Here's why the DS7 is the ultimate art gallery on wheels..
The first time I looked at a DS vehicle was when they were still a sub-brand within Citroen. The DS5 was rather plain on the outside (not ugly, just a 'safe' design) but the interior was brilliant, luxurious and comfortable. The engine was relatively frugal and really it was so much better than I'd ever given a Citroen credit for - and PSA knew that was an issue too..
Next thing I hear, PSA have launched DS as an entirely independent brand - moving away from any Citroen based stereotypes, bringing an entirely new customer base and buying experience.
The DS7 is the brand's flagship model, the most luxurious model they've ever made with styling seen in art galleries inside and out. Two engine variants are available, 1.6 petrol & 1.6 diesel - both are relatively suited to the car however neither offer amazing performance or frugality. With prices starting around £35,000 OTR, it's not an overly expensive SUV in reality.
The drive is soft, refined but without feeling. You don't have huge confidence to drive it hard - but it's not made to be driven like an SQ7.. and it's basically half the price. City driving is where (surprisingly) the DS7 fits in, with a superb lock (the best I've ever had on an SUV) and reasonable around town fuel economy (28-35mpg). Visibility is without issue and the car technology means anything else won't be an issue either.
Cumulus Grey isn't a stand out colour, but equally it's not too subtle to entirely blend in to the surroundings like many..
The outside is almost beautiful..
From the outside looking in, the DS7 has very typically French styling. Beautiful lines, with lots of chrome and brazen styling ideas which only they would be able to get away with. Certain angles are exactly beautiful, but they're unique.. and that's art, right? Unique.
The diamond-cut alloys really finish the DS7 exterior off for me, however 20" faces will always worry me. Eventually you'll find a pothole to ruin you beautiful spotless alloy.. and a council who won't pay for it. The rest of the car is big without actually being.. big. It fits into normal parking spaces without hassle and the visibility is good enough not to catch a kerb.
Inside, the DS7 turns into a purpose built art gallery..
Never before have I got into a car, looked around and just sat in stunned silence. Beautifully constructed, bundles of technology and simply.. a fantastic place to be. With triangles all over the cabin, mixed with art gallery quality design, the DS7 truly is basically an art gallery on wheels.
The digital dash is adaptive, capable of being suited to literally any driver. The infotainment is a PSA first, superb software design - easy to use and great to look at. The heat sensitive buttons below the infotainment have been thought out extremely well, being not only useable but beautiful too. The Focal audio system? Brilliant, loud and punchy with great frequency capabilities - it sounds great wherever in the car you are.
In the front, the comfortable seats have a massage function - once that was discovered I basically lived in the car. Not to make the rear passengers feel left behind, electric reclining seats ensure their comfort with ample legroom too - once reclined they can look out of the panoramic sunroof in pure relaxation.
If you look closely, in 2018 you can actually see a functioning Wimpy. Seriously.. I didn't go back to 1975 for this photo..
The boot is the only thing which kind of let me down, the reasoning? Style. Lots of extra plastics and fabrics are used to make it a pretty boot.. as a result the boot loses some space. It's not a small area, and where it lacks in width it makes up in height (I'm talk about the boot).. but my issue is that I couldn't fit my bass, amp, pedals etc in. The bass ended up on the back seat.. to technically a Jaguar XF beats the DS7 in the boot test..
Is the DS7 the start of something beautiful for DS as a brand?
Previous DS models (DS3 & DS5 etc) have been truly superb cars and good sellers for them, however the DS7 is an entirely different level of luxury. Not only looking good on the inside, the outside is good looking and a typically French design. The interior is refined, quiet, smooth, beautiful, comfortable and an overall lovely place to be.
Summary? The DS7 is a well built, beautiful looking SUV (literally, it's art) with the potential to sway people from their Audi's and BMW's. However the long-term reliability will need to be better than other PSA vehicles to ensure repeat business. This could be a great starting point for DS, but it's just that.. a starting point.