Citroën DS5 Hatchback full 9 point review
The models that make most sense in the UK use a 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine, and this provides good urgency from low revs. There’s also a 197bhp turbocharged petrol option that’s smooth and eager, but the most interesting DS5 is the Hybrid4, which mixes a diesel engine driving the front wheels with an electric motor mounted on the back axle.
Ride & Handling
The DS5 has a rock-hard ride that batters you relentlessly on any road that isn’t silky smooth, while things get even worse if you go for a model on larger wheels. Such a stiff set-up invariably keeps the body upright on windy roads, but the DS5 doesn’t feel at all sporty because its steering is so vague and lifeless.
Suspension thumps aside, the cabin is well insulated. The petrol and diesel engines settle down nicely once you’re up to cruising speeds, while the Hybrid4 offers totally silent running around town thanks to its pure-electric mode. Road and wind noise are well contained, too. The most raucous model is the hot turbo petrol, although its rasping exhaust note is strangely appealing.
Buying & Owning
The Hybrid4 model emits just 99g/km of CO2 – a fine achievement for a car of this size. The figures for the other variants depend on how you spec them. Take the 160 HDi for example; with a manual gearbox and 17-inch wheels, it sneaks under 130g/km, but with an automatic ’box and 18-inch rims, it emits 158g/km. Resale values are likely to be weak compared with German rivals.
Quality & Reliability
The front of the cabin has plenty of soft plastics, and even the front door pockets get flock lining and mood lighting. Only the tiny buttons on the face of the stereo let the side down, feeling cheap and flimsy. Reliability is unknown, but Citroen has a poor record in the annual JD Power customer satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
Stability control and front, side and curtain airbags are standard, which helped the car achieve a five-star crash rating from Euro NCAP. Citroen’s eTouch system (a one-button emergency dial-up) is fitted to mid-spec models and above. The experts at Thatcham gave the DS5 five out of five for resisting drive-away theft and four out of five for resisting forced entry.
Behind The Wheel
It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, thanks to a good range of seat and steering wheel adjustment. Even the head-up display fitted to D Sport models can be moved to accommodate drivers of different heights. The dash has a fair smattering of buttons that can be a little confusing, but the main controls are all easy enough to operate.
Space & Practicality
The panoramic roof helps the front feel spacious, but it eats into rear headroom and rear kneeroom is surprisingly tight. The boot is adequate for a car of this size, and the split rear seats help with larger loads. It’s worth noting, though, that the Hybrid4 has a reduced boot size.
Even the entry-level D Sign model is well equipped, getting cruise control, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and a USB socket. D Style trim adds satellite-navigation and part-leather upholstery, while D Sport brings full leather, electrically-adjustable sports seats and xenon directional headlights.