Not long ago, French brand, Citroen, decided it needed to break into the upmarket territories occupied by the likes of Audi, Mercedes, and Jaguar. It wanted to put a French twist on the luxury car segment, and to do this it shed the ‘Citroen’ name altogether and launched ‘DS’ out into the ocean of premium products to see if it can hold its own. Motoring Journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, reports.
The DS 5 is a hatchback, though it doesn’t really look like one. It’s a bulbous, slightly nautical looking car that is probably closer in shape to an MPV or people carrier than it is a hatch. It’s quite clear the French want to go about things differently to rivals in the market – most notably the good ol’ Germans. Is it handsome then? Well, let’s just say looks are subjective.
Is it any good, then? Well, it’s not outstanding. ‘Performance Line’ as a trim level is a bit misleading, as the DS 5 doesn’t really do performance. It’s happiest plodding along at its own pace not really pushing itself to do anything too strenuous. It’s lazy, and it loves it. Of course, this puts it at a big disadvantage when it comes to the more athletic contenders it faces. It simply isn’t as good to drive as a Jaguar or BMW, and it doesn’t feel as special either.
Inside, there are still echoes of Citroen about the whole thing – a marque that’s far from opulent – and that just won’t do for a car going up against the beautiful cabins produced by Mercedes-Benz, for example. It falls well short of what you’d find in a C-Class, and while it isn’t bad, it isn’t exactly great either.
There’s a feeling that this might take DS a little while to get right. Certainly, the DS 5 Performance doesn’t quite meet the grade yet, though it must be said it has a huge deal more character than a lot of other ‘luxury’ cars – the generic 3-series from BMW and XE from Jaguar come to mind. That might currently be the only reason to buy one over more established opponents.