Citroen DS5 review
The Citroen DS5 follows the DS3 and DS4, and offers an intriguing alternative to the typical German executive saloons
The Citroen DS5 is the third ‘DS’ offering and is aimed at the executive segment, putting it up against models like the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring. But the Citroen offers something different. Underneath the bonnet, the most important powertrain is the HYbrid4 which combines a 2.0-litre 163bhp diesel engine with a 37bhp electric motor. The front wheels are driven by the engine and the rears by the motor. A 1.6-litre diesel with 115bhp and a non-hybrid version of the 160bhp 2.0 HDi also feature. The single 1.6-litre petrol option puts out 200bhp.
Our choice: DS5 2.0 HDi (160) DStyle
The Citroen DS5 looks like no other car on the road, thanks to its hatchback-cum-estate body. Chrome trim on the bonnet and an extremely narrow rear window are unique touches. Citroen’s family face remains, with the double arrow badge neatly integrated into the grill. The cabin is the DS5's trump card. Not only is the fit, finish and material quality among the best in its class, but the design is also incredibly stylish. There’s a pilot-style centre console located above the driver’s head and a split sunroof which allows both driver and passenger their own separate glass panel. There's seating for three in the back, but some tall adults may find headroom a little limited.
The DS5 engine line-up ranges from a 115bhp e-HDi diesel to a 200bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol and the flagship 200bhp diesel-electric Hybrid4. The latter set-up allows for CO2 emissions as low as 91g/km with punchy acceleration and four-wheel-drive. It is slightly heavier though, and on 19-inch wheels the ride is a overly firm. A 17-inch wheel is a no-cost option which boasts better emissions performance and a better ride too. The 2.0-litre HDi diesel with 163bhp is excellent with the new six-speed auto gearbox and cheaper than the hybrid. All models get suspension that is firmer than you might expect, but it’s still quite comfortable thanks to the supportive seats. Refinement is excellent, with engine, wind and road noise all well isolated from the cabin.
The cabin feels extremely well put together and the engines and chassis have proved themselves to be reliable elsewhere in the Citroen line-up. The DS5 has received a full five-star Euro NCAP rating, with an 89 per cent score for adult occupant protection and an impressive 97 per cent for all of the safety assist. An eTouch service features, which allows you to call – and be located by – emergency services if you break down or have an accident.
Due to the styling of the Citroen DS5 rear passengers may find their heads scraping the roof, but aside from that there's quite a bit of leg and shoulder room. How practical it is depends on whether you go for the Hybrid4 or not. This is because the electric motors add a large battery pack, which is mounted underneath the boot floor and reduces space to 325 litres – that’s compared to 465 litres for non-hybrid versions.
Cleanest Citroen DS5 is the Hybrid4 – but it is also the most expensive to buy. Fitted with 17-inch wheels, this model manages 91g/km of CO2 and an impressive 80.7mpg. Be aware though, that if you go for larger alloys the emissions and fuel economy aren't quite as good, and the ride quality suffers too. The petrol model offers benefits in the refinement and performance stakes but will be costly to run and tax. All the diesels are great for running costs, but the 115bhp e-HDi is the cleanest after the hybrid.