Taking inspiration from the massive success of France’s luxury brands, Citroen created the DS brand to “express French style and luxury with beautiful details and exceptional quality”. It was intended to be more upmarket than mass-market brands, if not a direct competitor to Mercedes and BMW. The DS5 completes the initial incarnation of the DS line.
The first premium Citroen was, however, more of an urban sporting car than an expression of French luxury. Nevertheless, the Mini-like DS3 has been a success, becoming Citroen UK’s best selling model in the process. Next along was the slightly underwhelming DS4 crossover.
The dramatically styled DS5 is an intriguing mix of high-roofed hatchback, coupé and sports estate, the result of the mounting pressure on the traditional D-segment family saloon in Europe. It’s still an important sector, but selling cars in it is not as simple now as it once was. Roll back the clock just a few years and if you wanted a full-sized car of moderate price, there was little alternative.
However, the birth of MPVs, SUVs and crossovers, combined with the solid residuals of otherwise more expensive compact executive cars, means that things are no longer so simple. There is now plenty of choice and, as Renault has already discovered to the Laguna’s cost, you’ve got to give customers a damned good reason to buy a relatively ordinary traditional family car.
That’s why cars like the DS5 now exist, crafting together several different styles of cars into a package you won’t find anywhere else.