These are early days for PSA’s fledgling premium brand, and there’s clearly a lot riding on every new model it introduces. Too much, perhaps, for it to have been as bold with a potentially big-selling family SUV as some of us might have liked.

So the DS 7 Crossback arrives in a monotone part of the market as a car that’s really only daring and different in its styling details and in some interior appointments. It’s inoffensive to drive, but not as indulgent as the sales pitch suggests; it has some distinguishing technology but doesn’t seem to put it to use that well; and so it’s superficially interesting, but not substantially alluring enough to justify a premium-brand pricing strategy.

DS’s new flagship is a competent but slightly bland SUV-class addition

Having tried its luck with the more risqué DS 5 six years ago, DS Automobiles has plainly altered the proportions of its recipe for a brand flagship here – and has produced a car with fewer shortcomings, but also much less of the ‘spirit of avant-garde’ that ought to define all of its cars. So, while as family transport the DS 7 Crossback is pleasant and respectable, as a symbol of what its maker stands for it’s a damp squib.