Review

Citroen DS5 hatchback

Price  £26,350 - £35,370

Citroen DS5 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Competent cruiser
  • Distinctive design
  • Classy interior
Cons
  • Poor ride quality
  • Expensive to buy
  • Limited rear headroom

At a glance

The greenest
Prestige Hybrid4x4 200 5dr £35,370
The cheapest
Elegance BlueHDi 120 S&S 6-Speed manual 5dr £26,350
The fastest
Prestige THP 210 S&S 6-speed manual 5dr £30,190
Top of the range
Prestige Hybrid4x4 200 5dr £35,370

“It may look good and have a plush interior, but the DS 5 doesn’t ride or handle as well as some rivals, while running costs disappoint, too.”

Officially a brand in its own right, DS is the premium arm of Citroen and the DS 5 is the company's flagship, for now. Although you now won’t find the name ‘Citroen’ mentioned anywhere on the car, it's pretty much the same underneath as the Citroen DS 5.

It purports to be an alternative take on the compact executive recipe – firstly by offering a hatchback, rather than saloon, body style – and takes on the likes of the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE and Audi A4. Its hatchback/crossover bodystyle may lead you to take other options into account, too such as the Ford Mondeo hatchback or BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, or even an SUV like the Mazda CX-5. The DS is a distinctive-looking thing, though, with plenty of sharp creases, bold headlight clusters and loads of chrome.

Under the bonnet, there's a 1.6 and two 2.0-litre diesels to choose from, as well as a couple of turbocharged 1.6-litre petrols. The slightly left-field choice will be the diesel-electric hybrid, which doesn’t quite deliver the running costs you might expect and is the most expensive version to buy, too. Our favourite is the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel, as it provides the best balance between performance and running costs in the range.

From behind the wheel, the DS 5 remains something of an oddity. It's nowhere near as much fun to drive as a Jaguar XE or BMW 3 Series, but nor is it comfortable and cosseting like an Audi A4 or Mercedes C-Class. Stiff suspension and large alloy wheels (with very low-profile tyres) combine to make the ride really quite uncomfortable – especially at low speeds.

Get it up to motorway speeds, however, and the DS is reasonably smooth and quiet and should prove a reasonably accomplished companion for long journeys.

Space in the front is fine and there's enough legroom in the back, although the sloping roofline does limit headroom and the high window line can make things feel rather claustrophobic in the back. Interior quality is good, too, while there's plenty of kit offered on both trim levels – Elegance and Prestige. Safety is good – the DS 5 comes complete with a five-star Euro NCAP score and plenty of standard safety equipment.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.8 / 5

The DS 5 is available as a hybrid model that’s very cheap to run but pretty expensive to buy, so we prefer the regular diesels

Engines, drive & performance

3 / 5

The DS 5 offers a choice of petrol, diesel or hybrid power

Interior & comfort

4.2 / 5

Seats and interior quality impress, but the DS 5 isn’t as comfortable as we’d expect

Practicality & boot space

4 / 5

The DS 5 is impressively practical, with a large boot – unless you go for the Hybrid

Reliability & safety

3 / 5

DS 5 is dogged by the company’s reputation for poor reliability, but standard safety equipment is good

What the others say

3.1 / 5
based on 4 reviews
2 / 5
“Citroen hasn’t found as many buyers for the DS5 as it would have hoped, with customers criticising both the firm ride and the high running costs of the diesels.”
6 / 10
“A surprisingly able large French car that has a great deal of flash for less than BMW 3 Series cash.”
3.5 / 5
“The car falls down the gap between comfortable GT and encouragingly driver-focused saloon. You can’t help but feel that Citroen would have been better off settling for the likeable soft ride that it does well in other big saloons.”
4 / 5
“While those in front get to travel in comfort, passengers in the rear will find things a little cramped. Even with a shorter driver, those in the back won’t be able to stretch out.”
What owners say 
4.28
4.3 /5 based on 10 reviews
70%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend

Owner rating:

3 star   0
1 star   0

Common problems:

Last updated 
7 Apr 2016
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