what the bosses at DS don’t want to hear as they work hard to distance the two brands – but they have their hands full there.

A French brand born in Paris, DS was founded in 2014 with an ambition to embody French luxury know-how in the Automotive industry. Driven by its outstanding avant-garde spirit, DS claims to perpetuate values of innovation and distinction.

It would be fair to say the DS Crossback has received a pretty mixed reception since arriving last year to challenge in the upmarket SUV sector where competition is already fierce – a territory where Audi and Volvo like to claim dominance.

But regardless of the strength of the opposition the DS7 is slowly carving out a fan base in the UK and the Ultra Prestige PT-225 eight-speed automatic petrol version we tested proved to be a beautiful motorway cruiser.

Uniquely styled this is a car which stands out in any company and is equipped with more cutting-edge technology than you will really ever need. For £43,730 you expect a lot for your money and with this model you really get it.

Standard items include hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring, Active Scan suspension, parking sensors, cruise control, remote locking, immobilisers, automatic door and boot locking, defrosting door mirrors, all-round airbags, lane departure warning, speed limit recognition, lane keep assist, blind spot detection, traffic sign recognition and DS park pilot.

Available as an option, the customer can choose to add DS Connected Pilot - a first step towards autonomous driving, which came as a standard-fit on the test model, with the cost-option of DS Night Vision for day and night visibility.

Also included was a 12.3inch digital instrument cluster, eight speaker sound system, Bluetooth, an emergency assistance system, black leather dashboard and door panels and a dominant DS monogram.

In the delightful cabin you find heated and electrically operated front seats, massage function seats, electrically folding rear seat backrests and 40/60 split rear seats.

It’s amazing how much power the 1598cc engine can produce with a top speed of 141mph and 0-62mph in 8.3seconds through a smooth eight-speed automatic box. Claimed fuel consumption figures of a combined 36mpg were not achieved however.

The DS7 is a big car with a 2,740mm wheelbase, 4,570mm length and 1,895mm width and despite a 10.45m turning circle it did prove a beast to park in those tight conditions, particularly a jammed and unlit car park in the pouring rain.

DS bosses will have been disappointed with predictions that residual values of this model will not be as high as expected despite the arrival of the petrol engine to broaden appeal.

So the question being asked is have they done enough to make buyers switch from the already-accepted offerings from Volvo and Audi in this sector to make the DS7 a success? Only time will tell.

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