The last Citroen tested was the hot hatch DS 2 which saw very little response from buyers, due mostly to the competitive pricing from its Germany rivals.
The latest DS 5 however, is in some ways a less technologically complex vehicle but very complex in design… inside and outside.
The DS name
Let’s start with its name. Yes, this is a product from Citroen but it does not carry the Citroen name in front and its infamous logo anywhere.
It is a DS and this is a sub-brand from Citroen and has its own model range, logo and reservations.
Yes, you will find its relative’s (Peugeot) engineering underneath but the rest is very unique.
The DS 5 design
From the outside, it is wide with a coupe roofline that gives it the look of a sports SUV crossover.
This DS 5 is a big car and the twin rear exhaust pipes, prominent cooling vents, light clusters, and intimidating front grille give it a powerful image.
On the inside there is real design flair and the craftsmanship is well up to its executive car status.
The DS 5 Cabin
The front passengers sit in aircraft-style twin cockpits with overhead controls and switches, and twin skylight-type glass panels on the roof.
The avant-garde futuristic controls blend very nicely with old-school design touches like the rectangular analogue clock at the top centre of the sweeping dash.
Material quality is very good and the final fit and finish executed with real effort to challenge the Germans.
Rear comfort is good with plenty of width for three people and very decent legroom.
The lower rear section roofline, giving the coupe styling, might limit headroom for tall passengers but there’s no real issue with that.
There is a sunroof for rear seat passengers, who also enjoy their own controls and a/c vents.
The DS 5 equipment
This DS 5 is very well-equipped with individual climate control that extends cooling to a low 16 degrees (great for our humid and hot weather), electronic stability control, central locking, power steering, power door mirrors and front windows, cruise control, electronic parking brake with hill start, split-folding rear seats, full audio connectivity with Apple Car Play with MirrorLink capability, navigation system, heads up display in colour, full function alarm, immobiliser, 18-inch alloy wheels and six airbags as standard.
The DS 5 drive
With its turbocharged 1.6L engine it pulls effortlessly from low speeds and will overtake slower traffic without having to change down a gear or two. Just a prod on the accelerator is all that’s needed.
With hard acceleration the engine “growls” like it’s got more capacity inside its belly, and its 240Nm of torque answers your needs when overtaking slow moving traffic.
However, please note that this is a large hatch and not some nimble little DS 2.
Its width means you better cruise along and enjoy the comfort against treating it harshly.
Passersby will admire its lines and some might even comment on its scarcity as not many Malaysians have jumped at its reasonable selling price from RM168k.
This is why after this review is read, you need to get behind the wheel yourself to decide.
The ride is admirably flat during high-speed cornering with plenty of confidence-inducing grip so the drive is just as sporty as the looks promise.
This DS 5 is a distinctive alternative to the current crop of rather conventional family/executive sedans and comes well-equipped with a fuel-efficient and strong engine and sporty coupe looks.
It will tempt you at first glance and the temptation will continue as you end your test drive.
The DS 5 does offer non-conformist motorists an opportunity to walk away from mundane cars and add some zest to their mundane routines.
The question is, will you dare to be different?
Now that you know this, it’s time to test drive the DS 5 at your nearest DS dealer.
DS 5 1.6L Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder 16v Turbo
Power: 165bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque: 240Nm @ 1400rpm
Transmission: 6-speed auto with manual select
0-100km/h: 8.9 seconds
Top speed: 211km/h
Price: From RM168,888.