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.
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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.