Citroën itself says the DS 5 is pitched somewhere between the traditional Volkswagon Passat saloon and its natty CC derivative. Or between, say, the Vauxhall Insignia and Audi A4. Square where you might expect it, in other words.
To a man, everyone who came into contact with the DS 5 thought Citroën had hit the styling nail square on the head. The DS5 has a tasty portion of aggression and dynamism in its styling and balanced, taut surfaces, but avoids occupying unequivocally the realm of the quirky. If a road test was judged on a car maker’s efforts with a pen, we could all go home.
But there is still more to learn. While Citroën’s other DS models have arrived pretty much at the same time as their non-DS sister models, the DS 5 is a diversion from that pattern, and in more ways than one. While the DS 3 is effectively a C3 variant and the DS 4 is based on the C4, the DS 5 is not based on the C5, introduced in 2008, whose numeral it shares.
Instead, the DS 5 sits on the same PF2 platform as the Peugeot 3008 and Citroën C4/DS 4/Picasso, thus rendering it shorter overall than the C5. At 4530mm, the DS 5 is some 249mm shorter than the 4779mm C5.
The PF2 basis means that most DS 5s do without an independent multi-link rear suspension system, instead making do with a torsion beam, with MacPherson struts at the front.
There are three diesel powertrains offered, a 1.6-litre HDI with 118bhp and 148bhp and 178bhp variants of the 2.0-litre turbodiesel, the latter of which is offered with six-speed automatic transmission.
There is two variants of Citroën's venerable 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol developing 160bhp and 205bhp respectively. Curiously the former is only available with a six-speed automatic gearbox while the latter comes with a six-speed manual.
The range was once topped by the a hybrid model, which DS cut from the range at the end of 2016 after the French manufacturer announced only 3 percent of DS 5s sold were Hybrid4 models.