The DS5 could only have come from one manufacturer. Citroen’s decision to launch the DS range has given the designers free reign to express the style and edginess that Citroen tried so hard to repress through the ‘90s. The DS5 is the most expressive example of this new-found confidence, but is the revival more than skin deep?
We think that the exterior of the DS5 is a breath of fresh air. It is unmistakeably Citroen, full of contemporary design features and quirkiness. The interior is equally off the wall, with higher spec models getting aircraft style switches on the ceiling. It is a welcome antidote to mainstream humdrum offerings and the German manufacturers’ understated designs.
Although Citroen took an ill-advised break, we know that it can make stylish cars. What is deeply impressive here is the quality. Look around the cabin and the brushed metal you see really is metal, not imitation plastic. The leather in the fancy models comes exclusively from the finest Bavarian bulls. Citroen is out to impress and it has achieved a very high standard of finish.
The DS5 is the first Citroen to use the Hybrid4 system. It is deceptively simple, combining a highly efficient 2-litre diesel engine driving the front wheels with a compact electric motor which drives the rear. It can drive for short distances in electric mode (rear-wheel drive), use the diesel engine (front-wheel drive) or combine the two (four-wheel drive).
The Hybrid4 system delivers great fuel economy and good performance. The 200 bhp petrol model is the nearest in performance but is actually more expensive than the hybrid and much thirstier. The DS5 is a welcome return to form. It has the style and quality to scare premium rivals and an excellent balance of performance and efficiency. It is a car worthy of the déesse badge.