Life Motoring

Wednesday 17 September 2014

More power to them for being different – pity about the woolly steering

First Irish Drive: Citreon DS 5 Blue HDI 180 6SPD Auto

Published 18/06/2014 | 02:30

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Citroen DS5

THIS is unusual and, for that, it is a welcome potential alternative to some of the German brands.

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It is also costly despite its finery – not so welcome.

The DS5 is a massive re-interpretation of the conventional C5 and an indication of where this specific brand is going. Welcome.

DEPRECIATION

But it may, I stress may, suffer from depreciation in its initial years as buyers take time to get used to the idea – not so welcome.

The DS idea has worked generally, you know. The smaller DS3 is a cracker and this has a lot of novelty and non-conventional stuff about it too.

The reason you are reading about it is that they felt they needed to go do things to improve on the first attempt. There had been criticisms of the suspension – not up to the sporty quality you need at this costly end of the market where really you are competing with Audis, Beemers and Mercs.

It is shorter than the C5, looks so well and gives you a sort of 'crossover' feel when behind the wheel. The cabin is hugely comfortable but there are far too many buttons. Overwhelming and confusing.

The suspension – I'll come to that in a second – isn't the only thing to get an upgrade. The BlueHDi 180 (bhp) diesel (118g/km, 4.5L/100km, €200 road tax) gets an additional 20bhp too. That's a lot of power and it gave this a quicker, crisper response and a great feel of acceleration.

And there's more. Emissions drop from 158g/km with the old engine to 118g/km in this – so your VRT comes down from 27pc to 17pc and your motor tax is well down too. Most welcome.

Driving was simple because of that excellent driving position and the new 6spd automatic gearbox. However, I was never quite sure/happy with shifting between Drive, Reverse and Park.

They claim they've done huge work on the suspension to improve ride comfort and sharpness. But I can't say it did much for me.

I believe the woolly feel to the steering let it down badly. It just didn't have that crispness you get from some of those German brands I mentioned, for this sort of money.

SUSPENSION

And that overshadowed whatever good they've wrought on the suspension.

Prices start at €39,795 for the DS 5 DStyle BlueHDi 180 and they rise to €42,695 for the range-topping DSport.

It's a lot of money but there is an amount of stuff in the DS5 and it has its charms.

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