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Citroën DS5: A sleek and sensuous saloon

By Roger St. Pierre

Never short of inspired new ideas, the design and engineering teams at Citroën were right on the button when they added the DS line of cars to their range, transforming mundane if well made models like the C3 and C5 into something special, even futuristic.

Currently the flagship for the entire Citroën range, the sleek and sensuous DS5 provides, at around the £30,000 mark, some very serious competition for executive saloons costing double that.

A striking five-door package combines practicality and a high standard of build quality with stunning good looks, adding in for good measure the economic benefits derived from a raft of new technologies.

Now available in 19 variants, the DS5 continues to benefit from an ongoing process of refinement, providing further improvements in fuel economy and even lower emissions.

Right back to the days of the original DS saloon of the 1960s that whisked President De Gaulle around La Belle France in such grand style, Citroën cars have always been noted for their smooth and comfortable ride. All DS5 models have now benefitted from a comprehensively revised suspension set-up that delivers an even smoother ride without compromising driving dynamics.

The car’s advanced diesel/electric Hybrid4 Air-dream driveline option has also been improved, providing amazingly economical fuel consumption of 85-mpg in the combined cycle, along with emissions of just 86g/kg. This compares with the 64.2 mpg of our DS5 Dsport test vehicle, which is capable of an 134 mph top speed.

Inspired, so Citroën’s design people aver, from the world of aviation, the cabin’s standout feature is a sweeping cockpit roof, featuring pilot style overhead switchgear. The massive glass roof, standard on DStyle and DSport versions, is divided into three areas, with electrically operated sunblinds that allow passengers to control the amount of light entering the cabin.

Attention to detail has long been a Citroën forté and the DS5 fittingly bristles with neat touches like the massage function of the driver’s seat; a lane departure warning system; adaptive lighting and a colour head-up display that projects such essential driving information as speed indication, speed limiter and cruise control settings and navigation settings into the driver’s direct line of view.

The latest DS5s have gained a maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP tests and standard safety features include ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency braking assistance; an electronic stability programme with traction control and hill start assist; a comprehensive range of air bags and a cornering light function that increases visibility by up to 75 degrees when cornering.

There’s a choice of six refined and efficient petrol and diesel engines and three trim levels while the DS5 looks particularly handsome in pearlescent white.

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