What is it?
This is a car that’s ‘avant-garde’ in some of its details and features only. Otherwise, it’s a fundamentally – almost tediously – familiar sort of offering: yet another upmarket compact SUV among the rash of them introduced over the last couple of years seemingly by every European car maker with ambitions of growth. As such, this upmarket SUV, and the shift in thinking it represents, could prove to be the making or the undoing of DS Automobiles.
If things go well, of course, the 7 Crossback will be the Jaguar E-Pace-rival that will spearhead its maker’s transformation from relative obscurity to established global market success. Having tested the water with a couple of genuinely interesting, if troubled, introductions that have largely fallen on deaf wallets so far this decade (think the 5 and 4 Crossback), DS appears to have concluded that its customers don’t actually want innovative cars at all; rather, largely conventional ones with some innovative features, made with just a dash of identifying flourish.
As much as fans of a varied car market may regret it, that's what the new 7 Crossback amounts to. It’s a car which, you couldn’t fail to conclude, owes far too great a debt to the styling of Audi’s smaller Q-badged models to be considered original, but one which does have plenty of remarkable technological and material lures about it and does rolling refinement and material richness as well as any big French car of the last decade.