Upcoming DS7 Crossback [w/ poll]

Photo courtesy of Worldscoop

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? 

How do you see the future of the DS brand?

  • Iffy - this model looks promising, but I'm not sure it'll be enough for DS (27%, 38 Votes)
  • Hopeless - the brand was created for marketing purposes, and has no substance behind it (26%, 37 Votes)
  • Not great - models like the DS7 aren't enough to compete with other premium brands (24%, 34 Votes)
  • Very brith - the DS brand is on the right track, and this model proves it (23%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 141

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About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he’d moved to the US. In college he promised himself he’s buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman…
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. I think DS should be given the time to develop as a luxury brand before writing it down. Like you state in the article, it took Audi decades and still there are a lot of people who don’t consider Audi to be a true competitor for BMW and Daimler due to the multiple links with other VAG brands.

    The DS 7 looks great and I can see the resemblance with the Infiniti FX/QX70. Being a mid-sized SUV it has potential to let DS grow in numbers and ‘image’. More important, with the PSA-GM talks it might be the ideal car to re-enter the US market which in my opinion is the best for new brands to get accepted. The French already had plans to go back to the States. Maybe DS is their best shot.

  2. I own a DS4 & its an absolute joy to own. Its different, has stacks of equipment, is hugely comfy etc- one minus point is some of the plastics in the cabin are woeful… If I were changing it I’d probably go for another one. But the DS7 to my eyes looks weak, there’s no flair to the design, (whats the point of a car carrying the DS badge if its dull to look at!) It looks to be designed for the rather conservative Chinese market. Sure its bound to help DS sales, but i wouldn’t think its a brand saver!!
    I do think that the whole DS range needs refreshing now though, the facelifts have been poor (I own a pre face-lift DS4), so i think Citroen has quite a bit of work to do.

  3. I think it looks horrible. The styling is a disapointment but since it is a SUV it will probably sell a lot.
    I think the DS brand has a very promising future ahead and considering that the 3008 is a stellar SUV, it bodes well for the DS7 Crossback so I don’t think using its platform is bad.
    I find it curious that auto journalists always complain about this about car manufacturer except the VW group. Audis are warmed up VW’s yet no one points to this as a downside.

    • Krzysztof Wozniak says:

      @Pedro – the argument on Audi and VAG applies certainly to the likes of A1, Q2, A3 and Q3 (and, if you stretch, the TT as well), but the larger Audi models ride on a bespoke platform and run bespoke engines (outside of the base 4-cyl petrols and diesels). My worry is that the DS7 won’t feel different enough to, say, the Peugeot 3008 (which I read is pretty great), nor as I understand will it get any bespoke engines or stand-out tech to match that offered by the likes of Audi/BMW/Mercedes-Benz

      • The base 4-cyl petrols and diesels account for 70 % of the sales. In test drives, we usually only see RS or high end engines, but Audi’s main business is made with the very same 1.4 TSI, 1.6 TDI or 2.0 TDI that are used by Skoda, Seat and VW. And the A4 is technically very close to the Skoda Superb and the VW Passat too.
        I do not see why this strategy could not work for an other group than VAG. PSA sold 120 000 DS cars a year when they lauched the current DS range. This is more than a 100 years old brand like Alfa Romeo. They have struggled to update the range because they had this very difficult period in 2013/2014, but with a new portfolio, with a conventional design, because in this niche customers don’t buy unconventional design, they will succeed.

  4. square626 says:

    I think this is last but one DS. The next hopeless car will kill the DS brand.

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