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24 May 2022

Dundalk Motors: Our expert reviews the stylish DS7 Crossback

Dundalk Motors: Our expert reviews the stylish DS7 Crossback

All the cars I get to test drive are brand new, supremely fettled and provided in pristine condition. I reckon the ability to take it for a while, and return it back to the condition in which it was delivered, by the car specialists is a very undervalued and underused service.

Try it some day and fall in love again with your car the same way you did the day you got it. So my impressions are that of a new car. I’m therefore unburdened by the long-term effects of owning a car, its actual running & service costs or resale value as these are usually still to be verified.

In truth I reckon a lot of car buyers do this justification after they buy their cars because from a cold emotionless, maths perspective some purchases don’t make sense if desire and ego are excluded.
Take the DS7 Crossback for instance. Take its proposition. It’s a premium SUV, it is a PHEV with an all-electric range of 50-58kms, it is exquisitely looking and detailed and styled to look, and be, different. When you clap eyes on one, you’ll certainly be struck by the front grille spectacular LED headlights and in common with other DS models, it has a high waistline along the side that somehow conveys a meaty, muscular, athletic look.

To get attention you need to stand out and the DS7 certainly does that in a positive way. Once you get the attention you have to capture it and the DS name, which has been around for a few years now, is still struggling a bit with that if my cohort of family and colleagues are anyway representative.

Most time I was asked what it was it because the DS badge, whilst beautifully designed, isn’t immediately recognised the same way other brands are.

Those other brands for DS are the German badges as well as ones from Sweden and Japan. If you bought one of DS competitors you won’t be explaining the car. If you depart then questioning and comment follows you.

Exclusivity in the car world is counter intuitive to any other retail market. If you had a high-quality suit/dress and paid a good price for it, you’d be made up showing it off and be eager to point out that you won’t be embarrassed at a function because in all likelihood there won’t be another person there with the same refined taste wearing a similar outfit.

Not in the car world though. Oh no. I’m going to ditch my individuality and buy the car all my peers buy so I fit in. I don’t have a rational explanation for that but in the car world if you are not onboard with the majority then there is a question about you. And we don’t think that bias, we articulate it directly and argumentatively to the non-complier shamelessly. Getting your hands on that bit of exclusivity starts at €46,790 with PHEV motoring requiring €53,840. There are three trim levels with my Prestige PHEV priced at 60340. If you want 4WD and 300hp then DS want €63,245 for the middle trim Performance Line + .

The DS7 interior feels plush for all the day-to-day items you touch and feel. The centre console that’s angled houses the window controls and a few other switches that reminded me of a Porsche Cayenne. The seat coverings were with my fave Alcantara and the whole effect is pleasing and a bit different.

On a dropped point note when you get past these everyday touched things there are some unexpected hard plastics that scream longevity and economy but not in keeping with the DS luxury pitch. Not unique to DS there are too many items controlled by the central infotainment with just a few touch buttons below it that are just difficult to use when on the move.

On the go the car is where I feel the magic happens. This is a French car that shows all the gallic expertise in comfort. I found little wind noise, but the dreaded road noise appeared at higher motorway speeds. It is quite a powerful car with 225hp available in total, but I wouldn’t buy this car for performance – looks and comfort at normal driving speeds is the order of the day.

Balancing the delivery of electric power and petrol power is tricky and the aim is to do this without you knowing or noticing and, in that regard, the DS7 let me know this a little bit more than I’d have liked. It is also a delight to drive in all-electric mode which sadly isn’t as long as you’d like but is another step in persuading buyers to go all-electric the next time once they get to see how it performs albeit in a limited capacity.

DS detractors will always say resale value to you. As most of these cars are bought using PCP the GMFV is comparable to all the other premium brands so that doesn’t really stack up. If you are a critical thinker and not afraid to stray a little from the herd and want exclusivity, a car that shows individuality, and for the money is well kitted out compared to its competitors, then plunge for the DS7.

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