Don’t diss the DS

Top Gear (UK) - - GARAGE - ADAM WAD­DELL DS – as yet un­recog­nised by Lon­don bor­oughs

Hello DS 7 Cross­back £38,990 OTR/£41,640 as tested

When editor Char­lie Turner told me that I’d be run­ning a DS, he gave strict in­struc­tions not to men­tion the C-word. Sorry, but I fell at the first hur­dle – be­fore the car was even de­liv­ered, I was ap­ply­ing for a park­ing per­mit on my lo­cal coun­cil web­site and the drop-down ask­ing for the make of my car had no recog­ni­tion of DS as a brand. So I had no choice but to list it as a Citroen.

That’s no bad thing in my book – I’ve al­ways had a soft spot for the com­pany. DS is to Citroen what Lexus and In­finiti are to Toy­ota and Nis­san – the lux­ury, pre­mium brand of the mass-market sis­ter brand.

Which would be fine if the DS brand hadn’t al­ready been com­pro­mised by be­ing slapped on the back of a gazil­lion small Citroens. That said, it seems to be working – had this car been called a Citroen C7 Cross­back, I sus­pect it wouldn’t have made it into the cover story and group test in our sis­ter New Car Buy­ers Guide mag along­side the Volvo XC40, Jag E-Pace and BMW X1. Whether DS has cre­ated a crossover that can sit among such com­pany re­mains to be seen, but if it’d been a lit­tle braver with the ex­te­rior styling, the DS 7 could have re­ally stood out from the crowd. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a hand­some car, just nowhere near as mad as you might ex­pect from DS.

Thank­fully, the in­te­rior de­sign and fin­ishes are more avant garde and dis­tinc­tive. A huge amount of thought has gone into the DS 7, and I’m for­ever stum­bling upon in­ter­est­ing fea­tures. I’ve en­joyed the quirks of the DS in our first month to­gether and am look­ing for­ward to the next months.

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