If you've seen the new Citroën DS5 out and about you will know what drop-dead gorgeous looks like. It's just so “O la la, magnifique! And unmistakeably French in flair and design. Buy a car like this and get ready for lots of attention and 'stops and stares'. The Citroën DS5 simply demands to be admired from all angles as its outward appearance is not easy categorised and kind of new to our South African eyes. It looks a little like a hatchback with a coupé-like feel and sort of a sportback in design.
The four-door Citroën DS5's eye-catching body has not changed much from its initial concept drawings, which were presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2005. This, in itself is a design first as usually there are a raft of compromises along the design path, from conceptualisation to production, which usually leaves forward-thinking car lovers feeling a little let-down. The Citroën DS5 has a nose with an oversized air intake, a wide chrome-plated grille bearing the Citroën chevron and lots a bling chrome beading running from the tip of its headlamps to its front windows. The finned, diamond-effect 18 inch alloys are exceptional and give the car real style while a very shallow letter-box rear screen, bright LED lights (at the front and rear) and twin exhaust outlets integrated into the bumper completes it athletic and muscular form.
Inside its all black leather and chrome and cabin ambience is tastefully enhanced with gradually brightening LED lighting. There's a mix of red and white lighting on all dials, switches and gauges to differentiate between audio, navigation zones and door releases (red) and white for the console and air-conditioning controls. There is an optional seat leather with a striking 'watch strap' patterned design that really needs to be seen to be believed and a wrap around dashboard and bold centrepiece console that houses the gear lever. Naturally there are plug-ins and connectivity features aplenty such as USB sockets for mobile devices and Bluetooth streaming via the car's audio system. A beautifully designed analogue clock stands out amoungst all the gadgetry and fits in perfectly with the inside apparel. The DS5 has many technologically advanced driver-assist specifications and include, amoungst others: intelligent traction control, lane departure warning, headlight activation and deactivation, a head up display on the windscreen, reversing camera, static cornering lighting and this list goes on.
The DS5 is available in three engines, two petrol and one diesel, with both manual and automatic options. The 1.6 litre THP petrol engines have an output of 115 kW at 6000 rpm (for the Style option) and 147 kW at 6000 rpm (for the Sport model). The diesel engine is maxed at 120 kW at 3750 rpm and massive torque of 340 Nm at 2000 rpm. The DS5 is the first Citroen to feature Hybrid4 full-hybrid diesel technology, blending performance (150 kW, four drive wheels) and new driving sensations (electric power for city driving and an acceleration boost) with CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.
When it comes to safety the Citroën DS5 has a powerful braking system which comprises Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Anti-Skid Braking (ABS) and an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). There are also numerous airbags offering further passenger protection.
Of all cars for sale in South Africa, the Citroën DS5 is a startling newcomer and very different from the norm. It has plenty of features, is a solid build and sends a little 'French message' of what's to come from Citroën in the future. All models come with a three-year/100 000 km warranty and a five-year/100 000 km service plan. Pricing starts at around R344 900. (Prices are subject to change according to various factors so please consult your dealer for the latest price.)