Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
There are currently two DS 9 engine options – the E-Tense 225 and the E-Tense 4x4 360 – but the 225 is due to be replaced by a slightly more powerful E-Tense 250 in the coming months.
All three are plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) with 1.6-litre petrol engines. While the 225 and 250 team it up with one electric motor, the 4x4 360 has two, giving it more power and four-wheel drive. They can all manage short journeys using electricity alone (if they've got charge in the battery, of course).
The E-Tense 250 isn't much quicker than the 225, but the 4x4 360 certainly is. Its twin electric motors and four-wheel drive can rocket you to 62mph from a standstill in just 5.6 seconds, which is quicker than those German rivals, although not quite as rapid as the Volvo S90 T8.
While the range-topping DS 9 is quick in a straight line, it's no sports saloon through the corners. It grips well enough and there's not much body lean, but the artificially weighted steering discourages quick driving. The non-4x4 versions suffer from a bit more body roll through corners due to their softer suspension. If you're looking for a luxury car that's more fun, try the 5 Series.
More positively, the DS 9 does a fine job of isolating you from the outside world. Road, suspension and wind noise are all kept to a minimum, aided by thick acoustic glazing.
So far we've driven the DS 9 with a system called Active Scan suspension, which costs extra on Performance Line+ trim but comes as standard on Rivoli+ models. As it says on the tin, it actively scans the road ahead to prime the suspension to deal with upcoming imperfections.
On the E-Tense 225 and 250, it results in a ride that's at least as comfortable as an S90's, if not quite as cushy as the best versions of the 5 Series. The lowered suspension and larger 20in alloys fitted to the range-topping 4x4 360 mean you feel more of a jolt over nasty road scars and potholes.