The DS 5 will be the first model launched with DS as a brand in its own right. Essentially it’s a facelifted Citroën DS5, a model launched here in 2012, but with this model and future products we well see a more distinct brand identity established, as well as double-chevrons and other Citroën identifying features disappearing.
The most noticeable change with the DS 5 is the new design for the front end, which will become common to future DS models. DS executives believe the front end is a key feature of all premium vehicles, so it’s important to redefine the appearance of future models.
Headlamps use the DS brand’s signature xenon and LED clusters, while new for the revised model are scrolling LED indicators at the front, where the lights illuminate in sequence in the direction of travel.
The car still has the distinctive metallic ‘sabre’ styling motif sweeping up from the headlamps toward the windscreen, while little has changed at the rear, although there are no more Citroën badges. The DS logo is in the centre of the tailgate, while the new ‘DS 5’ script with the number slightly larger than the letters appears as a badge on the lower right.
When the DS 5 was launched as a Citroën, there was much talk of aerospace-like design being incorporated into the interior. While some of these features remain – such as the overhead switches – the DS 5 has also undergone a de-cluttering of the dashboard, much like recent Peugeots and Citroëns.
A new touch-screen display has enabled the removal of 12 buttons from the dash, as well as make some of the functions more intuitive. The interface also includes Mirror screen technology to allow occupants to access their smartphone apps via the car’s touch-screen.
A number of 'Connect Packs' are now available, some of which might be useful for company car drivers. A Monitoring Pack includes a virtual maintenance manual (automatic mileage monitoring, alerts on upcoming scheduled servicing operations), eco-driving (personalised tips based on driving style) and a driving report (a summary of vehicle use).
The Mapping Pack locates the vehicle, displays journey details and information on vehicle use if it is loaned to another driver. The Tracking Pack locates the vehicle in the event of theft.
The DS 5 also introduces 'MyDS', an iOS and Android compatible mobile app. The purpose of this app is to provide support for the driver “with intuitive, innovative services”. Customers receive a range of vehicle-related information, along with bonuses and special offers.
The DS 5 remains a comfortable car for four or five adults, and there are new fine grain leather trims offered.
The DS 5 was already available with a range of safety features in its earlier incarnation.
Now blind spot monitoring system joins lane departure warning, automatic highbeam control, swivel lights that work with the static cornering lighting to optimise lighting, hill-start assist, stability control, intelligent traction control, a reversing camera and a head-up display.
The DS 5 features all the equipment you’d expect on a high-end car, including electric memory massage seats, keyless access and start-up, including from the rear doors, an auto-dimming interior mirror and dual-zone air conditioning.
The new generation of PSA BlueHDi diesel engines is being rolled out in the DS 5. They are badged according to power output rather than size, perhaps not to draw attention to the fact that the entry-level 120hp diesel is actually a 1.6-litre. Customers can also choose from a 150hp or 180hp 2.0-litre. All BlueHDi diesels offer CO2 emissions of between 100g/km and 110g/km.
There is also a diesel hybrid offered, essentially carried over from the previous model using the 163hp 2.0 HDi engine combined with an electric motor to deliver up to 200hp. This model has CO2 emissions of 90g/km.
The hybrid was formerly known as Hybrid4, alluding to the fact that the electric motor drives the rear wheels, enabling all-wheel drive with both power sources in use. From now on this powertrain will be called Hybrid 4x4, as many customers it seems were unaware of the additional traction to the rear wheels provided by the electric motor.
One of the criticisms of the Citroën DS5 was that the unforgiving low-speed ride took the shine off what would otherwise have been a comfortable car.
The DS 5 comes with new dampers that are designed to eliminate the poor behaviour of the original model at low speed, but retain the sharper reflexes at higher speeds. We won’t know until we drive it in the spring, but this problem afflicting cars wearing Citroën badges should have gone away.