Car Review - DS 7 Crossback 1.6 (A)

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Although DS became a standalone brand and established its own identity in mid 2014, it wasn't until almost two years later when authorised dealer Cycle & Carriage introduced the DS 5 and the DS 4 Crossback - both of which are considered facelifted models from cars that were created as Citroen DSs.

Now, after almost three years, DS has finally created its very own new model that's developed from the ground up by the brand itself - the DS 7 Crossback.

1441_3_l The car exudes ample presence even when viewed from the back

What is it, really?

First launched at the Singapore Motor Show early this year, the DS 7 Crossback is a mid-sized SUV that goes against the likes of the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC.

But while its proportions don't quite measure up to its peers, it has an imposing stance that resembles cars a size up, giving it ample presence on the road.

Big in small ways

On the go, it's 1.6-litre turbocharged powerplant makes up for whatever negative perceptions drivers typically have for the French carmaker. Piling up 225bhp and 300Nm of torque to its front wheel via a fuss-free eight-speed automatic gearbox, the DS 7 Crossback is positively perky and suprisingly smooth.

1441_31_l 1.6-litre engine pumps out 225bhp and 300Nm of torque

Also smooth is the way the car manages to go over pots and torn tarmac. Thanks to its Active Scan Suspension, which only works in Comfortable drive mode on our test car, the suspension adjusts and soaks accordingly to road conditions - thanks to a camera and a number of sensors - giving all occupants a thoroughly plush ride.

It does give the DS 7 Crossback's ride quality an edge over the Opel Grandland X or the Peugeot 3008, both of which share the same underpinnings as the car you see here.

1441_15_l Cabin competes with cars that are a couple of notches more expensive

A cabin as sound as its ride

Thus, on the inside, enthusiasts may spot a few obvious similar features. But where the DS 7 Crossback differentiates itself from the rest of its siblings is the way it's dressed up.

Nappa leather upholstery cushions almost every surface of the interior, such as you'd find in Aston Martin or Bentley cars, but it's not just style over content.

The 12.0-inch infotainment screen that houses a myriad of features such as start/stop, air-conditioning controls, massage functions, mood lighting, navigation, a 14-way Electra sound system and reverse camera, etc, display just what the DS SUV is capable of providing at a price of $185,999 (as of 22 February 2019).

1441_19_l12.0-inch screen that takes centre stage has access to everything you need

And with this price, it's not all about the driver. Rear passengers are able to recline the seats with a touch of the button by the door. And like cars that are priced way higher than the DS 7 Crossback, occupants here are also able to enjoy their own climate control system, too.

What they'll also get to enjoy is the ample amount of space. Given its generous wheelbase of 2,738mm, not only is legroom the royal order of the day, occupants will also enjoy the stowage space, courtesy of the 555-litre boot space.

1441_29_l 555 litres of deep luggage space will certainly see to your weekly needs

Love it or hate it

Like its lush cabin, the exterior is just as appealing to our eyes. With its diamond-shaped mesh grille that matches the design of the taillights, LED headlamps comprising of three squarish blocks that swivel as you unlock the car, and a vivid DS-signature gold coloured sheet metal, the DS 7 Crossback is anything but regular.

But as 'irregular' cars go, the DS SUV sits in a zone where it possesses a love-it-or-hate-it looks. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course, considering how much attention it drew during our three-day period with the car.

1441_8_lHeadlamps swivel into position as you unlock the car

So whether the DS 7 Crossback is developed from the ground up matters not one bit, methinks. The more crucial point to note, if you were to ask me, is the fact that there is genuinely very little to dislike about the car.

Like most things, building a premium brand from scratch can be a daunting task, more so when it comes to all things automotive, but it seems with the new DS SUV, the premium French carmaker is going to cope well.

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