FOR anyone who has not yet heard DS Automobiles now has its very own identity.
It no longer sits under the Citroen umbrella but has ventured out with its own premium branding.
In fairness, the trio of Citroen DS models always stood out for their stylish design cues and comprehensive wealth of on-board technology but now the French manufacturer has really raised the bar.
The perfect example that highlights the company's new direction is the flagship DS 5 model priced from Â£32,040. This one cost Â£33,440 with options fitted.
The car looks impressive and oozes class from any approach and the new company grille with a smart DS badge is an instant hit compared to the former Citroen chevrons.
Other attention-grabbing features include 18-inch alloys, LED headlights, front fog lights with cornering function, plenty of shiny chrome trim and a very sleek body styling.
Move inside and the interior certainly boasts the wow factor needed in the premium market these days with a look that resembles a fighter jet cockpit complete with overhead controls, toggle switches and drop-down storage options.
This car featured interior mood lighting, leather seats (electrically adjustable on the driver's side), dual zone air conditioning, a three-part glass sunroof, a colour head-up display (Â£300 extra) and an electric comfort pack (Â£500 extra).
There's plenty of technology to be explored too, including a seven-inch touchscreen, sat nav, Bluetooth, a pitch perfect six-speaker sound system, Mirror link to connect to your smartphone and plenty more besides.
It had a 0-62mph sprint time of 9.9 seconds and top speed of 137mph. According to official figures it can deliver combined fuel economy of 64.2mpg and carbon emissions of 114g/km.
In and around town the diesel-driven DS 5 cruised effortlessly through the busy crowds and parking was made much simpler thanks to sensors and a reversing camera.
I did find visibility through the split rear screen was a little limited at times, but apart from that the all-round view was pretty good.
Then out on faster lanes and motorways the car really comes alive with a constant supply of power on tap from the 2.0-litre 180bhp engine.
The acceleration was nicely controlled and the car moved smoothly though the six-speed automatic gearbox. I did rather miss the option of steering wheel-mounted paddles to change gear manually, but that was my only real gripe.
The cabin remains beautifully quiet and even bumpy road surfaces are smoothed out by the car's suspensions system. The steering is nice and precise, although a tad heavy initially and the road-holding is most assured at all times.
Comfort levels are good for all occupants with ample head and leg room in the back, plus the boot can accommodate 465 litres worth of luggage. This capacity can be increased by dropping the rear seats flat.
And as to be expected from a premium brand, the DS 5 is well equipped with safety specifications that helped it achieve the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests.
Features include anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, numerous airbags and blind spot monitoring.