We love concept cars! Those things of fancy where manufacturers give their designers a clean sheet of paper and tell them to indulge themselves. The results are beautiful sculptures that excite us enthusiasts and gives the world an insight into future design. Alas, these statements of freedom very rarely make it into production, or if they do their designs are castrated to be made more “real world.” Our Citroen DS5 test car bucks that trend and has stayed very true to the designers conception. The result is a car that looks like no other…
Just look at this machine! It is a magnificent thing to behold with its long proud profile and beautifully intricate details. The sloping roofline, large grill as well as its deliberate creases and curves make it truly unique. It is like looking at a modern skyscraper such as London’s gherkin, it has a majesty about it. The longer you stare at it the more design features you find. Simply parking this car in a public place results in people taking a good look as they walk past.
The art continues as you slip inside the DS5’s masterfully crafted cabin. In my opinion the interior is truly class leading, and I don’t say that lightly, with aircraft inspired consoles narrated with aluminium standing tall amidst top quality upholstery. Each button is also aluminium and stand as little individual monuments. However, this mobile palace’s star attraction is its triple glass roof that is seductively revealed by electric blinds. There is vast amounts of space inside the DS5 and it can comfortably seat five adults, though that sloping roof line does restrict rear head room for those of the taller variety. The seats themselves are very supportive and the front ones are also heated with the drivers supporting a massage feature. This DS5 is the top specification model and sports other features such as heads up display, DAB radio (which in conjunction with the premium audio system is excellent), automatic lights and wipers, keyless entry as well as cruise control.
Pushing the starter button fires up the 2.0 litre 163BHP diesel engine and provokes the HUD to rise from the dashboard. Acceleration is brisk and dominated by the great torque of the diesel engine. There is no getting away from the fact that this is a BIG car and the reduced rear visibility, thanks to its styling, does make it a bit tricky to park even with parking sensors and a rear camera. On the move the DS5 is quiet and refined creating a very relaxing environment to settle down for a long journey. It is on the motorway where this car is most at home when you simply set the cruise control, activate your massaging seat and let this luxury limo do the work. Just how comfortable is it? Well, setting the dual zone climate control “just so” makes it about as snug as a warm bed on a winters day. The steering is light which makes maneuvering the car easy and the gear changes in this 6 speed manual were effortless. Though the tight streets of Bath and busy industrial town centre of Bristol were a bit of a squeeze at times, the tranquility of the cabin reduced my stress levels dramatically. Yet, the DS5 has an Achilles heel. For such a big luxurious car the suspension is quite stiff. Potholes do tend to send a loud thud through the interior and Britons battered surfaces sometimes make the car feel unsettled. Like I previously said, the motorway is where this car is at its best with that torquey diesel surging you along in comfort. Fuel economy wasn’t too bad with our combined testing producing 46MPG from this 2.0 litre model.
The Citroen DS5 is a car that must be applauded for staying so close to its initial concept car roots. Though at £29,085 it is stepping on the toes of cars such as the BMW 5 Series, the Germans do not give you a package that is unlike anything else. This car is for the extravert, those who want to be different and don’t intend to blend into the background. In the very true words of Steve Jobs “Here’s To The Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world – are the ones who DO.”