DS 5 Performance

Line 180 BlueHDi

DS5 Performance Line, front, night
DS5 Performance Line, side, static
DS5 Performance Line, side
DS5 Performance Line, side, night
DS5 Performance Line, front, wind farm
DS5 Performance Line, front
Performance Line seat stitching
DS5, interior

THIS big French saloon cum hatchback is surely one of the most stylish cars on the road.

Elegant, yet slightly quirky, which should be no surprise since parent company Citroen is deep within the DNA of the DS 5.

Not to be confused with Citroen C5, this is a different model on a different platform and is a real head turner from DS - the newly created premium arm of the Peugeot/Citroen group.

It is almost a hybrid of styles, part executive saloon, part practical hatchback and with a smidge of crossover/MPV and jam packed with goodies, including on this model sat nav, LED lights, air conditioning, high quality sound system and host of other kit to numerous to mention.

It does look elegant and sleek, to most anyway, with low swooping profile, sculpted angles and high waistline, with chrome trim surrounds to sills, light, door handles, bumper and light surrounds.

The light clusters to front and rear also eye-catching, as are the black alloys on this model, while the subtle ‘DS Performance Line' badging is prominent both outside and in.

If you think the exterior catches your eye, the interior is something else, with a cockpit style layout.

The chrome exterior trim is mirrored inside with chrome finish to doors, gearshift and large multi-function steering wheel. It feels well built and classy with soft touch plastic, part leather upholstery and an executive feel all round.

The roof has three separate glass areas, with blinds which open and close depending on light requirements for the cabin.

The main controls are grouped on two centrally positioned consoles, one near the gear selector and one overhead, which initially I kept banging my head against while entering the car.

Both incorporate specially designed buttons, dials and toggle switches that were inspired, says the firm, by the aerospace industry.

The centrepiece is the dashboard colour touchscreen which controls functions from navigation to music while also providing phone connectivity for both Apple and Android smartphones.

In practical terms, despite looking like a saloon, the hatch opening means there is acres of space for stowage. The rear seats are split 1/3 and 2/3 so even odd shapes can be accommodated easily and can be kept secure with lashing points in the boot.

On the road, the 2.0-litre 180bhp diesel engine is flexible and frugal, delivering plenty of pace when required and excellent economy, an official 62.4mpg and low emissions of 114g/km.

Mated on this model a six-speed automatic gear shift, performance is more than adequate and it proved an excellent motorway cruiser while the gearshifts are seamless. In sport mode it can hit 60mph in under 10 seconds, deceptively sporty.

Ride and handling is a mixed story with the suspension capable of crashing over some surfaces, but being totally refined on smoother surfaces. However it does feel comfortable otherwise, with five accommodated in reasonable comfort.

Headroom is good, proving you avoid the overhead console and legroom is also more than adequate.

The car is packed with safety gear including all round airbags plus assisted braking and stability programmes.

Also available as options are the 'DS Connect Box', which includes the brand's 'SOS & Assistance' system which enables localised emergency and assistance calls, to summon help if ever it is needed, plus lane departure warning and reversing camera.

This is a fine car, good looking economical and highly practical. Not cheap, but equivalent vehicles with the amount of kit would set you back considerably more. And it sure does look good.

: 180bhp, 1,197cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

: 137mph

: 9.2 seconds

: 55.4

: 34

: 117g/km

: 25%

: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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