Everyone loves the DS3, fewer were so enthusiastic about the DS4 and now there’s the DS5 – so far the ultimate expression of Citroen’s ‘cut above’ DS brand.
Already seen in Peugeot 3008 and 508, the DS5 is the first Citroen model to feature PSA’s HYbrid4 technology.
It’s an appealing set-up that uses a 163bhp 2.0-litre HDi engine to drive the front wheels and a 37bhp electric motor to power the rear wheels. Smart, too, as it endows the DS5 with a different powertrain option for almost every day of the working week: front, rear or four-wheel drive (with CO2 emissions of 99g/km), plus the ability to run electric power alone with zero emissions. At the other end of the scale, there’s a potential combined 197bhp and 369lb ft of torque on tap if you really want to get a move on.
The more conventional alternative is a 158bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, driving the front wheels through a torque converter six-speed automatic gearbox or a manual six-speeder. There’s the further option of Citroen’s electric gearbox system (EGS) six-speed gearboxes if you prefer. But the range kicks off with a 1.6-litre e-HDi engine developing 109bhp and, if diesel isn’t your thing, 156bhp or 197bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engines are also available.
But whichever powertrain you choose, there’s an over-arching, long-legged effortlessness to the manner in which the DS5 goes about its business which, in combination with the elevated and comfortable driving position, makes it particularly relaxing company.
It handles with surefooted precision, too, and on roads that aren’t too badly broken up, rides smoothly. The picture isn’t quite so rosy on more ravaged surfaces, the MacPherson strut and torsion beam suspension becoming crashy and surprisingly noisy, especially on the larger 18- and 19-inch wheel options.
But full marks to Citroen for the DS5. It really does push the boundaries of how many elements you can pour into the crossover mix while forging a unique personality that posits an alluring counterpoint to the German notion of a premium product.