By Declan Glynn

From its creation in 2014, the French automotive brand DS drew on an outstanding heritage – that of the DS 19 launched in 1955.

That legendary car embodies the values of innovation, excellence and avantgardism.

DS is the ultimate symbol of French high-end automobiles, as today’s DS models combine remarkable design, technology, comfort, performance, premium materials and refinement.

As a brand, DS challenges established codes, to go beyond expectations of automobile customers.

A DS car is sensual and spectacular in its styling, refinement, and attention to detail.

From 2025, all new DS models will be available exclusively in electrified versions, either hybrid or fully electric, while DS promises six new cars by 2023.

The DS7 CROSSBACK is the first of the second-generation models from DS Automobiles.

This sophisticated SUV asserts itself with a stunning front end that is instantly recognisable.

From the side, its sculpted shape, and the intricate aesthetics of its alloy wheels, emphasise its dynamism.

Fashioned like a piece of jewellery, DS Active LED Vision is the exterior design’s ‘piece de resistance’.

At the back, DS signature 3D-style LED taillights are found, connected by a chrome strip spanning the width of the tailgate. Some chunky black cladding endows the car with a rugged, off-road look.

The new DS7 CROSSBACK is available in four highly-specified trim levels – Elegance, Performance Line, Prestige, and Ultra Prestige.

Engine options consist of 130bhp or 180bhp petrol units, and 130bhp or 180bhp engines in diesel guise too.

A technologically-advanced 8-speed automatic gearbox joins a slick six-speed manual as transmission options, while annual road tax ranges between €190 and €280 depending on the engine and transmission chosen.

My review car was a DS7 Performance Line BlueHDi 180 EAT8 (2.0-litre turbo-diesel, 180bhp, with an eight-speed automatic gearbox) and was finished in stunning grey metallic paint.

Standard Performance Line equipment includes 19” Black Onyx BEJING diamond-cut alloy wheels, black front grille, dark tinted rear windows, roof rails, black Alcantara and leatherette seats.

Other features included a perforated leather steering wheel, aluminium sports pedals and footrest, Alcantara dashboard and door panels, 12.3” digital instrument cluster, 12” HD touchscreen display, DS Connect 3D Nav, voice recognition, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth with media streaming, USB socket and DAB digital radio.

Even more features included a rear armrest, front central armrest with storage, AGR-certified ergonomic driver seat with electric lumbar support, DS 3D LED rear lights, perimetric & volumetric alarm, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, and much, much more.

With 180bhp and 400Nm of torque available, the punchy engine in my review car can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 9.9-seconds, while returning up to 43.3mpg (6.5l/100km) in the process.

The automatic gearbox shifts through the gears effortlessly, while the car is well insulated from road, engine and wind noise, for a supreme driving experience.

The cabin of the new DS7 CROSSBACK is a luxurious place to be, with obvious attention being lavished upon all occupants in the form of ultimate comfort and convenience.

In the tradition of quality craftsmanship, each detail and material used is carefully chosen and brought to life.

Stunningly designed, metal-look, switchgear for the electric windows and driving modes button add a real sense of occasion to every journey.

Boot space in the DS7 is impressive, with 555-litres available with the rear seats in place, or a massive 1,752-litres with the rear seats folded.

Pricing for the new DS7 CROSSBACK starts at a competitive €36,000, with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty included across the entire range.