Citroen's new luxury DS brand delivers the DS 5
FIRST things first, it's not a Citroen. This is the new DS 5, Australia's first offering from the French maker's DS Automotive premium sub-brand, and a replacement for the Citroen DS5.
It may sound a tad confusing at first, but just see DS to Citroen as Lexus is to Toyota and you'll soon get the idea.
So the more premium DS badge is there to entice those who prefer the finer French things in life, but, naturellement, it doesn't come cheap.
At $56,990 before on-roads the new DS 5 D Sport is $5000 more than the outgoing DS5, and places the mid-size French hatchback-come-wagon against some fairly appealing established competition. Think BMW 318i for $54,900, Audi A4 1.8 TFSI at $55,500 or Lexus IS300h 2.5 Luxury for $57,000. Sedans all, but there's nothing else quite like the DS 5 at this price, unless you consider an equally hard-to-classify Mercedes CLA200 Shooting Brake coupe-come-wagon.
Anyway, what's on offer? Over the old DS5 you get a new exterior and revised interior with upgraded on-board technology, design and comfort.
Suspension's been overhauled which Citroen - sorry, DS - said gave greater comfort and composure, something integral for these larger DS models to live up to the proud nameplate.
The Frenchies love their diesels and hopefully buyers will too, as a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo oil burner is your only choice. This all new drivetrain with six-speed auto is good for 133kW and 400Nm, wafting the DS 5 to 100kmh in 9.2-seconds and returning a claimed 4.5-litres/100km.
New visual features include a sculpted vertical grille with DS monogram and LED headlamps, while as standard buyers receive a 7-inch touchscreen, reversing camera, digital DAB+ radio, blind spot monitoring and 18-inch alloys.
Also on offer is a 60th anniversary edition (celebrating the original DS of 1955) for $59,990, bringing Watchstrap leather, Denon audio, DS trim, 19-inch rims and premium paint.
Yves Bonnefont, CEO of DS, said the DS 5 "is a clear statement of our ambition: to revive the tradition of French premium vehicles".
The car is the first of a six-model range to be launched globally by 2020, under the new DS Automobile marque.