Citroën DS5 THP200 CARmag co za

29 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Citroën DS5 THP200 CARmag co za отключены
CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars

At A Glance

NICE, FRANCE. At the press conference on Monday evening Citroën said that its new DS5 is extremely hard to classify and that rivals are therefore hard to identify. The press man went as far as saying the DS5 is “unclassifiable”.

While doing some reading on the plane to France, I noted that journalists appeared to already be rather confused about the segment-busting newcomer, some of them citing SUV/crossovers such the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 as rivals and others identifying the Audi A3 Sportback or even VW Scirocco.

After spending a considerable amount of time in the car the past few days, however, I think I’ve figured it out. Citroën has taken the recipe used by BMW to create the much-lamented 5 Series GT. but as usual French cooking has trumped the German flop and the result is actually far more appetising. I say this as someone who actually quite likes the 5 Series GT… The rest of the world can’t stomach it.

The DS5 is essentially a large hatchback with a higher seating position (40 mm higher than in a C5) and a superbly crafted interior from the finest materials. It is based on the Peugeot-Citroën platform two – the same that is used for the C4 – but with wider tracks (40-50 mm in front and 80-100 mm at the rear) compared with the C4. I’ll let you make up your own mind about the styling – wait until you see it in the metal, though – because it is a very polarising design.

On French roads, however, it attracted a huge amount of attention and Citroën will be pleased to hear to that even BMW and Audi drivers appeared to be impressed.

The DS5’s trump card, however, is its exquisite interior. Citroën searched far and wide for the best materials and one of the spokespersons told me that they wanted the DS5 to be the equal of the Audi A4. I think they’ve done it. The DS5 even smells premium, probably as a result of the Bavarian hides used to upholster the striking seats – finished to mimic the look of a watch’s wristband.

The focus on material quality is also evident in the door handles, for example, which uses real metal, not chrome-plated plastic as is often the case, and the soft-touch material used for the entire facia.

The design attempts to create a cockpit feel with its high centre console and overhead controls. It comes as no surprise to learn that Citroën’s designers were very much inspired by the world of aeronautics when penning the DS5. Look upwards and you’ll notice a split panoramic roof, with the split being the result of a panel of overhead switches that takes care of functions such as the heads-up-display (HUD) position, roof screens etc.

The instrumentation is very smart, the overall perceived build quality very impressive and the seating position very nice, too. I don’t think the rear space is as impressive as I thought it would be, especially when looking at the length of the rear doors, but adults can sit comfortably as long as they’re not too tall. The boot is massive, so the DS5 is a really effective long-distance luxury tourer.

The DS5 arrives in South Africa during the first quarter of 2012 and although the final line-up’s details are not yet available, we are likely to get the 160 HDI (a 120 kW/340 N.m 2,0-litre turbodiesel) in manual and automatic and the range-topping 200 THP, which uses the 147 kW/275 N.m 1,6-litre turbopetrol developed with BMW and as used in the Mini models. The 200 THP will be available locally with a six-speed manual transmission. The diesel-electric hybrid model is not destined for South Africa.

I spent most of my time driving the 200 THP. The DS5 is quite a large car, so I was worried that it would feel a bit flat-footed, even with the gutsy 1,6-litre turbo engine, but I was wrong. It was a delight to hustle the DS5 on the twisty roads in France’s Cote d’Azur, and I’m happy to report that it even sounds sporty.

Citroën confirmed later that the engineers had done some “acoustic work” on the air intake system.

Considering its size and high-seating position, I also expected a fair amount of bodyroll, but the DS5 stayed admirably flat in the corners. Of course, as is the case with most front-wheel drive cars these days, the steering feel is quite numb, even though it’s an electro-hydraulic system and not fully electric. For such a sporty car, I’d have liked a slightly smaller steering wheel, too.

If there’s one thing I don’t think is quite right, it is the ride. Admittedly the 200 THP model rides on 19-inch wheels, but I still think the ride is too hard. Citroën asked for opinions afterwards and when I raised this point, I was told Citroën wanted the car to be sporty to drive. Now, of course, this is all fine and well, but the DS5 is primarily a luxury tourer is it not?

If that is the case, the ride should have been softer. The same applies, by the way, to the DS4…

Overall, I found the DS5 a pleasant surprise. This is partly the result of the not-as-convincing DS4 I drove a few weeks ago, and also because the confusion regarding the DS5’s placement in the market makes it hard to figure out what to expect. It will still be a challenge for Citroën to market the car and to get the message across that everyone in the R400 000 price bracket should have a test drive, because it rather successfully crosses over into not only two, but a number of segments.

CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars

It is a car, however, that once you’re seated in it, impresses hugely.

View a video of the DS5 here .


Price: R400 000 estimated

Launch date: first quarter 2012

Engine: 1,6-litre turbopetrol, four-cylinder

Transmission: six-speed manual

Power: 147 kW/5 500 – 6 800 r/min

Torque: 275 N.m/1 700 – 4 500 r/min

CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars
CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars
CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars
CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars
CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars

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