DS 5 review - French premium offering doesn't quite hit the mark - DS 5 performance and 0-60 time

Style and character in spades, but DS still has work to do if it's to dethrone the traditional premium brands

Evo rating
Price
from £26,350
  • Unique design inside and out, comfort, refinement
  • Far from being a driver’s car, ride could be improved further

Thanks to hefty, performance-blunting kerb weights (of between 1612kg and 1856kg), no DS 5 is particularly quick, but most should deliver enough performance for the sort of buyers at which the car is aimed.

Quickest of all is the higher-power of the two petrol models, which uses a drivetrain much like that of the DS 3 Performance or a Peugeot 208 GTi, enabling an 8.1-second 0-62mph sprint. Top speed is 146mph.

Similarly brisk is the Hybrid 4x4 model. This makes use of electric assistance to boost traction and power, enabling a 0-62mph time of 8.6sec and a 131mph top speed, despite its high quoted fuel efficiency figures. The manner in which it gets there is arguably less serene than that of the petrol car however, thanks to the staccato nature of its standard automated manual transmission.

Smoother are the traditional automatics, and of these it’s the BlueHDi 180 that propels you down the road with greatest urge, hitting 62mph in 9.2sec from rest and eventually topping out at 137mph. Gearchanges are still noticeable though, and not for the best reasons.

The ‘box isn’t quite as intelligent as you’d hope, allowing the engine to bog down slightly before shifting down on occasion, and sometimes hanging onto a lower gear for longer than you’d want for minimising noise and fuel consumption. You can get around this by using the manual mode, but it’s not a transmission (nor an engine) you’d choose to really have fun with. The manuals are smooth enough, but far from being joyfully tactile.

At the bottom of the range you’ll find a brace of 1.6-litre diesels, each of which just squeaks under 12 seconds to 62mph and tops out just shy of 120mph. Economy, rather than performance, is their goal.

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