DS Ireland are the latest marque to enter the burgeoning SUV market with the launch of their all new DS7 Crossback, a five-seat luxury crossover which they say will shake up the premium segment. The French brand, which started out as a luxury branch of Citroen, have further severed ties with their parent company by announcing their first set of standalone DS dealerships this year which will be the exclusive retailers of this exciting new model.
In what some might consider a bold move, the brand have their sights set on the higher end of the market with the DS7 Crossback, listing Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-PACE customers amongst their targets. Starting at €36,000, the entry level Elegance model comes very generously equipped with an impressive range of standard features. Highlights include an eight inch touchscreen display complete with Apple/CarPlay and Android Auto, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and electric driver seat lumbar adjustment. To further sweeten the deal, all models will come with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty as well as five-year roadside assistance.
A huge emphasis has been placed on design and the DS7 Crossback is an incredibly striking machine to behold. 18 inch diamond cut alloy wheels come as standard, as do LED fog lights with front cornering, and a stunning diamond effect front grille featuring the trademark DS ‘wings’. That French flair is even more evident inside the cabin with some very nicely appointed styling details such as unique crystal-effect controls and a leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel. Swathes of high quality materials abound with not a hint of scratchy plastic to be found (even when you go looking for them). There’s no mistaking it for anything other than a premium offering once you sit inside. In a thinly veiled dig at its competitors’ long option lists – DS call the Elegance trim a ‘realistic’ entry point and expect it to account for roughly 15 per cent of sales here.
More are likely to be tempted by the high-end features of the mid-spec Performance Line. Starting at €42,000, this will upgrade those wheels to 19 inch ‘Beijing’ alloys and add some more styling upgrades including tinted windows and a bespoke grille for a sportier look and feel. It also gets adaptive LED headlights with high beam assist, and some more sporty styling cues in the cabin including an AGR certified ergonomic driver seat and plush Alcantara upholstery that extends across the dashboard and door panels. Functional upgrades include a fully digital 12.3 digital instrument cluster, front parking sensors and a reversing camera.
It will also feature some cutting edge new technology called ‘Active Scan’, a camera-based suspension system that will ‘read’ the surface of the road ahead and adapt the firmness of the ride accordingly; making sure nothing upsets the ride comfort. However, it is exclusive to a pairing with the top of the range 2.0l automatic diesel powertrain.
The entry point to the range is the 1.2l turbocharged PureTech petrol engine, pushing out 130hp with a six speed manual gearbox. A punchier 1.6l petrol is available in the Puretech 180 with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Despite current market trends, DS still expect the majority of customer to opt for diesel with two capable options available in the 1.6l Blue HDi 130 (manual) and aforementioned Blue HDi 180 Auto. Great emphasis is being placed on its affordable running costs, with DS claiming best in class fuel economy and low CO2 emissions that ensure no model in the range costs more than €280 to tax. An exciting 300ps 4X4 PHEV version is on the way next year.
There is even more luxury on offer as you move up the trims to the Prestige (more styling upgrades, ambient lighting, wireless charging, bespoke B.R.M timepiece on the dashboard), and once again to the dizzying heights of the Ultra Prestige (20 inch wheels, 12 inch touchscreen, 3D Navigation, electric everything), allowing you to spend up to €60,000 on your DS7 Crossback, should you so desire.
We got a brief spin in the Blue HDi 180 Performance Line which will start at €49,745 and is expected to make up the majority of sales here. First impressions were largely positive, the exceptional level of comfort being the main standout feature. This was down to a mixture of wonderful cabin ambience, exceptionally supportive seating, and a pillow-soft suspension set-up – the one noticeable trait carried over from its Citroen heritage on the road.
A seamless power uptake from the eight speed auto box made for prompt progress from the lights, and it felt wonderfully light and easy to manoeuvre around town. Granted, the short city route we took didn’t lend itself to much testing of its true handling prowess but we hope to rectify that soon with a full week long test drive over more varied terrain.
Another welcome surprise was the number of admiring glances it garnered from the public, some squinting hard at the badge to see who created such a handsome machine. Hopefully they’ll find their way towards the new showroom in Airside to investigate further. They might just be in for a very pleasant surprise.
Stay tuned for a full review and test drive coming soon to CarsIreland.ie