Citroen’s DS brand has done exceptionally well over the past few years with the DS3 leading the charge. In China DS is actually marketed as a separate brand to Citroen and that plan has been executed flawlessly by the French company. These more luxurious, more stylish counterparts to the Citroen range have developed their own identity, and much like an iPod, have become fashionable. Beginning this year the DS brand will become its own in Europe also, and spearheading that movement is the new 2015 DS5 just revealed at the Geneva motor show. Whilst we look forward to getting our hands on the keys to that in a few months time, here is why we love the current Citroen DS5.
Firstly, just look at it! With the physique of a concept car its unique proportioning turns heads. From the domed nose to its sloping rear end, the DS5 is all about design. Chrome spears lead on from the headlights, the windows taper to a vanishing point and those alloy wheels could be coordinated with a rather flashy watch. It is big and bold in appearance, but very sheek in the details. The designers we clearly left to their own devices without too much interference from those in charge of the pursestrings.
However, this cars crowning glory is its dramatic interior. It is so fantastically French! In the front, driver and passenger are divided by a high console which leads up to the dashboard. Whilst the infotainment system in our 2014 model year test car is a bit outdated, it offers satellite navigation, bluetooth and DAB radio. Every surface is sculpted as if out of clay and this gives the interior a beautiful flow. Aircraft style switches sit on the roof along with three individual panoramic roof segments. Brushed aluminium details control buttons as red mood lighting floods the doors. The seats are a work of art. The shape of them, the leather design and their comfort offer both style and sustenance. This opulent seating is extended to the rear seats also, although they lack the massage and heated function.
Considering this cars size and apparent demeanour you would expect it to sway and wallow thought the corners, but the truth is that it actually handles rather well. There isn’t much body roll and the levels of grip mean that it can navigate bends at a much brisker pace than you would imagine. However, its ride suffers for this suspension setup even in this updated car which has altered the suspension. It does thump over road imperfections which is a bit of a shame as this interrupts an otherwise wafting sensation. A lovely car to drive on the motorway and it is there where it feels most at home. The 180HP BlueHDi 2.0 litre engine is a strong unit and only emits 128g/km CO2, but can only be had with an automatic transmission.
The Citroen DS5 is a flawed car in some respects. Visibility out of the rear is almost nonexistent thanks to its concept car looks, if you choose the automatic it tends to hold onto gears for too long and it is not the easiest car to park. Yet, the DS5’s biggest problem is that our test car, granted it had a fair few toys, came to £35,400. That is BMW money! Whilst Citroen will say that this is the cost of such a stylistic product, depreciation is steep. Despite all of its faults, we still love the Citroen DS5…
Why? Because it’s expressive, unique and just a little bit mad. If everyone went and bought from one of the big three Germans the world would be a very dull place. People take an interest in this car, which is more than can be said for yet another 3 Series that has just driven past your window. When Picasso painted at first people thought his way of doing things was a bit eccentric, but you wont find a major art gallery that isn’t pining for his work. The Citroen DS5 is a bit like that, an interesting piece of work that should be forgiven for the odd bit of paint that has splashed off of the canvas.