Citroën soaring with new flagship DS5
France has produced some stunning eye-catching models and not just on the catwalk.
One of the most stylish cars launched this year is without doubt Citroën’s DS5.
It has a dynamic look to it, especially from the front with its pronounced air-intakes, chrome grille and LED light signatures, as well as the chrome ‘sabres’ running from the tips of the headlamps to the front windows.
It’s more muscular at the rear with the chrome-finished twin exhausts and rear clusters with six light guides.
Step inside and you discover the DS5 has a striking, cockpit-like appearance.
Sitting behind the wheel is like being at the controls of a small aircraft, with the large glass roof divided into three areas and the overhead switchgear.
I sampled the range-topping DSport Hybrid 4 Airdream so there was no shortage of comfort or equipment in its lavish interior.
The model is available with petrol and other diesel engines as well as the 163bhp 2-litre diesel unit combined with its electric motor in the test car.
Overall driving was good and it performed quietly enough while cruising at speed, with little wind or engine noise. It also motored along silently around town using electric power.
With a top speed of 131mph and zero to 62mph in 8.3 seconds it had more than enough power on offer – and is also able to achieve 70.6mpg extra urban, 67.3mpg urban and 68.9mpg combined.
The system operates in four modes – auto, which switches automatically between the engine and electric motor; ZEV (zero emissions vehicle) for speeds up to 37mph with electric motor only; sport, the electric motor providing extra power to the engine’s; 4WD, in low-grip conditions or on rough ground this increases traction with front wheels powered by the engine and rear wheels by the electric motor.
The car handled well with its firm suspension, and ride comfort was good for driver and passengers.
My only complaint about the performance was with the six-speed auto transmission which appeared to struggle at times, especially at low to medium speeds, at selecting the proper gear.
The DS5 features top active safety equipment as well as the latest high-tech features, my favourite being Citroen’s head-up display which projects essential driving information directly into the driver’s line of vision.
There are three trim levels, DSign, DStyle and DSport with prices ranging from £22,400 to the test car’s £32,200.
The DS5 is nice enough without any wrapping and I’m certain would be a welcome gift for many on Christmas Day.