This might take a little explaining if you've not been keeping up with changes within Citroen… Since 2014, the DS brand has been marketed separately with no Citroen badging at all, though there are no standalone DS dealerships in Ireland as yet. The current models sold in Europe are the DS 3, DS 4 and DS 5, all hatchbacks of various sizes. The DS 7 Crossback will be the new range-topper and it's also the brand's first SUV - assuming you don't consider the slightly elevated DS 4 Crossback an SUV, which we don't.
What will its rivals be?
Until we know pricing, that'll be a difficult one to answer, but DS wants to be known as a premium brand so we'll assume the DS 7 targets other premium SUVs of the same size. That would mean possibly the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Jaguar F-Pace and Volkswagen Tiguan. Those are some hefty nameplates to be battling with, especially as the DS brand is quite unknown.
Any tech info?
To help the DS 7 be noticed, it will be available with some cutting-edge technology, including the latest in driver assistance and autonomous driving. DS Connected Pilot features 'Stop & Go Active Cruise Control' that can follow the car in front, adjusting the speed and steering as needs be, up to motorway speeds. It also helps the driver stay in lane at all times. There's also DS Park Pilot, where the driver only uses a touchscreen interface to inform the car where it wants to park, and the car does the rest.
Another feature worth a mention is DS Active Scan Suspension, which uses a camera to scour the road ahead and then use that data to adjust the suspension for stiffness or comfort.
What will the range be like?
A 300hp petrol-electric PHEV model has been confirmed for 2019 to top the DS 7 range, but it's expected to be expensive to buy. Alongside that, three petrol engines and two diesels will form the range, though as yet we don't know which of those will come to Ireland. Power outputs for the petrol options are 130-, 180- and 225hp, while the diesels come in 130- and 180hp states of tune. A six-speed manual gearbox is offered, as is a new eight-speed automatic.
The interior of the DS 7 looks fantastic with its 'watchstrap' leather and large touchscreen interfaces. It's also spacious and different looking on the outside, which is no harm and probably the only way it will get any attention in an already crowded marketplace. We expect to like the car when it arrives in 2018, but we don't envy dealers trying to convince buyers out of their Audis, BMWs, etc.