Nightcrawling

If you roam the streets at night, don’t be too surprised by what you encounter.

Image: The author

We have, on a number of occasions brought to light the manner in which the nocturnal streetscape can alter one’s perceptions, especially when it comes to the appreciation of automotive design. In some cases this can bring nuances to bear which might not have been as apparent in daylight. On the other hand, the fluorescent glare of street lighting can render a car in a manner somewhat less becoming.

Because just as a negative is the inverse of the photographic image, the nightscape can illuminate as much as it conceals, transforming the seemingly modish into the banal. But even allowing for this, I’m not sure ‘banal’ adequately does justice to DS Automobiles’ latest offering, since rarely in my experience has a car design been exposed as starkly as this recent nocturnal apparition.

Even allowing for the muted lighting conditions, and the fact that your correspondent was relying upon his camera phone to capture the DS3 Crossback in all its monochrome glory, the extent to which this vehicle fails in aesthetic terms is truly striking. Of course I say this fully cognisant of the fact that it has been deliberately styled to stand out – to offend even.

Image: The author

I’m not entirely sure however that I care sufficiently to be offended, more intensely irritated by how unnecessary its excessively busy appearance is in the context of its intended role of providing suburban transportation to the moderately affluent over-50s,  who tend to form the primary customer base for these vehicles. Consider it more akin to a less well-executed Toyota C-HR and you’d be about there or thereabouts.

Image: The author

Either way, it joins a rarefied group of overwrought attention seekers, all of which are competitor compact CUVs. Like latterday reality TV stars, festooned with tattoos and deformed by surgical enhancements, they live or die by the level of attention they attract. Within this context, one supposes the Crossback makes some kind of sense. What it says about its owner however, may well be another matter entirely.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founder. Editor. Content Provider.

6 thoughts on “Nightcrawling”

  1. Mate, it’s Christmas – not Halloween. Bleurgh, what a horror show.

    I should probably also put on record that I always disliked the original DS3 hatchback as well, primarily for its stupid B-pillar treatment and front clip – faithfully reproduced here with no apparent remorse.

  2. The only possible argument in favour of the DS3 Crossback (stupid name) is that it is certainly distinctive, unlike the previous generation Audi/Lexus mash-up that is its larger sibling, the DS7 Crossback. Perhaps there is a small subset of the demographic that Eóin identifies for this and the C-HR that values “individuality” above any notion of design coherence and good taste? In any event, the DS3 had lost its shock value for me and now looks merely banal.

  3. The Toyota C-HR is an awful thing. The ‘expressive’ exterior styling renders the rear seat an oppressively claustrophobic space, a genuinely unpleasant place to spend any time in.

    This makes the car effectively a 2+2, because the rear seats should be considered occasional use only, and a 2+2 high riding CUV is a very stupid proposition.

  4. I think it looks slightly better in pictures than in real life. It has an awkward stance,the rear wings might be too wide and it makes the wheels look too inward compared to the bodywork, a bit like the Peugeot 604 actually.

  5. Hi Eoin,

    I don’t really like how they put the air vent on the door rather than at the end of the dashboard as is traditional. It makes a really big panel gap that doesn’t suggest quality I think.

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