Citroen DS5 Hybrid4

8 Feb, 2013 5:30pm Tom Phillips

The luxurious Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 is more efficient than ever, returning 74.3mpg and 91g/km of CO2

Verdict

4
It’s not as accomplished as a German estate, and new versions aren’t cheap. But the DS5 makes a strong case for itself by offering head-turning looks and a decent drive. This Hybrid4 model adds appeal for company car drivers, too, while the fatter tyres help smooth the ride.

In the face of some capable but not exactly interesting German competition, the Citroen DS5 is something a bit different.

From the unique metal blade that sweeps back from the headlights up each wing to its concave, sculpted tail-lamps, this car oozes more style and character than any of its Bavarian rivals.

It’s the same inside, too, where ergonomics play second fiddle to style – there are no buttons on the doors, for example, merely a tasteful milled handle. The locks and electric window controls are in the centre console instead.

Yet once you get used to the odd positioning of the switchgear and the unusual part-MPV, part-estate dimensions, the DS5 is easy to drive. There’s a decent amount of space inside and a comfortable driving position, too. It’s pricey, but kit includes heated seats with the option of fantastic watch-strap leather.

The location of our hybrid car’s battery and motor assembly under the boot floor compromises the 325-litre load area slightly, while rear space isn’t overly generous. However, to ensure the newcomer stays in the 10 per cent company car tax bracket, and remains exempt from road tax, Citroen has introduced new engine management software for the 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel and improved the battery management system.

Opt for 17-inch alloys, instead of the 18s that fill the arches better, and the DS5 emits 91g/km of CO2. A further update will improve this to 88g/km in March. And while the cut in CO2 figures is good for your pocket, the higher-profile tyre and smaller wheel combination helps the DS5’s ride, offering more compliance over big bumps and less jiggling when you hit small ridges or potholes in the road surface.

The hybrid drivetrain switches smoothly between power modes, although the automated manual box changes gear slowly. The conventional six-speed auto is nicer, but unfortunately it’s unavailable on hybrid DS5s.

Disqus - noscript

Citroen has invested as much bringing out the looks of this car as it has done hybridising it. The end result is quite a busy shape but there are likeable elements.

Its pricey though and the diesel hybrid does not seem vast improvement on Toyota's petrol hybrids and several reviews has criticised its autobox for slow response.

In my personal opinion this maybe the best car you can buy today of you primary criteria of selections are:
Good handling
Design matters for you (it looks gorgeous, in and out)
Low emission
Good comfort (it may not reach the tremendous comfort of a C5, but it is good. Seats are wonderful).
In comparaison a Prius looks awefull,
I would have bought a DS5 if they had one version available with 240hp or more. I am now waiting for the DS9.

Slow response is a matter of opinion. I've yet to see a wholly positive review of a car fitted with EGS, and yet the one we have on our C4 GP suits our needs just fine. As long as you drive it like you're trying to get the kids to school or get to work instead of pretending you're qualifying for F1, then it drives OK.

Key specs

  • Price: £32,200
  • Engine: 163bhp 2.0-litre 4cyl diesel and 37bhp electric motor
  • Transmission: 6-speed automated manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 8.3 seconds
  • Top speed: 131mph
  • Economy: 74.3mpg
  • CO2: 91g/km
  • Equipment: Air-con, cruise control, heated seats, reversing camera
  • On sale: Now
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