From a catwalk quality exterior to every exquisite detail of its interior, the extraordinary DS 7 Crossback is unique.

The whopping great luxury five-seater is the first of a new generation of cars to be created by a team dedicated to reviving the legendary French DS brand that now stands completely separate from Citroën.

With a price tag topping £40,000 you would expect it to be comfortable, composed and technologically advanced and it is all of those, but the key addition is an enormous slice of stylish individuality.

Riding on huge 20-inch, black, diamond-cut alloy wheels and available in nine body colours and five interior specifications, this car is a guaranteed head-turner as it looks like nothing else on the road.

But even the spectacular exterior styling pales into insignificance once you climb aboard.

The level of detail on the interior is gorgeous, from leather ‘watchstrap’ seat designs and decorative pearl-stitch top-stitching adorning the dashboard and door panels, to the complex ‘guillochage’ embellishment of metal controls with a pattern of interlaced lines more often seen on high-end chronographs.

It’s clearly not a car for everyone. Boisterous, welly-wearing children or mud-covered Labradors would be about as welcome in this sophisticated cabin as in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace.

The car driven here came in Opéra trim with bespoke badging and specific exterior chrome work and an interior trimmed with Nappa leather upholstery, a patina-finish dashboard and door panels with pearl-stitch top-stitching, heated and cooled massaging front seats, a heated windscreen and a satellite navigation and audio system with digital radio.

The dashboard even sports a B.R.M R180 clock, made by luxury watchmaker Bernard Richards, which rotates 180 degrees out of the dashboard when the engine is started.

Technology is a key element in the car and all models are equipped with anti-lock brakes, emergency braking assistance with electronic brake force distribution, an electronic stability programme, hill start assist, automatic emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring, driver-attention and lane-departure warning systems, cruise control with speed limiter and traffic sign recognition.

The car driven here, powered by a 180 horsepower, 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, also came with even more advanced features including a system that uses a windscreen-mounted camera to scan the road ahead to detect uneven road surfaces and individually adjust the car’s dampers to improve travelling comfort.

Another infra-red camera, concealed within the grille, is able to detect pedestrians or animals up to 100 metres ahead at night and flash up a dashboard alert – yellow, then red – to give you time to react to the potential hazard.

Even the glittering gem-like headlights are computer-operated producing a sweeping beam that adapts according to road conditions and vehicle speed, with five fully automated modes: parking, town beam, country beam, motorway beam and adverse weather. The lights also bend to follow the road and switch automatically from high to low beam.

The car’s park pilot system will also automatically park itself in a parallel or bay spot, controlling not only the brakes and steering, but also the throttle. The system also works when it’s time to leave the parking space.

The carmaker also says that all future DS models will each offer either a plug-in hybrid version or a full-electric version by 2025, when these power units are expected to account for more than a third of the French manufacturer’s vehicle sales.

Auto facts

Model: DS 7 Crossback Ultra Prestige BlueHDI 180

Price: £46,580 as tested

Insurance group: 33E (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 57.6mpg

Top speed: 134mph

Length: 457cm/180in

Width: 189.5cm/74.6in

Luggage capacity: 21.8 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 14.5 gallons/55 litres

CO2 emissions: 128 g/km

Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles