Building a premium brand from the ground up is one of the hardest challenges a car maker can face. With no pre-existing brand loyalty or USP to rely on, manufacturers have to make a powerful statement when they come to market.
DS, formed two years ago when the PSA Group decided it wanted a premium brand positioned above Peugeot and Citroën, chose neither option. Instead, it relied on a string of rebadged former Citroëns to plump up the range. To no one’s surprise, DS got off to a slow start. But the upmarket French brand is back for round two with the DS 7 Crossback.
It’s a large SUV and, like a number of its rivals, makes use of a large, stylish front grille, wide air intakes and a high waistline to give a dominating aesthetic. The 7 Crossback also gets an active suspension system, which comes as standard on more expensive models. Until now, systems like this have only been available on pricier premium models.
The 7 Crossback will do battle with the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, as well as the Mazda CX-5. Our review will take you through which engines you should consider and which trims make the most sense.