Citroen DS5 D Sport

HDi 160

Citroen DS5 Hybrid4
Citroen DS5
Citroen DS5, interior
Citroen DS5, side
Citroen DS5, front
Citroen DS5, rear
Citroen DS5

IF you're the sort of person who doesn't like being categorised generally and likes to choose something a bit different when it comes to cars then Citroen's DS5 could be ideal.

The ‘daddy' of Citroen's DS sub-brand - an offshoot marque that's aiming to be a little more exclusive than its mainstream models - it certainly has plenty going for it.

Whether it's the dashing and distinctive exterior design that's part hatchback, part coupe and part estate, or the classy and well thought out interior - it's certainly easily to find features that attract, stand out and definitely defy categorisation.

Ultimately I'm the sort of person who lets their heart rule their head when it comes to cars. If I like the look of it first and foremost then I'll quite happily put up with all manner of drawbacks.

Thankfully the DS5 doesn't have many, though whether the sort of people who buy Audis and BMWs will be tempted to part with their hard-earned to buy into this fledgling brand remains to be seen.

In truth the DS range represents an interesting experiment for Citroen and one which I think should reap rewards ultimately - though there is probably a little more work to be done on it.

The stand out looks of the DS5, like the smaller DS3, definitely work well, giving it a real edge and a flavour of exotica - to the point where there are even a few echoes of classics like the legendary DS and CX.

Its imaginative and modern interior, illuminated by an array of intuitive and easy to use dials and switches reminiscent of Porsche's aeroplane cockpit styling in the Panamera, is also a real plus point.

The DS5 does have a distinct executive feel overall, though given its size there isn't a great deal of legroom in the rear.

It is comfortable though, with seats front and back that are well suited to long journeys and I loved the square patterned and padded leather upholstery fitted to this car which was simple in some respects but exquisitely elegant too.

The boot is big, fit and finish commendable and the slightly but not overly elevated driving position offers a commanding view of the road.

Visibility is for the most part good, though given the slightly avant-garde styling the rear view is not quite so clear.

While the DS5 is a decent enough car to drive it could benefit from enhanced driving dynamics. Though I found it handled well enough it does at times feel a little big and bulky and given the marketplace it is seeking to compete in it could also do with a softer and more luxurious ride.

The Hybrid4 model has a multi-link rear axle set-up but the standard suspension of the other models in the range is an area where a headmaster's report might say ‘could do better'.

The engine options are mostly diesel, though the sweet and smooth 1.6-litre THP 200 petrol option is worthy of consideration if you aren't planning on notching up too many miles.

Of the two diesel options the higher-powered 2.0-litre is preferable, certainly in terms of performance - and it still offers impressive economy too.

Overall the DS5 is a car that really has a great deal going for it. It's refreshingly different, without being too over the top, and does much to establish Citroen's sub-brand by standing out from the crowd.

FAST FACTS

Citroen DS5 D Sport HDi 160

Price: £28,000

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

Max Speed: 134mph

0-62mph: 8.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 55.4

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions: 133g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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