Citroen DS 7 Crossback

DS fit for a president

14 February 2018

 THE latest SUV in the stylish shape of the DS 7 Crossback is set to take to UK roads from the beginning of next month, and the French firm has confirmed the price of the flagship version at £50,000.

As the luxury arm of Citroen, just like Infiniti is to Nissan, the new vehicles will be sold from designated DS dealerships, of which there should be about 60 nation-wide by the end of the year.

The PSA group, which has taken over Vauxhall in the UK, is hoping that the newcomer will finally enable it to crack the lucrative luxury vehicle market that is currently dominated by the Germans.

Although the DS 7 Crossback earns top marks for its appearance, early impressions indicate that some rivals boast better driving dynamics.

However, the majority of users place comfort and practicality over ultimate performance prowess, and the DS can claim a slight price advantage despite its £50k ceiling.

This will be the cost of the petrol-powered hybrid with two electric motors, an eight speed automatic transmission and 4WD when it joins the line-up next year

In the meantime the most expensive models are the turbocharged 225bhp petrol version and the 180bhp turbodiesel, both equipped with a sophisticated eight-speed automatic gearbox, costing just over £43,000 each.

The entry-level model is the 130bhp diesel version with manual transmission costing £28,000.

It is rumoured that there may also be an ultra-frugal 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine generating a respectable 130bhp of power, plus an even more economical 1.5-litre oil-burner.

These models are likely to come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the automatic transmission being offered as an alternative option on the diesel.

Initially it is envisaged that drive will be to the front wheels only, with optional 4WD expected to become available in due course, and standard on the hybrid.

Determined to stand out from the crowd, DS is putting on something of a light show for the Crossback, with just about as many lighting combinations as it is possible for a vehicle to accommodate.

The active LED headlights have modes that create a welcome animation when switched on, plus ultra-high beam projection and the ability to see around corners, just like the 1960s Citroen DS.

At the rear there are more than 80 LEDs to create a distinctive appearance, whilst night vision cameras will be offered as an option.

The PSA Group, which has just taken over Vauxhall in the UK, will produce the new DS in France, as the brand continues to attack the lucrative executive sector of the market.

Flagship versions will boast 20-inch diameter wheels plus dual 12-inch screens for information and entertainment inside.

Equipment will include heated front and outer rear seats, autonomous cruise control, engine stop/start, keyless entry, lane keep assist, and head-up driver displays.

As is the DS way, there will an almost endless list of personalisation options to make each vehicle different from another, with unlikely colour combinations for the exterior and interior paintwork plus fabric and leather options.

Also harking back to the DS saloon of half a century ago is likely to be the recreation of the famous ``magic carpet ride’’ suspension, which in the case of the new model will use cameras to read the road surface ahead and adjust damper settings accordingly in readiness.

There are four levels of trim and equipment, starting with Elegance at £28,050 that comes equipped with a manual gearbox, lane departure warning and driver fatigue alert.

Next up is the Performance Line range from £31,435 that comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery and a 12-inch touchscreen including sat nav.

Engine choices are a pair of diesels plus a 1.6-litre petrol option and an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.

The Prestige versions gain wireless phone charging, traffic sign recognition and blind spot detection, and cost from £34,435.

At the top of the pile is the Ultra Prestige costing from £43,185, with larger-diameter 20-inch alloys, keyless entry and start, parking assist plus rear camera, panoramic sunroof and a super-luxury interior trimmed with Nappa leather and pearls.

In terms of performance, the best-selling £33,335 two-litre turbocharged diesel model generates 180bhp of power and 400Nm of torque.

There is an eight-speed automatic transmission with power to the front wheels to create a 0-60mph acceleration time of 9.9 seconds, a top speed of 135mph, economy averaging 55mpg and CO2 emissions of 128g/km.