In 2009 PSA the parent company of Peugeot Citroen and now Vauxhall resurrected the DS name. They used it to denote certain models in the range as premium: for example the Citroen DS3 Citroen DS4 Crossback. It was always part of the Citroen range, then in 2015 PSA decided that they would make the DS a stand-alone luxury brand, a halo brand if you will.
On face value, the DS7 Crossback is just a large SUV. There are a lot of them about, 5 seats, nice interior, nothing particularly unusual or special.
However, what PSA has allowed to happen under the DS brand, is something a bit fresh and unique, something a bit more fun.
They have injected some fun and style back into motoring. It's a really lovely place to be.
The DS7 Crossback is typically French in its ride and handling. By that, I mean French cars are renowned for having excellent ride quality and the DS7 is no exception.
It rides very well, very supple, soaking up the bumps with ease, but at the same time it's poised, it handles well and it turns in sharply. I don't know how they do it, to be honest.
This model is the Premium and sits exactly the middle of the range. It has a 1.5 litre turbo diesel engine that produces 130 bhp and 300 Nm torque, so it isn't desperately fast but it's perfectly adequate.
The DS7 interior is a beautiful thing. Nappa leather upholstery adorns front and rear seats which are electrically adjustable and have a built-in massage function.
You will find Nappa leather on the dashboard, on the door cards and on the centre console, all with a diamond quilted pattern stitched into the leather. That diamond is a DS styling trait and you will see it repeated on the switchgear, the headlights, exterior styling, in fact all around the car.
Headlights are fascinating. That sounds odd I know, but on the DS7 you have LED projector headlights and when you look through the headlight lens, there are three individual projectors. When you turn the car on the three individual projectors do a little dance for you. They rotate 180 degrees, one at a time, then rotate back again, ready to do their job.
This is not just for show, the projector headlights turn with you as you steer, shining light onto parts of the road that would otherwise have been left in darkness until you arrive. An attribute carried over from the original Citroen DS 21 way back in the ‘60s
Why should we settle for something that is nothing more than transport? Something that is perfectly good at its job just isn't good enough anymore, as no end of faceless, soulless, boring SUVs out there. They pretty much all do the same job and they do it very well. They'll take you where you are going, it will be comfortable and generally reliable.
Is this enough? I just think it's time for us to enjoy our cars again.
Can't we have something that funky, fun, chic and adventurous? Life's too short to drive boring cars, that's what they say, and I think DS have taken that on board.