We live in divided times. Politically, socially and economically, it seems the only thing we can agree on is that we are further from agreement than ever. And rather than doing my utmost to heal the wounds, Iím afraid Iíve only added to the division with the next instalment in my journey through the DS 7 Crossback models.
This month, weíve upgraded yet again, swapping the silver Prestige for this Ultra Prestige model. And letís make no bones about it: itís orange. DS dealers can waffle on about Byzantin Gold pearlescent until theyíre blue in the face, but itís just orange. And itís not the sort of burnt orange you get on a Toyota GT86 or the bright orange of a Toyota Aygo – thereís a yellowish tinge that makes it look more like ear wax.
But, however you want to describe it, thereís no doubting its ability to turn heads. Both its black and silver predecessors received the odd curious glance, but this orange colour acts like a magnet for peopleís eyes. The sheer number of people who turn and gawp gives you some idea of what it was like to be David Blaine when he locked himself in a glass box. You can almost feel the stares finding their way through the windscreen.
And itís difficult to read whatís going on behind those watchful eyes. Some are clearly unsure as to what the DS might be, and some are wondering what kind of moron puts stylised initials on an orange Audi. But judging by the response from those that feel compelled to pass comment, it isnít all bad news. The orange DS 7 has already garnered more favourable comments than a lot of cars costing two or three times as much. It hasnít been free from criticism, though. One man called it ìinterestingî in a tone usually reserved for the recipient of a questionable Christmas present from a misguided but well-meaning relative.
Personally, however, I think it looks brilliant. I liked the black and silver cars, but this one wins the aesthetics stakes by a good few furlongs. I donít think Iíd ever buy one in this colour ñ Iím more sold on the gorgeous metallic red ñ but a proper colour really does bring out the best of the DS designersí work. But thereís more to our upgrade than a new colour scheme. Weíve replaced ëFGZís rather lovely diamond-stitched ëRivolií interior with the somewhat less characterful ëOperaí ambience. Our lovely quilted leather has been replaced with DSís signature ëwatch-strapí seats, and weíve got the optional three-zone climate control to keep those in the back perfectly air conditioned, too. A £200 extra, it looks like good value.
Because of the sheer number of options fitted to the silver car, though, the step up hasnít been that great. We already had the excellent Focal hi-fi, the 20-inch alloys and the panoramic sunroof, as well as the night vision system. That means the price hasnít changed much. Whereas ëFGZ came in at £45,440, ëHPN has a price of £46,620. Itíll be interesting to see whether it justifies that price tag over the coming months.
Date arrived 21st October 2018
Fuel economy 70.6mpg (combined) 58.1mpg (on test)
The orange paintwork really makes the 7 stand out.
New car’s interior ambience isn’t quite as compelling as that of its predecessor.