NEWS The DS7 Crossback SUV is the latest model to grace the DS Automobiles catalogue which spearheads a raft of new cars over the coming months. If DS sounds familiar, this relatively new and prestige brand is part of the Peugeot-Citroën Group which now includes the Vauxhall and Opel marques.

similar route with its comfortable and supportive seats and attention to detail in respect of cabin layout and appointment, controls and those often out of sight minor trim items.

The DS7 shares its underpinnings with the recently introduced and highly acclaimed Peugeot 3008, its larger sibling the all-new 5008 and the just- launched Vauxhall Grandland X. On test over some 500 miles, the Performance Line model DS7 was subjected to every terrain imaginable, from motorways to rural lanes, city streets to long open roads over the most challenging topography which Cumbria, the Lake District,

Northumberland and the Scottish Borders can serve up a-plenty.

DS7 Crossback at Maryport Harbour

Though it’s classified as an SUV, don’t expect this meaty and good-looking machine to be an all-wheel drive off- roader. Instead, it is a comfortable, high-riding front-wheel drive all-purpose means of transport with emphasis on comfort, quality and leading edge technology.

There’s no doubt the DS7 stands out from the crowd with its purposeful frontal shape which incorporates a lighting system that’s way ahead of its competitors. Then there’s the superb ride quality which deftly soaks up the worst road surfaces with an ease rival carmakers might only dream of achieving. The inside story takes a

The Performance Line isn’t the top of the DS7 range. In fact it’s a notch above the entry level Elegance model, but that doesn’t stop it feeling a million dollar car in a market packed with often more expensive

and lesser equipped alternatives. It comes with an array of accessories which on some other makes are expensive options, such as the top-rate infotainment system and adjustable instrument configuration to include a digitized virtual cockpit. There’s sumptuous seating for four adults – and five when needs be, plus a boot that swallows enormous amounts of luggage.

DS Automobiles sees the Performance Line model with its 2-litre diesel coupled with an 8-speed automatic gearbox as being the popular option. Quiet, ultra- smooth and responsive, the engine has huge torque and is fettled for long

distance driving and high mileages. For those customers who prefer a manual 6- speed transmission there’s a 1.5-litre diesel in the model line-up. When lower mileages and more localised journeys with the occasional motorway blast is the preference, the 1.6-litre petrol engine with its 8-speed automatic transmission is a sound alternative.

All-round visibility is good, and for those awkward moments when parking, the surround-view camera is an added bonus. It’s the DS7’s technology which really impresses, especially its night vision that miraculously identifies obstacles in the dark which are undetected by the human eye. On rural roads after nightfall there’s a lot of comfort in being warned of possible dangers to include wild animals roaming in their natural habitat. DS7 could easily mean being daringly different.

Malcolm Bobbitt

DS7 Crossback, interior

DS7 Crossback supplied by DS Automobiles.

DS7 range starts at £28,095. Test car with options £38,285. Max speed 134mph, fuel economy 57.6mpg (47.8mpg) on test. Max trailer weight (unbraked) 750kg

Photographs: M. Bobbitt

DS7 Crossback with Blencathra backdrop WWW.THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK ISSUE 427 | 19 JULY 2018 | 17

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