The DS 5 is a success of sorts. It is a genuinely stand-out, original design: striking, quite practical and thoroughly likeable. The first time you see a DS 5 – and for quite a few subsequent viewings – you’ll need time to absorb the sheer complexity of the exterior styling. But we'd wager you'll enjoy the process.
And no other car at its price – and few others at any price – offers the same level of styling dynamism inside and out, partnered with impressive perceived interior quality. With the DS 5, if there is any justice, PSA has found a niche where it can sell interesting cars. And as enthusiasts, we can’t ask for more than that.
Yet all is not quite rosy. While we love the DS 5’s cabin quirks and materials, the enthusiasts were disappointed with its ride quality to the extent that many of our testers couldn’t imagine scribbling their name on the order form, or recommending that others do the same.
That’s a great pity because, in other areas, the DS 5 would be an extremely pleasing car to own. We never expected it to be the last word in handling sophistication, but how far it is from the final chapter in comfort might just make it too much to bear.
For many, the occasional all-over body shudder on a back road and the shortage of involving dynamics will be nowhere near a deal-breaker, given the DS5’s quirky appeal. But then the original Citroën DS managed to be pliant, advanced and visually appealing.
Its spiritual successor leaves that little bit to be desired, both compared to that iconic Citroën and to the ruling powers in the European compact executive and volume family saloon segments.