First drive review of the new Citroen DS5 in hybrid form combining …

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CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars

Citroen DS5 DSport Hybrid4 200 Airdream first drive review

Friday, 27 April 2012 3:30 PM

The new Citroen DS5 and Chef Tim Anderson, winner of BBC MasterChef 2011, are joining culinary forces to create a unique pop-up restaurant at a secret location in Shoreditch. There will be tasty grub!

The recent range of DS cars from Citroen have been making quite some splashes around town; most notably the nippy DS3 that’s scooped plenty of awards. And now, topping off the range, is the new DS5; the biggest and dearest DS you can buy right now.

We had a quick drive of the full hybrid car with headline eco-stats of just 107g/km of CO2 and a quoted combined economy figure of 68.9mpg that uses a combination of a 163bhp, 2-litre turbodiesel engine up front and a 37bhp electric motor out back, with the hybrid system and an automatic gearbox between the two.

Citroen DS5 DSport Hybrid4 200 Airdream first drive review

First impressions:

It’s a looker, alright! If the DS5 fails to catch your eye and draw you into its many attractive bodywork details, then perhaps refuse skips are your favourite shape. Simply step back and take in the whole package. Yes, there is some original DS design of old in there, and that was entirely the evocative idea.

But the DS5 is bang up to date.

It’s difficult to pick out the most distinctive viewing angle for the DS5. The front-end is dominated by large, intricate and heavily-raked headlights and a simply elegant twin-bar Citroen-logo’d front grille.

DS5’s long, low and lean bodywork stretches back with those silver “sabre” highlights leading the way from the front tip of the headlights all the way to where they kick-up in front of the wing mirrors. And there are sharply-detailed bodywork creases over the large, turbine-style wheels.

The rear-end is clean and curvy with a pair of ultra-modern taillights, minimal rear glass and twin chrome exhaust trims. The jazzy “DS” logo tops off this brave and bold styling statement, and it’s a statement that s never failed to impress me every time I’ve seen it.

Into the interior:

Today, I’m driving the top-of-the-range DS5 the DSport Hybrid4 Airdream, in tasty, golden-hued White Pearlescent paint and as such this car has all the hybrid tech, the best performance at 200bhp, and a top-notch interior. We’d expect some good inner stuff for over £30K.

I’ve seen similar watchstrap-style leather seats before in the Citroen DS4 and they work for me today as they did back then. Very soft and luxurious in design and feel, they suit the bold styling on the outside.

But it’s not just the leather-work that’s eye-catching. There are aircraft-style switches all over the DS5’s interior; even in the roof panel above the front passengers, a double sunroof, bezelled aluminium switchgear dials and endless curves to the dashboard and surrounds. The clocks are a digital and analogue visual treat and the large centre colour screen lets you know what’s going on where in the hybrid powertrain with funky animated graphics.

The drive:

I didn’t have too long behind the flat-bottomed steering wheel of the DS5 I was there to eat a 5-star steak, also, but more on that later.

But, I can tell you that she’s a big and graceful-feeling car on the road, with an extra helping of wafting-feeling delivered by the torque of the rear-wheel-driving electric motor and the powerful 163bhp turbodiesel up front. If you demand all the Hybrid4’s power, you’ll get 200bhp and 300Nm of torque in an instant hit. The electric motor kicks hard first while the diesel spins up its turbo and then takes over.

You can have 62mph in 8.3secs if you want it, and this DS5 will march onto 131mph, but with a car that produces 107g/km of CO2 and that’s good for band B on the road tax, and that’s £0 for the first year and £20 per year thereafter the idea is that you purr around town in EV mode, too. That’s Electric Vehicle.

The dashboard graphic will show you if there s electric power available and, for example, if you re crawling in traffic then gentle accelerator applications will see the DS5 Hybrid4 pump nothing out of its tailpipe and drink nothing from its fuel tank.

CITROEN DS5 Electric Cars

This test car was quite firmly sprung and you’ll want to get used to the feeling of the rear-axle-mounted motor reversing rotation under braking to harvest that lovely free electricity. It’s basically just a slightly different driving style for a very different car, and early testers have found that Citroen’s quoted economy figure of 68.9mpg is mostly achievable in the real world, and that’s got to be all good.

Ten second sum up:

Citroen DS5 DSport Hybrid4 200 Airdream is undoubtedly a visual treat on the outside, and the good times continue to flow through the top-notch interior. Throw in the frugal potential of its hybrid powertrain and fans of design with one eye on economy and the other on environmental issues, will certainly want to take a closer look.

Prices and availability:

The Citroen DS5 range starts at £22,400 for the DS5 DSign e-HDI 110, rising to £32,200 for the DS5 DSport HYdrid4 200. Price as tested, £32,930, including £730 for the White Pearlescent paint. Available now.

The food:

Not the usual end to our TotallyMotor first drive reports, but Citroen have chosen to launch their DS5 with a different, and I can personally vouch, altogether tastier twist.

Citroen and Chef Tim Anderson, the winner of BBC MasterChef 2011, are joining culinary forces to create a unique pop-up restaurant at a secret location in Shoreditch, London, as part of the launch for the DS5.

The restaurant, called Delicious by DS5, will serve a five course tasting menu created by Chef Anderson and inspired by the five senses. The meal will cost customers just £5 per head with the proceeds going to FareShare, a charity that fights hunger efficiently by rescuing and redistributing surplus food. Delicious by DS5 will open to members of the public from Wednesday 16 to Saturday 19 May, 2012.


Food fans can apply for a table through a dedicated tab on Citroen UK’s official Facebook page — www.facebook.com/CitroenUK — where they can select their preferred date, service and number of attendees (up to six per table).

With high demand anticipated, tables will be allocated on a ballot basis, with successful applicants being notified by email or phone between 7 and 9 May. Reservations will then be confirmed once a £5-a-head donation is made to FareShare through a dedicated Just Giving page. Additional details can be found on Citroen UK’s official Facebook page.

I was luck enough to sample some of Tim’s food at this DS5 first drive event and I can wholeheartedly say that it was the very softest, tastiest, melt-in-mouth steak I have ever eaten. At £5 for five taster courses, it’d be rude not too!

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

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