Citroen DS5 revised, heads up dedicated new DS brand

New and improved flagship sits atop a newly-independent DS luxury brand

This is not, as the title suggests, a Citroen DS5. Not any longer at least.

Instead, Citroen would prefer you refer to the car as a DS 5. Note the space, denoting the fact that DS now sits alone as an independent brand, just as Lexus is to Toyota or MINI is to BMW.

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In terms of styling, the DS 5 is very much like the Citroen that came before it, albeit graced with new front-end styling that drops the familiar double-chevron logo in favour of the stylish DS moniker. Expect to see this face on other DS models soon, as DS is keen to create its own styling identity.

There’s a new light signature too, with LED and Xenon combination headlamps and concept car-style scrolling indicators. Like the DS 3 and DS 4 evo tested recently, their jewel-like forms are much higher quality than anything we’ve seen from Citroen before.

The DS 5’s interior, always a high point, has been improved further with the model’s revisions. Three types of leather are available for the seats, while the distinctive ‘watch strap’ upholstery finish is once again available. DS is keen to point out that metal-finish elements in the cabin are real aluminium, too – rather than aluminium-coloured plastic.

Technology is still at the heart of the DS 5, and a range of revised engines is central to the DS range-topper. This starts with a 118bhp BlueHDi diesel and reaches its zenith with the 197bhp Hybrid 4x4.

The latter sends diesel power to the front wheels and electric power to those at the rear, though Citroen (sorry, DS) persists with a jerky automated manual transmission that takes the shine off the smooth hybrid experience. A better bet is likely to be the BlueHDi 180 with a traditional six-speed automatic gearbox – or, for evo readers, the punchy 163bhp THP petrol.

At the same time, DS claims improved levels of comfort from the DS 5 – a bone of contention in the previous model. This has been achieved through a longer compression stroke in the dampers and Pre-loaded Linear Valve technology to limit sudden changes in damping force.

The changes are unlikely to make the DS 5 any more of a driver’s car than it was in its previous Citroen-badged incarnation, but could make it a more appealing all-rounder.

The new DS 5 makes its debut at the 2015 Geneva motor show next month, and will hit UK showrooms in July.

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