The DS brand, which is now distributed in Ireland by Peugeot, is making a big comeback here. I drove their very stylish DS3 at the end of last year and last week I spent some time in the equally stylish DS7 Crossback.
Of course, DS is big in France and President Macron has been loyal to the brand, whose ambition is to embody both French know-how and innovation in the automotive industry.
When he was elected President in May 2017 Macron’s choice of vehicle for the drive down the Champs-Élysées for his inauguration was a specially adapted open-top DS7 Crossback.
But will Macron get to drive another DS down the Champs Elysée again after the presidential elections in April? He got into trouble recently for the language he used about the unvaccinated in France.
Macron says that he wants to run for a second term, but will not make his decision public until the health situation allows.
DS models have transported French presidents since the sixties when Charles De Gaulle credited the state-of-the-art suspension on-board for saving his life.
There is no doubt that the ongoing Covid problems all over the world are making life difficult for car companies and all other business trying to survive. But we are resilient animals and we are adapting reasonably well.
Back to the DS7 and my test car last week, which was definitely not an open-top. But it did have heated front seats, which was more appropriate for Irish weather conditions in the month of January. The new car is available in petrol, diesel and plug-in Hybrid. I drove the latter which is called E-Tense.
The interior, where there are lots of gadgets, is very stylish. Where you would normally have the gear lever and handbrake in old cars, that area is now full with an array of switches. One is for the handbrake and the rest are for opening and closing windows and locking doors.
I made a mistake the first day when I pressed the handbrake instead of the driver-side window. The car slowed down, and didn’t stop suddenly, but I didn’t make that mistake again for the rest of the week.
The interior reminded me of a Peugeot 3008 which of course is also French. There is a big chunky divider between driver and front seat passenger, which makes you feel very comfortable in your own space. The dash is very stylish and it’s topped off by a neat old-fashioned style clock in the centre.
There is ample room for five well-built adults and plenty of leg and head room for all five. You get a decent sized boot, but sadly no spare wheel.
My test car came in a very attractive Perla Nera black. It had 20-inch ‘Tokyo’ diamond-cut alloy wheels with the DS logo embedded, which really added to the stylish look.
However, all that French flair and comfort doesn’t come cheap, with pricing starting at €44,995 with the price of my Hybrid test car coming to €57,245. Road tax is €140. In full electric mode you can a range of approximately 50km.
Mr Macron might make another trip down theChamps-Élysées in April, but it could be in a DS4 or DS9, both of which should be in Ireland by May. In the meantime have a test drive in the DS7, I think you will be impressed.