Citroen DS5 HDi 160

D Sign Automatic

Citroen DS5
Citroen DS5, interior
Citroen DS5, side
Citroen DS5, front
Citroen DS5, rear

THERE aren't many mainstream car manufacturers that can lay claim to having turned out a genuine classic and fewer still that can boast having a veritable run of them but Citroen is certainly one.

The DS is up there with automotive design icons like the Jaguar E-Type while the chances are others like the SM, 2CV and even the CX will also always be remembered.

While the French manufacturers arguably lost their way for a little while they all seem to have come back with all guns blazing in recent times signalling a return to form for producing groundbreaking cars that also have that indefinable element of Gallic design flair.

Citroen is perhaps the pacesetter and its sporty DS3 has done much to redefine the marque with the launch of the DS premium-styled sub brand.

In the wake of it, and the DS4, comes the DS5, a larger car that's very much in a similar design vein to the DS3 - almost like a stretch limo version of it.

In terms of its sheer presence and stature it is reminiscent of when the Chrysler 300C first burst onto the scene, a daringly different car that demands attention.

Its overall shape oozes instant appeal and clever use of chrome sets off those dashing design lines perfectly.

The stand-out design theme continues on the inside too, with enough switches and buttons to rival the aeroplane cockpit styling of the Porsche Panamera.

It's all well laid out and intuitive and easy to use too with the hallmark of quality throughout. The switchgear and trim have a definite premium feel and a concerted effort seems to have been made to offer the best of everything. Fit and finish is noticeably good too.

The cabin is open and airy and the high driving position similar to a crossover/MPV offers a great view of the road.

The DS5 certainly comes across as a distinguished and different family/executive car that manages to combine practicality with a degree of distinctiveness that is bound to appeal to many.

The big question is whether it will appeal as a premium alternative to those all-conquering German brands.

While badge snobbery remains a big hurdle I would imagine anyone who likes to stand out from the crowd and plough their own furrow in life generally will be tempted by its appeal.

It might not boast the sportiness and all-round agility of the DS3 but is still a pleasant enough car to drive.

It does at times feel a little big and bulky but it handles impressively and corners with a flat and sure-footed feel, no mean feat given its bulk and height.

The ride could be described as firm-ish but at the same time it isn't jarring and would certainly be easy enough to live with on a daily basis.

While it might fall slightly short in terms of its overall sophistication and refinement when on the move compared to the premium German marques it has enough quality, quirkiness and character to more than make up for it.

Is it another Citroen classic in the making? Only time will tell. But whatever the case it certainly has appeal and allure by the bucket load and will no doubt continue to be a head-turner for some time to come.

FAST FACTS

Citroen DS5 HDi 160 D Sign Automatic

Price: £24,900

Mechanical: 160bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 132mph

0-62mph: 9.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 47.9

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 154g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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