This post is a bit unusual in that it is a “3 in 1”. First, it’s a scoop of the new upcoming mid-sized SUV from the DS brand, rumored to be called the DS7 Crossback. Second, I thought it would be a good opportunity to ask our readers about whether they think the carmaker is on the right track, both with this model and more broadly for the DS brand as a whole. And finally, I just could not help thinking the car reminds me two others that have come before it…
Let’s start from the back: from the back the DS7 reminds me a lot of two other cars: the first-generation Infiniti FX (now called the QX70), and the first-generation Audi Q5. The similarities with the former are especially striking because of the almost identical “burnt orange” metallic paint, but extend further into the pinched window behind the rear doors, the narrow taillights, and the subtle flaring on the wheels complete with a narrow strip of black plastic to give the car a semblance of toughness. To the Q5 the new DS very clearly owes the shape of the trunk opening, complete with the unfortunately large secondary light in the bumper (a solution also copied by other cars e.g. PSA’s own Citroen C4 Picasso or the Lincoln MKC/MKX models).
But, probably the more interesting question our readers will be asking themselves is: “will the new DS model have what it takes to be successful?”. Here, the signs are a bit mixed. On one hand, the exterior looks pretty attractive, even if the car is a bit heavy on chrome, especially at the front. It will also ride on PSA’s acclaimed EMP2 platform, which in other applications has proven very capable, not least because its comparably light weight (the new Peugeot 5008 faux-roader, for example, weighs barely over 1,300kg in it lightest guise – a great result for a seven-seat car). On the other hand, this same platform could be the DS7’s undoing – will customers be willing to shell out Audi Q5 money for a car loosely based on a compact MPV from a mainstream manufacturer? Of course, Audi has been doing this successfully for years with the likes of Q3, but that’s (a) a smaller car (b) it took Audi decades to get to where it is today. And this is ultimately the question the DS may struggle to answer: why should customers choose it over the talented competition? Only time will tell, but given the brand’s underperformance in Europe in recent years, I’m not sure this model will be enough to pull it out of its funk.
But, what do you think?