DS 5 Prestige

BlueHDi 150

stop/start

DS 5, blue, front
DS5, side static
DS5, rear action
DS5, dashboard
DS5, boot

DS is now out on its own and has shed the badge of parent company Citroen.The recently facelifted DS 5 launched DS as a stand-alone company back in the summer and the striking hatch aims to take sales from the more established premium brands.

It now looks bolder and all Citroen badging and the famous chevrons have been ditched. The DS5 now features a dramatic front end that will be a blueprint for all future DS models.

The bold move from Citroen is an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Toyota and Nissan and create prestige brands as the two Japanese manufacturers have done with Lexus and Infiniti.

The breakaway marque plans to have six models competing for a share of the market by 2020.

Most people will be hard pushed to detect the DS 5 from the Citroen-branded version it replaces as apart from the new front the futuristic design is largely the same.

The real changes lurk under the skin with new engines and technology helping to make the model more desirable.

Only two trim levels are available, Elegance and Prestige and the test car came in the top Prestige trim coupled with the French manufacturers latest BlueHDI 150 diesel power plant with stop/start, linked to a six-speed manual transmission.

Buyers can also opt for a petrol or hybrid model but the diesel engines will attract most buyers.

The Euro Six compliant engine is good enough to reach 62mph in 11 seconds and has a top speed of 127mph. The 2.0-litre engine provides bags of grunt without being sporty and it delivers its power smoothly.

The manufacturer claims 68.9mpg on the combined cycle but I did not manage to get anywhere near that in real conditions as you would expect.Still over 50mpg for a car of this size was not bad at all.

The ride and handling won't worry the German giants or Jaguar but refinement is good and the seats are very comfortable. The steering gives good feedback and the brakes provide good stopping power.

The cabin is very modern and features quality materials and plenty room for four adults to travel in comfort, although headroom in the rear is restricted because of the car's coupe lines.

The centre console sweeps up into the dashboard and houses toggle switches for the windows while a second control panel in the roof features switches to operate blinds for the triple sunroof as well as sunglass holders for driver and front passenger.

A new touchscreen infotainment system controls navigation, digital radio and music playback functions.

The Prestige model offers all the toys you would expect at this level, although you can add a colour head up display for an extra £300 and an electric comfort pack for an additional £500.

All the latest safety features are fitted, including ABS, EBD, EBA and ESC as well as hill start assist, blind spot monitoring and DSeTouch emergency and assistance system.

The large boot and numerous storage spaces will meet the needs of most families but on the downside, I found rear visibility to be a problem.

At £29,560 the Prestige model is not cheap but 20,000 mile servicing intervals will help keep running costs down.

The DS 5 is certainly bold and stylish - although its looks will not appeal to everyone - and it will mainly attract buyers who want to stand out from the crowd.

FAST FACTS

DS 5 Prestige BlueHDi 150 stop/start

Price:£29,560

Mechanical:150ps, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:127mph

0-62mph:10.9 seconds

Combined MPG:68.9

Insurance Group:30

C02 emissions:105g/km

Bik rating:19%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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