Review

Citroen DS5 hatchback

Price  £25,980 - £34,890

Citroen DS5 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Handles well
  • Striking styling
  • Stylish and high-quality cabin
Cons
  • Quite pricey
  • Rear headroom is limited
  • Ride quality suffers with large alloys

At a glance

The greenest
Prestige Hybrid4 200 5dr £34,890
The cheapest
Elegance BlueHDi 120 6-Speed manual 5dr £25,980
The fastest
Prestige BlueHDi 180 EAT6 5dr £32,040
Top of the range
Prestige Hybrid4 200 5dr £34,890

"The DS 5 is a spacious, distinctively styled and very luxurious car. But it suffers from harsh ride quality and can’t match rivals' running costs."

The DS 5 is a difficult car to categorise: it looks like a large hatchback or crossover, but it's intended to be a rival to executive saloons such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. Neither is it called the Citroen DS5 any more – it's now part of the standalone DS range, itself pitched as a more upmarket brand than Citroen.

In reality, the DS 5 unlikely to tempt many buyers away from these established favourites – it's more likely to be seen as an interesting alternative to large family cars such as the Vauxhall Insignia and Ford Mondeo, offering distinctive styling and a more upmarket interior.

That interior boasts some very high-quality materials, sumptuous leather seats and a unique layout that sees some controls relocated to the roof – like you might find in an aircraft cockpit. In addition to this top-notch fit and finish, the interior of the DS 5 offers lots of space for you and your passengers – although taller adults might find their heads brushing the rooflining in the back, as the car's swoopy styling results in somewhat less headroom than you might expect. 

There's quite a wide choice of engines with the DS 5 – a turbocharged petrol, as well as three diesels with a choice of manual or automatic transmission. Finally, there's a diesel-electric hybrid that tops the range. It boasts impressive technology, but unfortunately that doesn't translate into class-leading running costs and it's quite expensive to buy in the first place.

For years, large French cars have been renowned for one thing above all else: pillow-soft ride quality, especially in top-spec models with air suspension. The DS5 is still comfortable and relaxing but it is more composed than the previous model, if still not hugely sporty.

Three trim levels are offered: Elegance, Prestige and a 1955 Limited Edition, but unless you really want extras like brighter, Xenon headlights and a reversing camera, there's no need to look beyond the entry-level Elegance version, as it's very well equipped and the DS 5 quickly starts to look like poor value for money once you add to the price of the car.

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 
4.475
4.5 /5 based on 8 reviews
75%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend

Owner rating:

3 star   0
1 star   0

Common problems:

Last updated 
27 Mar 2014
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