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Citroen DS5

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7.1 10 wowscore
Citroen ds5 grey front
  • Bold styling
  • Excellent interior
  • Decent build quality
  • Expensive
  • Ride quality complaints
  • Poor read head room
Citroen pretty much made its name in producing outlandish and technologically sophisticated cars, so it’s no surprise that the French firm’s latest flagship, the Citroen DS5, abides to those criteria.

It’s rated fairly highly by the critics, who seem to enjoy the outlandish styling, the exquisite interior and the refined engines. However, reports do suggest that the quality of the overall package does seem to vary in the DS5 range.


Even on the entry level models, the DS5’s cabin is a wonderful accomplishment for the class standard, with some testers commenting on how it’s enough to worry the Germans for overall quality. As befitting of an idiosyncratic Citroen, there are loads of quirky features such as an oblong clock mounted in the dash and loads of aircraft cockpit references in the layout and design of the controls.

Space is good up front, but the sloping roofline means that headroom is compromised in the rear. The boot, though fairly large, also isn’t that accommodating for the class standard, especially on the Hybrid4 model.


Most of the testers reckoned that the DS5 is a decent car to drive. There’s good grip, the controls are light and easy to use, and the body control is well contained thanks to a stiffer suspension setup. However, the trade-off for a lack of roll in the corners is a fidgety and at times uncomfortable ride, especially on rougher surfaces and when fitted with the 19 inch wheels.

That being said, the ride does settle down on smoother surfaces and hardly any noise enters the cabin, so the DS5 is a capable motorway cruiser.


There are three engines available – a 1.6 petrol, a 1.6 diesel and a 2.0 diesel, the latter of which is also available in a hybrid form. All the engines have good punch across the rev range, and they all settle down to a reverential thrum at speed. Economy is also impressive for a car of this size, especially for the Hybrid4 model that can achieve up to 74 mpg.

However, even though there isn’t a bad engine in the range, the diesel-electric hybrid is the most expensive model in the line-up, and some thought that the zingy petrol was at odds with the DS5’s cruising qualities. Overall, the consensus seems to be that the best overall engines are the mid-range diesels.

Value for money

Citroen has built up an image of making good value cars, and in some respects that trend continues in the DS5. It’s not terribly expensive to run – even the petrol model can achieve over 40 mpg – and there’s no denying that it’s one of the best built and luxurious cars in its class. However, it is quite an expensive car to buy, and there are competitors that are not only more spacious and practical than the DS5, but cheaper to run as well.

Worth noting

The platform that underpins the Citroen DS5 is the same as the one used on the almost identical Peugeot 3008. Both come with a similar range of engines, though most of the Peugeot's engines are less powerful but more efficient that the Citroen’, and it gets the same revolutionary hybrid system.

The DS5 is undoubtedly the more stylish vehicle and has better cabin quality, but the Peugeot is cheaper to buy, in most cases cheaper to run, has a bigger boot and gets better reviews


Few cars can match the DS5 for extravagant, OTT style, and to some that may be enough to place the Citroen at the top of the shortlist. However, it does have its problems – the swoopy design does compromise rear practicality and visibility, the magic carpet ride quality of previous big Citroens is not present in the DS5, and it’s not the cheapest car in its class.

It is, though, one of the most characterful and flamboyant cars on sale, and there’s no denying that it’s beautifully made inside and out. The German executives that dominate the market are still the class leaders, but the handful of buyers that’ll opt for the DS5 will be in possession of a wonderfully unique car.

Read Citroen DS5 reviews >>

Key Details

Price range:
£23,260 - £33,660
42 - 85
Safety rating (NCAP):
5 out of 5 stars
Date released:
Replacement due:
Not for at least a few years
Model history:
There haven't been any significant updates so far
Engine to avoid:
Probably the hybrid - critics aren't fond of the slightly clunky interaction between diesel engine and electric motor
Other variants:
There's also the smaller DS4
Engine naming:
HDi engines are diesel, VTi and THP engines are petrol
We love the DS5 here at carwow - read our full review of the Hybrid here
Read Citroen DS5 reviews >>
Type Reviews Score
1.6 THP 200 4 6.5
2.0 HDi 1 8.0
General 2 7.0
Hybrid4 4 7.5
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Citroen DS5 User Reviews

20LD (2012)
8 10 wowscore

I acquired my DS5 2.0L Dstyle early November. I lease my cars and my previous car was a C5Tourer. This is such a different ride yet so much more fun. Despite what some reviewers are saying you can open the boot via an external concealed button just above the number plate as well as using key fob or dashboard button. Secondly as a keen DIYer I fitted in the car a full length extra wide bath, a 2meter glass shower door, 800x800mm shower tray, plumbing tools and fitting all at the same time no problem. With the roof line so low anyone over 5ft 10” would need to lower their seat but this would limit the foot space for rear passengers. Seats are so comfortable they offset a lot of the harshness of the suspension. Citroen were bonkers to go for such a harsh set up. By deflating tyres by 0.5bar in the front and 0.3bar in the rear it improved the ride significantly. Still firm but no longer harsh, much better feel on the steering no more slipping around greasy roundabouts, completely stable in the pooring rain and surprisingly improved fuel consumption. Yes I know Citroen would not approve. No matter what the tyre pressures the Contisport3 18” tyres were overly noisy in the back on the coarser roads yet quieter on the smoother roads than any car I have ever driven. This car is a success in quality and style get British post codes on the sat nav, softer tyres or reduced torsioning and it will be a winner.

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