From £21,6707
This new DS5 gets improved efficiency and more power but the ride still needs work

Our Verdict

DS 5

The Citroën DS5 is a handsome hatchback designed with a premium feel

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18 March 2014

What is it?

The flagship of Citroën’s DS range: a family car aimed at the stylish end of the market and billed as a more dynamic, interesting choice than the French firm’s 'standard' family car, the C5.

The DS5 first arrived in 2011, its dramatic looks wowing the crowds when it premiered at the Shaghai motor show. When we first road tested it, however, the DS5 was far from the engineering masterpiece that Citroën became famous for with its original DS back in 1955.

Our initial verdict on the stylish hatch was that the ride was disappointing. In short, it jumped and fidgeted its way along the UK’s rotten roads. To its credit, Citroën listened to the criticism and, in conjunction with a new diesel engine, the French firm is introducing an improved suspension system which is said to give the stylish hatch the comfortable ride that was previously lacking.

Also on board is the French firm’s latest six-speed automatic gearbox, which the car maker hopes will enable the DS5 to cruise along as effortlessly as its German rivals.

What's it like?

Before we get to that new suspension set-up, let’s hear more about the new engine. Citroën has employed some clever technology to make this diesel engine perform better on its CO2 and economy score cards, but at the same time has extracted another 20bhp from the 2.0-litre unit to improve overall performance.

Now, the DS5 will manage a claimed 0-62mph sprint in 9.5sec and motor on to a top speed of 137mph, while the combined economy figure is up to 62.8mpg and the CO2 is down to a lowly 118g/km (or 114g/km if you go for the 17in wheels). Citroën has achieved this is by devising a unique exhaust architecture as well as using Adblue (urea) injection to cut NOx emissions by up to 90 per cent and CO2 output by up to four per cent. The bottom line is that this will be good news for company car buyers.

On the roads outside Paris, where we drove the new car, the DS5 felt swifter. There’s a generous amount of torque low down the rev range, while each gear of the new six-speed ’box benefits from a wider spread of power so there’s more performance available through each ratio. It’s no outright performance machine, but it’s a more flexible and efficient unit and the DS5 is all the better for it.

Good news with the latest engine, then. But have PSA’s engineers come up with an improved ride? Well, new shock absorbers have been fitted to help dampen the oscillations that mired the ride quality before. But it seems that the engineers haven’t quite worked miracles on the suspension system. On the city streets of Paris, the cabin couldn’t quite flatten out the lumps and bumps of the cobbled streets, and out on the back roads of the Parisian suburbs the car still transmitted too much vibration into the cabin from the surface’s imperfections. It certainly doesn't waft along like a premium German model can.

Should I buy one?

Clearly a quick fix to the suspension isn’t going to transform the ride significantly on the DS5.

However, there is a degree of improvement and the reason we liked this car initially still stands: here is a niche model that's interesting and a joy to look at and in nearly every other area would be an extremely pleasing car to own. Plus the new engine is a better performer all round, which is good news for Citroën as a car maker.  

Citroën DS5 BlueHDi 180

Price £26,590; 0-62mph 9.2sec; Top speed 137mph; Economy 62.8mpg; CO2 118g/km; Kerb weight 1615kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1997cc, turbodiesel Power 178bhp at 3750rpm; Torque 295lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd auto

Join the debate

Comments
13

18 March 2014
There's no denying that the DS5 like other DS cars is a stylish choice. Citroen generally makes good looking cars. Why then the PSA is not doing well?

18 March 2014
I love this car. I would have one in a flash, poor ride or not. Can't be any worse than an Audi or BMW with sports suspension.

fadyady wrote:

There's no denying that the DS5 like other DS cars is a stylish choice. Citroen generally makes good looking cars. Why then the PSA is not doing well?

I assume you mean Peugeot rather than PSA? If so, I think they are certainly doing a load better. I was behind a 508 the other day, rather liked it. The new 308 is subtle and handsome, the 208 isn't as good looking as a fiesta or Clio, but it still more intertising to look at than a Polo, i20 Fabia and most other small cars. The 3008 is the only one really letting the side down, but at least the facelift hsaa improved it.

18 March 2014
superstevie wrote:

I love this car. I would have one in a flash, poor ride or not. Can't be any worse than an Audi or BMW with sports suspension.

fadyady wrote:

There's no denying that the DS5 like other DS cars is a stylish choice. Citroen generally makes good looking cars. Why then the PSA is not doing well?

I assume you mean Peugeot rather than PSA? If so, I think they are certainly doing a load better. I was behind a 508 the other day, rather liked it. The new 308 is subtle and handsome, the 208 isn't as good looking as a fiesta or Clio, but it still more intertising to look at than a Polo, i20 Fabia and most other small cars. The 3008 is the only one really letting the side down, but at least the facelift hsaa improved it.

I know what you mean, but I kind of which this came with the C5's hydropneumatic suspension. It would possibly be the perfect car.

20 March 2014
superstevie wrote:

I love this car. I would have one in a flash, poor ride or not. Can't be any worse than an Audi or BMW with sports suspension.

fadyady wrote:

There's no denying that the DS5 like other DS cars is a stylish choice. Citroen generally makes good looking cars. Why then the PSA is not doing well?

I assume you mean Peugeot rather than PSA? If so, I think they are certainly doing a load better. I was behind a 508 the other day, rather liked it. The new 308 is subtle and handsome, the 208 isn't as good looking as a fiesta or Clio, but it still more intertising to look at than a Polo, i20 Fabia and most other small cars. The 3008 is the only one really letting the side down, but at least the facelift hsaa improved it.

Agreed. Surely cannot be any worse than the German models. Since when do German cars "WAFT" along, anyway, Autocar? I thought that was a word you persistently used to criticise Citroens of the last 10 years? How the tables have turned.
The DS5 is a fantastic looking car and far more Citroen-ish than many believe, right down to the interior and how it feels and looks. Shame about the ride, but this is a far more convincing effort than the half-baked DS4.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

21 March 2014
There's no denying that the DS5 like other DS cars is a stylish choice. Citroen generally makes good looking cars. Why then the PSA is not doing well?

I'm afraid its their old bug-bear of reliability. People have long memories and don't go back for seconds when bits constantly drop off their cars.

Hopefully these new DS models are better made, because if Citreon can earn a reputation for reliability (did I just type that??) these cars will be highly sought after.

Until then, they will remain a niche product for those brave enough to risk the breakdowns and depreciation.

18 March 2014
Will this extra engineering on this diesel engine cause any extra cost or reliability issues in the long run?

18 March 2014
It is interesting that Citroen appear to have thrown away the one unique selling point they had over their opposition, a good ride on rough roads while keeping good handling. And at a time when Mclaren is using hydropneumatic suspension for the same reasons,it does seem curious as to why Citroen thinks that 2nd rate suspension and extra chrome are more important now than the superior suspension they previously developed isn't.

20 March 2014
concinnity wrote:

It is interesting that Citroen appear to have thrown away the one unique selling point they had over their opposition, a good ride on rough roads while keeping good handling. And at a time when Mclaren is using hydropneumatic suspension for the same reasons,it does seem curious as to why Citroen thinks that 2nd rate suspension and extra chrome are more important now than the superior suspension they previously developed isn't.

It's because the motoring press constantly criticised them, focusing too much on 'handling' and ignoring the good ride quality. Would be great to see that suspension back in the DS5 though. Citroen is a brand that appears to listen, so I wouldn't surprised if it returns. The C4 Cactus has apparently been engineered to ride 'classically like a Citroen'. So that's positive.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

19 March 2014
Very stylish vehicle, inside and out - stands out from the crowd ....
view new Citroen DS5 deals|prices with some very genrous discounts

19 March 2014
Reductions in CO2 have been achieved by some clever exhaust tinkering and using 'Adblue' injection ... As I understand, Diesel Exhaust Fluid is stored in a separate tank in the vehicle and so there is a cost for replacement (it's not widely available) ... Sounds a bit 'swings and roundabouts' to me ...

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