The first dedicated DS model, the DS 7 Crossback, has finally been launched in Malaysia, seven months after the fully-imported SUV made its local debut at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS). Billed as a more premium alternative to the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 (and indeed, the Peugeot 3008 on which it’s based), it aims to take the fight to the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Pricing was announced last month, with the DS 7 retailing at just under the RM200k mark, at RM199,888 on-the-road without insurance. Included in the list price is a five-year/120,000 km warranty, five years of 24-hour roadside assistance and access to the SkyLounge at Subang Skypark.

Riding on the PSA Group’s Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2), the DS 7 measures 4,573 mm long, 1,906 mm wide and 1,625 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,738 mm. Aside from being larger in every dimension compared to the Peugeot, it also debuts a new design direction for the fledgling brand – one that places a heavy emphasis on the car’s unique lighting signature.

Flanking the large DS Wings grille are the trick Active LED Vision headlights, the jewel-like modules of which pivot 180 degrees to their forward positions when the car is unlocked. These lamps adjust the width and range of the beam according to the road conditions, with five modes – Town Beam, Country Beam, Motorway Beam, Adverse Weather and High Beam. Directional indicators are also fitted.

Below them, the LED daytime running lights are made up of dots and dashes, designed to look like beaded stitches. Along the sides, the shoulder lines over the front and rear wheel arches, together with the pronounced surfacing along the flanks, provide a more muscular look.

Moving to the rear of the car, you’ll find a wraparound tailgate that emphasises the slim LED tail lights, laser-etched to look like three-dimensional scales. Local models come in the sporty Performance Line trim, adding matte black highlights, Carmin Red badging and 19-inch “Beijing” Black Onyx turbine-style alloy wheels.

The stylish interior takes inspiration from luxury watchmaking and haute couture, with “Clous de Paris” guilloche engravings on the centre console toggle switches and a BRM R180 analogue clock that rotates from under the dashboard upon startup. On this Performance Line model, the entire interior is upholstered in swathes of Basalt Black Alcantara, including the seats and even the dashboard and door panels.

Front and centre is a eight-inch infotainment touchscreen that handles multimedia, the MirrorScreen feature with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connectivity, DS Connect functions and even the controls for the climate control; another 12-inch display is used as a customisable virtual instrument cluster ahead of the driver. A 14-speaker, 515-watt Focal Electra Hi-Fi sound system is also offered.

Other bits of standard kit include LED fog lights, an acoustic glass windscreen, keyless entry, push-button start, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory, power-reclining rear seats with a one-touch folding function, cruise control, triple-zone auto climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a Qi wireless smartphone charger, a reverse camera and a handsfree powered tailgate.

Safety-wise, the DS 7 comes as standard with six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control and Driver Attention Warning, and like the 3008 it gets ISOFIX child seat anchors not only at the rear but on the front passenger seat as well. However, it does not come with autonomous emergency braking.

Power comes from the PSA Group’s ubiquitous Prince engine, a 1.6 litre Turbo High Pressure (THP) four-cylinder petrol engine making 165 PS at 6,000 rpm and 240 Nm of torque from 1,400 rpm. It is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with an electronic gearlever and paddle shifters.

Available colours for the DS 7 Crossback are Nera Black, Pearl White, Absolute Red and Platinum Grey. Also introduced today is the DS Only You service, which provides customers with a concierge (DS At Your Service), the aforementioned roadside assistance (DS Assistance), local collection and delivery for servicing (DS Valet) and a MyDS App to track vehicular information on your smartphone.

Browse full specifications and equipment on CarBase.my.