C FOR SURPRISE: CITROËN’S DS7

Citroen’s DS7 is a surprisingly slick drive, packed with personality and sassy extras. Luxe motors expert, Bob Arora, gets behind the wheel...
C FOR SURPRISE: CITROËN'S DS7

Working with young staff in the restaurant is handy when it comes to doing my reviews. Apparently, I was informed the car I was driving this month is peng!

This means the car is really nice indeed. Well I never, you learn something new every day! I think in its striking bronze shade, the car really made a statement and quite a few customers asked what it was like to drive.

I haven’t driven a Citroen for absolutely ages, so when I was asked to review the car I jumped at the chance. One of my first cars was an AX GT, which I absolutely loved.

I remember working near the Tyne Tunnel but I’d purposely take the long way home as I loved driving the car so much. I’m sure it only had a 1.4lt engine, but bearing in mind just how light the car was, it was a pocket rocket. The doors didn’t close with a Germanic clunk and, in hindsight, I think the bodywork was made from recycled pens, it was so flimsy!

Saying that, I’d part-exchanged my Mini Metro and so the AX drove like a Ferrari, in comparison.

Citroen launched the original DS back in the 50’s and this car was well and truly ahead of its time. The styling was revolutionary at the time and the car’s air suspension was definitely one step ahead. The other car that people associate with Citroen is the 2CV which, again, was very basic car, but it was truly loved by everyone who owned or drove one.

The DS brand was launched in 2014 and this upmarket brand firmly has its German rivals in its sights. The range consists of the entry DS3, DS4, DS5 and obviously the DS7 I drove.

The DS7 is larger than the BMW X1 and, at the moment, most SUV’s are selling like hot cakes and I’m sure Citroen will sell these cars by the boatload. I’ve recently seen quite a few lease deals and the car is a steal. The car I drove was priced at £44k which isn’t cheap, by any means, but the
car is fully loaded with extras, all of which would cost a fortune in its German rivals.

The DS7 really is a good-looking car, from the imposing grill to the sporty alloys. This car really means business. There are four trim levels and my car was the range-topping Opera. My car had massaging seats, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated seats, keyless entry, blind spot detectors and active cruise control. The list goes on. In fact, the only thing missing, was the kitchen sink.

The designers have done a great job with the interior – it just oozes quality. From the leather, which is really soft to touch, to the buttons and switches, all had a quality feel.

The dash is dominated by a big screen which controls pretty much everything. Buttons underneath the screen helped shortcut Sat Nav, heating controls etc.

As you may expect, the car has a digital dial instead of analogue dials, they can be changed to show a small speedo and then the rest of the screen can be changed to show the satellite navigation screen or the usual speedo, rev counter and water temperature.

My favourite bit of the dash had to be the clock, which hides out of view until you start the car. This bit of bling wouldn’t look out of place on a footballer’s wrist!

There are plenty of cubby holes all over the car for storage, the all-important charging points for phones are all strategically placed and the glove box was a decent size too. The rear had plenty of room for three passengers and another good thing was the flat rear floor – so the person sitting in the middle can sit in total comfort, instead of straddling one foot either side.

The boot is a decent size and the seats can easily be folded by pushing the two levers. Opening the boot can be done either via a button on the dash or by waving your foot underneath the bumper.

Due to the stylish design of the car, the rear window is very narrow and the parking sensors and cameras came in very handy indeed.

A camera analyses the road constantly for pot holes and it adjusts the suspension accordingly. I thought it would be a gimmick to be honest, but it did a fantastic job and I found myself looking for pot holes to keep testing the suspension. At motorway speeds, the ride wasn’t as composed, but putting the car into sport mode firmed up the suspension along with the steering. The car I drove was fitted with a 2lt diesel engine which was a bit noisy when it was cold; It did quieten down once it was warm though and the fuel economy was brilliant.

I managed to get over 40mpg, which is a miracle, with my lead right foot.

I really enjoyed driving this car, and, if you want something a little bit different to the usual BMW’s and Audis, I would seriously give it a drive.

I think you may well come away with a renewed love for the DS brand. After all, let’s not forget, the car’s well peng!


Car supplied by Wingrove Citroen, Silverlink

Seaham Hall

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