Following 7 days with the Citroen DS5 DSport BlueHDi 180, here are my experiences from the week.
Day 1 – Citroen DS5 DSport BlueHDi 180 – Let’s See It
Taking a look around the Citroen DS5 DSport for the first time is a feast for the eyes. The DS5 is by far the most exciting and modern looking of the already futuristic DS range. The test model came in pearlescent white with a full length glass roof that flicks out into the spoiler at the rear.
The front of the car is very angular, and finely crafted. The most radical design feature at the front of the car is the large silver spikes that run down either side of the bonnet, they somehow went unnoticed by me for the first few looks around the car, but then stuck out every time I looked at it thereafter.
Day 2 – Driving the DSport
Taking the DS5 out for a drive was a delight, you can access the car via the keyless entry system, meaning that you can have the key in your pocket, walk towards the car and as you open the door handle the car will sense the key and unlock automatically.
Once inside the car you still don’t need to touch the key, one foot on the brake, hit the start button, then the handbrake release button, pop it in gear and you’re off. Being honest you are aware that there is a chattery diesel engine under the bonnet. But the engine does accomplish remarkable MPG because of the clever engineering and start/stop technology.
The DS5 on test had a 2.0-litre diesel that creates 180bhp and 400Nm of torque. This power was very direct and being a diesel the low down torque was instantly available and made the car feel slightly more sporty than expected. 0-60mph could be archived in 9.2 seconds and the DS5 has a top speed of 137mph.
Day 3 – Ultimate Efficiency Test
Taking the car through the busy and congested streets of Birmingham during some heavy road works on the morning run to the office had to be the ultimate efficiency test for the car. You can closely monitor the figures from the driver’s instrument panel.
Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic the DS5’s stop/start technology appears to work fantastically. The moment you stop, the engine cuts out, and you only have to lift you right foot a little off the brake pedal and the diesel engine smoothly fires back into life. The DS5 constantly stopped and started the engine all the way through my morning commute. Often you find that this stop/start technology only works for around 10/15 times consistently then the car has to run for a while to top up the battery, but the DS5 appeared to be relentless about keeping the running costs down.
Day 4 – DS5 Perception
Out for the evening was the prime opportunity to talk the car through with some friends and colleagues. As with all the DS range people are blown away by how outlandish the designs of the cars are, they are far from boring. The most outstanding feature of the car was the sharply designed red leather seats that not only added to the ultra-cool interior design, but for many people made the design. The seats were also electrically adjustable, heated, and the driver’s seat would even massage your lower back. So the seats were as practical as they were good looking.
Comments were also made about infrequently you see a DS5 on the road. At the moment it is still fairly rare at least around Birmingham, and this also helps to add a taste of exclusivity to the brand.
Day 5 – On the inside
Stuck in traffic again on the Friday afternoon drive home meant around 40 minutes of stop/start traffic in the Citroen, a prime opportunity to continue testing the MPG saving technologies, and also take the time to play around with all the digital functionality on both the media system and the driver’s instruments.
The premium Denon Hi-Fi performs very well and is controlled via the central screen on the dashboard. Like all DS Citroens the interfaces and usability of the entertainment centre is very good and includes FM/DAB radio, CD, Bluetooth music streaming, and hands free calling capability. This is more than enough to stop anyone getting bored on the longest of journeys.
The media centre is controlled using the buttons and dials behind the gear stick, which continue the futuristic theme with the carbon effect plastics and 6 large switches either side.
Day 6 – Photoshoot in the Sun
To stand a chance of capturing the most interesting pictures possible of the DS5 we set out early to catch a nice sunrise. Luckily for myself and Ross Jukes, the planned location for the photoshoot was covered in 8 foot of morning mist. Which, as soon as the sun came out, created a very impressive effect that lit the car brilliantly.
Spending so much time looking solely at the car, I realised just how well the exterior package of the car was put together; the overall body dimensions, wheel proportions, and even the huge grill at the front just look right as an overall package. The DS5 is obviously very practical in the family car market, but with the exciting exterior looks you will find that people will buy it without even realising its practicalities.
Day 7 – What have I learned?
After experiencing the car for 7 days I really got to understand a lot about the DS5 and I was impressed with all areas of the range topping model. Some of the highlights for me were both the engine performance and economy, and the interior layout, look, and feel, and I do understand that looks are subjective, but at least in my opinion I am very impressed with just how good this car looks on the road.