By Patrick James on 2018-04-15 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
DS 7 Crossback
THE leap into the world of the executive motor by PSA, parent group of Peugeot and Citroen, with its breakaway DS brand looks like it could pay dividends.
The DS7 Crossback is first of the second-generation models from DS Automobiles and looks stunning with high levels of equipment and cutting edge techonology making it an SUV targeting the leading lights in this sector. High ambitions then, but it does come at a price.
There are four trim levels, from Elegance, to Performance Line here, Prestige and Ultra Prestige, with a choice of petrol and diesel power plants of various output.
Prices start at around £27,000, rising to just over £43,500. Right up there in exec motor territory.
Although now separate from Citroen, it does feature its former parent's, left field, individual styling which makes it stand out from the crowd.
The now familiar DS Wings are prominent with the new car which has a pleasing, sculpted angular styling and this model features gloss black grille and stylish 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.
The light clusters include LED headlights, running lights and at the rear what the firm describes as three dimensional effect LED tail lights and double exhaust.
It looks good, but under the skin, it looks even better, with a premium finish. It has leather seating with suede trim, soft touch finish and a unique layout.
The centrepiece is a 12-inch touchscreen, almost the size of a small television. It controls main functionality included sat nav, infotainment, phone connectivity for both Apple and Android, while a digital control screen in the binnacle gives a host of information at the touch of a button.
There is a bank of controls beneath the touch screen and the instrumentation and finish features a classy diamond pattern throughout the interior.
It feels well built with an executive ambience. It is well kitted out with the usual electrical creature comforts, cruise control and multi-function steering while this model adds an array of goodies such as parking radar with camera and voice recognition.
The central console houses a neat auto gear change while a double opening central bin provides extra stowage space where music players can connected and hidden away from prying eyes. All the seats are comfortable and supportive while head and legroom is impressive.
Boot space at 555 litres is excellent and has a double floor, while the rear seats flip and fold at the touch of a toggle. The boot is electrically operated on this model.
On the road the 180bhp two-litre diesel engine has plenty of urge and delivers excellent economy and low CO2 emissions. It can hit 60mph in under 10 seconds and on to a top speed you will never be able to use.
Torque is good and it picks up impressively on the motorway. The eight speed automatic gearbox slips seamlessly through the cogs making for a comfortable drive.
Being a practical, smallish SUV, it is built more for comfort and practicality rather than performance and it is a comfortable ride for the most part, while handling is adequate, with little body roll.
There are different setting, from eco, to comfort and through to Sport. The sport changes the exhaust tone.
It is also packed with high-end safety kit and a clever option is an infra-red night vision camera which picks up animals or pedestrians. A full range of airbags are included as are traction and stability control.
DS 7 Crossback Performance Line BlueHDi 180
Mechanical: 180bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 134mph
0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 57.6
Insurance Group: 29
C02 emissions: 128g/km
Bik rating: 30%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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