By Patrick James on 2017-04-22 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
DS 5 Performance
Line BlueHDi 180
THE DS brand's efforts to further distance itself from parent company Citroen has moved on with the introduction of a sporty new trim, the Performance Line.
The firm says, if you forgive the jargon, 'DS Performance is synonymous with the FIA Formula E Championship and is the creative force behind the new trim levels and combines the spirit of the GT with refinement and the latest DS brand technologies'.
"The ‘DS Performance Line' offers all the fundamental ingredients of a Grand Tourer, namely style and driving pleasure," adds Ãric Apode, DS Automobiles' vice president for products and business development
The luxury DS 5 is the latest in the range to get the Performance Line treatment. It is a car that offers a staggering amount of kit and equipment for a modest (relatively in the luxury/executive market) outlay.
At £33,290 for this model with automatic transmission you are paying a lot of money, but the level of kit on competitors would significantly outprice the DS and it offers something a little different and individual.
It certainly looks the part. The large hatchback is incredibly stylish with swooping lines and high beltline with contrasting black roof, eye-catching lights, a specific palette of five body colours, plus gloss black alloy wheels feature the DS logo on the centre caps.
The signature colours are also seen on door mirrors and the rear spoiler, while the front doors and bonnet are adorned with special new DS Performance Line badges, while the DS grille is accentuated by the DS LED Vision light signature
The interior is lavish and packed with equipment and mirrors the sporty credentials of the exterior. The high-quality leather and cloth seats are both supportive and electrically adjustable.
The rest of the interior is like a space age cockpit, with the centrepiece being a seven-inch touch screen drive interface which controls the major functions like infotainment, connectivity, apps and climate.
Also prominent is a very large, multi-function steering wheel while the dials and instrumentation are clear and logically laid out.
There are some neat touches like the classy analogue clock and the chrome inserts to steering wheel and door sill protectors provide a nice contrast to the dark soft touch finish.
In addition ambient LED lighting illuminates the cabin and a three-part glass roof with electric sunblinds allows light to flood into the cabin.
The special stitching also adorns the door panels, the gear lever gaiter and the leather steering wheel. In addition, the front seats are embroidered with a DS Performance Line emblem.
It is simply packed with comfort, convenience and safety equipment including radar, front and rear parking sensors, auto locking, high quality sound system and a host of goodies.
It is safe, earning a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating, with the likes of traction control, full complement of airbags, and hill start assist.
Practicality is excellent with one third and two thirds folding bench seats which open up the 465 litre boot space to a cavernous area when folded.
There are a number of engine options with the 180bhp turbo diesel tested here proving a refined and frugal power unit.
Acceleration is brisk with the 0-60mph sprint completed in just under 10 seconds and a claimed 62.8mpg economy and emissions of 117g/km.
This puts it at the lower end of the scale for benefit in kind taxation for business users. The auto box is a smooth shifter, effortlessly zipping through the gears.
The ride is comfortable with the suspension soaking up the worst excesses of our potholed roads while handling and steering are decent enough. It is a delightful motorway cruiser, well insulated from road, wind and tyre noise, with good acceleration when needed.
The only slight surprise was that both myself and the other half felt it was not the easiest car to climb into with the well padded driver seats and large steering wheel. Maybe its an age thing, or being too padded oneself.
Otherwise its an awful lot of car for the money and it certainly looks the part on drive of company car park.
DS 5 Performance Line BlueHDi 180
Mechanical: 180bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 137mph
0-62mph: 9.7 seconds
Combined MPG: 62.8
Insurance Group: 34
C02 emissions: 117g/km
Bik rating: 25%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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