The DS 5, with exception of the C4 Cactus is a perfect example of how good Citroen are at designing and producing cool cars. Hopefully this non Citroen branded DS 5 can sell more examples
There is a choice of three diesel engines to choose from with a top of the range hybrid also available for a considerable price. All of the diesel options are BlueHDi engines as featured in the smaller DS 4 sibling. These get power outputs of 120, 150 and 180bhp with a choice of a 6-speed manual, or an automatic transmission with some higher specifications. Overall performance and economy is good from all variants, however the DS 5 is quite a large car with the best compromise being the 150bhp option which suits its setup best.
A new suspension has been given to the DS 5 in an attempt to give a more supple ride. This has improved ride significantly without compromising handling too much. Being the largest car in the DS range it would be safe to say that the DS 5 is more at home cruising on the motorway than it is tackling your local back road at pace. While grip in the corners is not bad, the steering is just too light to get any real feedback. It’s more of a saloon cruiser rather than the sporty hatchback it looks like.
There was an issue with the original DS 5 where a lot of customers complained of too harsh a ride, which is very un-Citroen like. Citroen made DS its standalone premium brand in 2014 and this new DS 5 is the first to be produced under the new setup. The DS engineers have worked hard to iron out these issues and have succeeded. But do still avoid the larger 20 inch wheel option if you enjoy your comfort. There are just two trim levels to choose from Elegance and Prestige. Elegance offers a generous level of kit as standard including dual climate control, DAB radio, touch screen Sat Nav and parking while Elegance gains you additional toys.
The DS5 looks and feels like a spaceship and that is one of its best traits, it feels special. The cabin itself sets quite a serene, upmarket environment with the interior lit by LED dimmers. The driver is enclosed by a new clean wraparound cockpit design sporting digital clocks with roof mounted controls and a centre mounted touch screen Sat Nav sitting at the top of the centre console that all look great feel solid to the touch. There is a real sense of quality throughout the cabin with just enough quirkiness to match its exterior shape. The biggest issue in here is how enclosed you feel when inside.
The DS 5 scores a maximum 5 stars in the Euro NCAP crash test making one of the safest cars in its class. You get a good level of kit as standard too with a full set of airbags, electronic stability control, ABS, hill start assist and ISO-FIX. As with the DS 3 and DS 4, you can also add Citroens eTouch emergency call service as an optional extra which will automatically make a call in the event of an accident with lane departure assist, reversing camera and heads-up display also available.
The DS 5 gets a sloping roofline and the roof feels low enough in the front, so passengers in the rear do not fare so well. It is tight back there with the slimmer rear windows also affecting the sense of space and don’t help visibility. That said, shoulder and knee room is good. The boot may not be the largest in its class but comes in at 465 litres, but the Volkswagen Passat adds another 121 litres to that figure. If you opt for the Airdream Hybrid, your boot space is compromised considerably due to the location of the electric battery reducing it to 325 litres.