By Seán Creedon
There is always a bit of confusion about the DS brand. It’s distributed here by Citroen who want it to be a stand-alone brand. Mind you such a classy motor has no difficulty in being a stand-alone as I experienced last week when driving the new DS7 Crossback.
The French are very proud of their DS range, which was launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1955 and was brought back in 2010 when the DS3 brand was re-introduced
President Emmanuel Macron’s car of choice at his inauguration two years ago was the new DS7 Crossback. The specially-designed crossover had a personalised opening roof so Macron could greet the French crowds who had assembled on the streets of Paris in the rain.
DS models have transported French presidents since the sixties when Charles De Gaulle credited the state-of-the-art suspension on-board his Citroen DS with saving his life.
I didn’t have any life saving moments last week, but one day I did take my eye off the road for a second or two and got a warning ‘beep’ as I was driving too close to the car in front.
The French have always loved style and there is so much style around the DS7. The external colour of my test was grey, but that was the only thing grey.
‘Luxurious,’ that’s the best word to describe this car, which is a bit expensive. I was going to say it’s not cheap, but cheap is not a word you should use when writing about the DS.
The car is easy recognisable from the unique DS lettering in the massive grille at the front.
There is a touch of a SUV and a coupe to this car that possibly blurs sector lines and sizes. I’m told it could be a rival for the Volvo XC40.
Inside there is a lot of suede on the dash and doors, which gives the interior a very classy, but also a very dark look.
There are a lot of buttons in the column between the driver and the front seat passenger. The buttons are used to open both front windows.
Also, there is the electric hand-brake and in the first few days in the car I found myself reaching for the handbrake instead of the button from my window.
It’s very comfortable and solid car travel in with a high driving position. Plenty of room in the back seat for three adults. Two roof-rails add to the SUV look.
The boot is a decent size and the really good news is that you get a mini spare wheel.
Prices start at €36,000 for the Puretech 130 Elegance version. My Performance Line automatic test car with a plethora of extras will cost you €49,745.
Then there is Prestige and Ultra-Prestige if you a have plenty of cash to spend. DS don’t us titles like 1.4 and 1.6 litre, just PureTech and Blue HDi.
Road tax varies from €190 for diesel up to €280 for top of the range petrol. Plenty of diesel and petrol options and a hybrid version is due next year.
The DS7 is certainly different to most cars you see on the road every day and will probably only appeal to a niche market in Ireland. But it’s classy and well worth a test drive. After all it’s fit for a President.