Hannah Gordon drives the face lifted DS5, the first model from the new standalone DS brand.
What is it? The DS brand has cut its apron strings and become a separate make which wears its own DS badge with pride. Marketed as the prestige car maker its flagship model the DS5 is an important string to its bow, already having success with the DS3 and DS4.
Who is it aimed at? The DS5 due to its economical engines and low emissions would make a great fleet car. The DS branding now takes on a more luxurious type of image and would surely be eyeing up the likes of Audi and BMW as direct competition. The roomy inside and spacious boot would also lend itself to families.
Styling? The motto that DS like to bide by is incorporating the design of Avant Garde, my French is minimal to say the least but what DS are trying to say is that they want there design to be innovative and push the boundaries, which means putting in lines and indentations where only other car manufacturers dare dream of. The chrome sabres stretch over the wing mirrors alongside the DS wings which are said to be designed from the original DS of 1955. The car sits on a wide stance and the twin exit exhaust help give it a stylish look. Its a handsome looking car that has a lot of road presence.
Under the bonnet? There are plenty of engines to choose from, all diesels are Euro 6 compliant and come in 120, 150 and 180 BHP. There is also the option of a petrol and a diesel hybrid. The 2.0 litre diesel with its 180 BHP engine is good for a top speed of 137mph and 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds. The engine pulls very well and without any hassle, the diesel is still slightly grumbly when driven keenly but the 6 speed auto is smooth and I prefer it over the 6 speed manual.
What about inside? The interior of the DS5 has to be of a good standard to meet the prestige expectations, and it is. The switch gear for the electric windows resembles fighter jet toggles and the whole cabin feels well put together. The three panoramic windows add an abundance of light in which is welcomed with such a dark interior. The seating position is comfortable, the centre console wraps around the driver and passengers to give a cosy feel. The lack of space in the glove box and the missing cup holders is an ongoing problem as is the huge amounts of horrible black plastic on the dash which is a let down.
On the road? The DS5 is a little disappointing on the road especially as it sees refinement as such an important factor. The engine and automatic gearbox are good but with nearly every english road resembling the crater ridden surface of the moon the DS5 really needs to be able to handle this and it struggles. Its rough over bumps, possibly due to the 18” wheels and can become unsettled over rough surfaces. The DS5 comes with Pre Loaded Linear Valve Suspension that aims to make the ride as floaty and effortless as possible but for me it doesn’t go far enough. The steering is good for a large vehicle and it does handle corners with confidence.
And Safety? A 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating as well as curtain and lateral airbags make this one of the safest cars on the market. There is ABS and Electronic Stability control as standard as well as an Automatic handbrake, Hill start assist and Blind spot monitoring available. As standard there is also an emergency and DS assist button should you get into difficulty.
What are my Options? Metallic paint is a £600 option and if you fancy a colour head up display its £300, but personally I wouldn’t bother with it as it got on my nerves all through the test drive. Some of the finishes inside are a £200 extra and the Electric comfort pack which includes heated electric seats will set you back £500. For added sportiness there is a Sports pack that gives you 19” wheels, sports suspension and a lowered ride height of 10mm, all yours for an extra £500.
Will it break the bank? Economy throughout the whole range is excellent. The range topping 2.0 lire diesel with its Euro 6 compliant engine and 180 BHP manages a combined fuel economy of 64.2 MPG, if you fancy the lesser 120 BHP then this figure shoots up to 70.6 MPG, but the best in the range is the Hybrid at 72.4 MPG. All the diesels and hybrids have low enough CO2 emissions that you currently don’t need to pay any tax.
So the Verdict? Being the flagship model of the new prestige DS range the DS5 has plenty on its shoulders. The styling on the outside is sophisticated and charming, the splashings of chrome and LED lights point its luxurious intentions to onlookers. The cabin is comfortable and useable which plenty of gizmos to keep the restless souls happy. But the lack of cup holders and space up top is annoying and the shape of the A pillars can produce more blind spots than necessary. The ride is unforgiving at times and a smoother ride would make this car feel more refined. The 150 diesel engine is plenty quick enough and offers excellent economy when paired with the auto gearbox. It remains to be seen whether people can see DS models as a separate entity to Citroen and pay £25k and upwards for one.
DS5 Prestige 180 6-Speed Auto
Max speed: 137 mph 0-62 mph: 9.9 seconds
Emissions: 114 g/km
Model price range: from £25,980-£34,890
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 64.2 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 465 litres
Length: 4530 mm
Width: 2128 mm
Wheelbase: 2727 mm
|ENGINE||CO2 (g/km)||MRR OTR PRICE|
|Elegance||THP 165 S&S EAT6 auto||136||£26,980|
|BlueHDi 120 S&S 6-speed manual||104||£25,980|
|BlueHDi 150 S&S 6-speed manual||105||£27,140|
|BlueHDi 180 S&S EAT6 auto||114||£29,620|
|Hybrid 4×4 200||103||£32,470|
|1955||BlueHDi 150 S&S 6-speed manual||105||£29,600|
|Prestige||BlueHDi 150 S&S 6-speed manual||105||£29,560|
|BlueHDi 180 S&S EAT6 auto||114||£32,040|
|Hybrid 4×4 200||103||£34,890|
15th July, 2015