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In-depth reviews

Citroën DS5 hatchback (2012-2018) - Engines, drive & performance

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

Carbuyer Rating

3.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.9 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

The DS 5 offers a strangely contradictory driving experience – it's not quite sharp or responsive enough to be considered a truly sporty handler in the mould of the BMW 3 Series, but it's suspension can feel firmer than you'd expect sometimes. Nevertheless, it’s a reasonably competent motorway cruiser with one of the more powerful diesel engines under the bonnet – although wind noise is higher than we’d like.

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It's worth bearing in mind that the ride can be particularly harsh on the larger 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels. Thankfully, the latest DS 5 comes with an improved suspension in this respect, but if you're expecting tons of comfort, it's still worth considering the air-suspension-equipped Citroen C5 instead.

DS 5 diesel engines

DS offers a wide choice of diesel engines in the DS 5, starting with the 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120 and moving up to the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150, and the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180.

The BlueHDi 120 produces 118bhp and takes 12.7 seconds to go from 0-62mph. It never feels quick from a standstill but there's decent in-gear acceleration.

The 2.0-litre BlueHDi makes 148bhp but also has more urge from slow speeds than the smaller diesel, making it faster from 0-62mph (10.4 seconds).

If you want more power, then you should consider the larger 2.0-litre 178bhp BlueHDi 180 diesel engine, which gets the DS5 from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and is great at overtaking trucks or other slow traffic swiftly and safely.

Hybrid engine

It's also hard to make a case for the DS 5 Hybrid. It pairs the HDi 160 diesel engine with an electric motor to return fuel economy of up to 72.4mpg. This combination produces 200bhp and makes it the fastest model in the DS 5 range, going from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds. Those numbers are impressive, but you have to pay well over £30,000 for the privilege and it takes some time to claw back the extra outlay through lower running costs.

Petrol engine

The sole petrol engine in the DS 5 range, the THP 165, is only worth looking at if driving a petrol-powered car is really important to you, or you only envisage driving the car on very short trips around town. Its 163bhp gets the car from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds. Relatively poor economy of 47.9mpg and low resale values mean it makes little financial sense in the long run.

While the car offers plenty of grip round corners, the DS 5 isn't particularly fun to drive, due to steering that's too light. The car is best seen as a comfortable motorway cruiser rather than a sporty hatchback.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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