DS 5 review - French premium offering doesn't quite hit the mark - DS 5 ride and handling

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

One should not step into a large, luxury-orientated car from the Citroen lineage expecting it to handle with the flair of something German and propeller-badged, nor to feel as light on its feet as a hot hatchback. Judging it by such standards is neither fair nor relevant.

Its ride quality however should be held to the standards expected of large and typically comfortable French cars, and while the DS 5 is a great deal better than its Citroen-badged DS5 predecessor, it’s a long way from delivering the sort of unruffled experience you’d want from such a car.

In general, the DS 5 is relatively comfortable. a characteristic enhanced by the squashy seats. It does still thump through potholes though, sending a judder through the structure, and on the motorway it jiggles over imperfections where you’d expect it to sail.

Grip is fairly good – our most recent drive in the DS 5 was on 18in wheels and 235/45 Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres. The steering dissuades your attempts to explore the car’s limits however, with a springy resistance to inputs, and next to no feedback. There’s a lack of accuracy around the straight-ahead too, which requires you to make corrections when driving in a straight line where others track arrow-straight.

You’re always fighting the car’s weight too – 1725kg with the diesel engine and automatic transmission. This is not a nimble car, despite a respectably quick steering rack, and any attempt at raising your pace on an entertaining road feels largely futile.

In effect, the DS 5’s behaviour coerces you into driving as you might an older Citroen, but unfortunately lacks the unflustered ride that defined those cars’ dynamics.

Most Popular

Renault 5 set to relaunch as an EV – Alpine eyeing hot hatch variant
Electric Renault 5 concept
Renault 5

Renault 5 set to relaunch as an EV – Alpine eyeing hot hatch variant

A new Renault 5 has been confirmed as part of the company’s future strategy presented by CEO Luca de Meo, with an Alpine hot hatch variant also on its…
14 Jan 2021
BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback – battle of the alt-supersaloon
Audi RS7 vs M8 Comp GC - cornering
BMW

BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback – battle of the alt-supersaloon

BMW's grandest of M8 Competition Gran Coupes takes on our impressive fast-fleet Audi RS7
16 Jan 2021
Ford Puma ST 2021 review – an icon rebooted
Ford Puma ST 2021 review – front tracking
Ford Puma

Ford Puma ST 2021 review – an icon rebooted

A slightly more grown up and practical take on the excellent Fiesta ST that we can’t help but wish was less crossover and more coupe
14 Jan 2021