DS 7 Crossback - Finding France, in Yorkshire.

DS 7 Crossback  - Finding France, in Yorkshire.

 

Jonny Edge takes the very French DS 7 Crossback to find a little bit of its homeland right here in Yorkshire.

 

Inspiration can strike at any time. It’s like lightning, striking rapidly and brightly, and it can also be sought - though there’s no guarantee you’ll find it. DS is a French luxury car manufacturer that draws inspiration from the expertise of the artisans and trends of Paris – a city I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in.

I’ve dear friends in France, many great memories have been made there but it’s often the little things that you tend to develop strong feelings from. After a short time driving this new DS 7 Crossback, some of its Gallic charm had touched me and I began to reflect on memories and moments from my time in France. Obviously, recalling a string of romantic moments meant that it was only a matter of time before I set off to get some cheese and wine.

Wait just a second, before you go sounding the stereotype claxon, who can deny that one of the great joys of being in France is enjoying the nation’s exceptional food? Taking a walk to the local stores, treating yourself to a nice bottle of wine and collecting some great dairy and farm produce along the way is all part of the French cultural experience. However, I am happy to report that, if like me you find yourself pining after France, Yorkshire has you covered. To prove it me and the DS went shopping.

A short drive from where I live, lies a little hamlet near the town of Beverley. There you’ll find Laurel Vines – an award-winning vineyard that has developed an excellent reputation for producing outstanding wines. When you visit a place and see how something goes from ground to bottle, you gain a real appreciation for it. Walking among the vines, learning what makes wine great and seeing how people’s hard work and knowledge helps it come all together as a bottle of wine is a special experience. Naturally, a couple of bottles were collected to go home with, but not before stopping off at a local farm shop for extras – Yorkshire-made Barncliffe Brie, fine ham and fresh bread.  

The quality of our local produce is really exceptional and lunch that day was something that even the French would appreciate, because quality and pride in the finished product is hugely significant to them. A similar sentiment is stated on the DS website, where the brand states its pride in its finished products and they should be proud, because just like my Yorkshire-made French lunch, the DS 7 is an exceptional product.

Like Paris, the DS is something that leaves an impression on you. Despite some of the motoring press claiming that it isn’t distinctive enough, it is blindingly obvious that the DS 7 Crossback is a proudly French creation and its design is a key element in the effect it has on you. Detailing is where it really stands out, from the quilting of the leather seating and diamond-inspired graphics of the infotainment system, to the creases and shapes of the bodywork and the far less subtle light clusters that move and shimmer on command. Demonstrations of the amount of time and effort put into refining the DS 7 are found across the car.

To drive, the DS 7 clearly values driver and occupant comfort above everything else. This isn’t a machine that feels rewarding to drive at pace. It can if you want it to - the 1.6-litre turbo petrol displayed plenty of go - but it never feels all that much fun. The DS 7 is instead a car to relax, take your time and enjoy the journey in - as evidenced by the setup of its suspension, a comfort-orientated arrangement that proves its worth on our local road surfaces, absorbing bumps and ruts with ease, rarely feeling unsettled.

Though the DS 7 Crossback faces up to some serious rivals – think the usual German fleet as well as Jaguar’s F-Pace and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio – it has its own distinct character, a glamorous yet modern take on French style, gorgeously designed and built and hugely comfortable. On top of that, when you begin to stack similar specifications from its rivals’ side-by-side with the DS 7’s, the Parisian contender begins to be the one that makes the most sense as a value proposition – for what you can get it’s an excellent price. Whether you lease cars with your head or your heart, the DS 7 is a car unlikely to be forgotten and at the end of the day, that’s perhaps its most Parisian of traits.

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