DS DS 9 Review & Prices

The DS 9 is a large and stylish premium saloon that aims to offer something a little different to the norm

Buy or lease the DS DS 9 at a price you’ll love
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RRP £56,200 - £74,615 Avg. Carwow saving £3,317 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£53,438
Monthly
£428*
Used
£22,486
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wowscore
6/10
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Elegant looks inside and out
  • Comfy and refined
  • Generous kit tally

What's not so good

  • Not remotely fun to drive
  • Lacks badge appeal
  • May not hold its value well

Find out more about the DS DS 9

Is the DS 9 a good car?

The DS 9 is the French brand’s new flagship large saloon that aims to bring a bit of Parisian style to a sector dominated by sober-suited Germans.

In the recent past French luxury cars were about as popular with buyers as resort package holidays during lockdown. That’s mainly because Audi, Mercedes and BMW have established themselves so firmly as the default choice for premium saloons. But if you’re looking for something different from the norm, the DS 9 is definitely worth a look.

It’s priced and sized to compete with – yep, you guessed it – the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. However, it’s more realistic to think of it as an alternative to other, more left-field posh saloons such as the Lexus ES and Jaguar XF.

One key reason you might buy the DS 9 over those models is the design. Although it’s nowhere near as jaw-droppingly different as the classic DS saloon was in the 1950s, its lashings of chrome, swanky-looking lights and air of Gallic charm means the DS 9 will turn many more heads in your office car park than any of the ten-a-penny Germans.

It’s much the same story inside. The design looks a lot like that of the DS7 Crossback SUV, but that’s actually no bad thing. Quality also seems to have stepped up a notch from previous posh French cars, particularly if you splash out for the optional ‘Opera’ extended leather pack. That brings elegant ruby red leather splashed all over the cabin so pretty much every surface you touch feels really plush. Even the roof mounted grab handles are finished in stitched leather.

Every DS 9 comes generously equipped. There’s just two trim levels: the entry-level Performance Line+ has a sporty look and the top-grade Rivoli has more kit and an elegant air. All versions get a rather over-styled 12.3-inch digital instrument display and 12.0-inch high-definition touchscreen in the centre of the dash, but it’s not the most intuitive or tech-laden system around.

This is not a sports car by any means, so you're best off with the hybrid which suits the DS 9's plush, relaxed road manners

The DS 9 offers pretty generous space. The front seats are, in classic French style, soft and comfortable, while there’s loads of (electric) adjustment and plenty of leg and headroom. In the back, too, the DS 9’s long wheelbase means even the seriously lanky have plenty of legroom, and headroom is decent enough. The middle seat is okay for adults on short journeys and the boot’s a good size, too.

There are three power options available in the DS 9, all of which have a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. There’s a straight petrol engine with 225hp, plus a pair of E-Tense plug-in hybrids with either 250hp or 360hp. The latter has four-wheel-drive that, rather than a mechanical set-up, has an extra electric motor driving the back wheels. It kicks in to deliver extra power when you step on the throttle, or to provide extra grip on a slippery road.

The 250hp PHEV costs a whopping £6000 more than the petrol model, but it’s better suited to the DS 9’s relaxed driving experience. The engine itself can sound quite harsh when pushed, so it’s better to take things easy and waft along in silence, maximising up to 38 miles of electric range.

Whichever engine you go for, though, it’s clear that the DS 9 isn’t trying to be sporty – even the 360hp model. The handling is safe and secure but the steering doesn’t reward fast driving. You’d be much better off with a BMW 5 Series if you want to hoon about the place.

However, the DS 9 excels at cruising, which will likely be more important to you if you’re looking for an executive car anyway. It has adaptive suspension that uses cameras to spot bumps and holes in the road and primes the suspension to smooth them out as much as possible. It works pretty well for the most part, offering a ride that, while not perfect, isolates the worst that Britain’s roads can throw at it. It glides pretty serenely at motorway speeds, too.

It might be difficult to recommend the DS 9 from a purely rational point of view when it’s priced to compete with the German alternatives. And it’s unlikely to hold onto as much of its value after three years, if past experience with French executive cars is anything to go by. However, the DS 9 counters with its generous kit including lots of stuff that you’d have to pay thousands for in other cars.

How much is the DS 9?

The DS DS 9 has a RRP range of £56,200 to £74,615. However, with Carwow you can save on average £3,317. Prices start at £53,438 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £428. The price of a used DS DS 9 on Carwow starts at £22,486.

Our most popular versions of the DS DS 9 are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.6 E-TENSE 250 Rivoli + 4dr EAT8 £53,438 Compare offers

Even at the entry-point, the DS 9 is undercut by most of its major rivals including the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Lexus ES and, by the largest margin, the Jaguar XF. Only the Mercedes E-Class costs more.

However, just looking at the bald numbers doesn’t tell the whole story.

In entry-level Performance Line+ spec, the DS 9 is considerably better equipped than, say, an Audi A6 Sport or BMW 5 Series SE. Specced up with the same kind of gadgets as the DS 9, the alternatives start to get pretty pricey.

Even more so when you look at plug-in hybrid models. The least expensive BMW 530e costs £3,000 more than the DS 9 PHEV, and the Audi A6 TFSie starts at £5,500 more. Those cars do have a lot more power, though.

Performance and drive comfort

The DS 9 majors on comfort and relaxation rather than thrills behind the wheel

In town

It’s a big car, but the DS 9 is easy enough to thread through town, though the thick windscreen pillars can get in the way when looking to the side at junctions. How much that affects you will probably depend on your driving position. It’s pretty good anyway, and there’s loads of adjustment so it’s easy to find a position that works for you.

A standard-fit reversing camera system helps make maneuvering easier, but you still need to keep an eye on the mirrors to make sure you don’t hit anything in the process.

Get one of the plug-in hybrid models and you can potter along on electric power alone for up to 38 miles in almost total silence. There’s lots of safety systems that can help prevent, or at least mitigate the consequences of, an accident but you shouldn’t rely on them. Especially as the system that warns you’re too close to the car in front is a bit hyperactive, sounding a warning bong pretty frequently.

The ride is very good. A camera mounted on the windscreen scans the road to spot speed humps and potholes, priming the suspension to smooth them out. Other cars have a similar system that’s more effective, but it does contribute to what is a lovely, soft ride.

On the motorway

If anything, the DS 9 is even more serene on a motorway than it is in town. You can sink into the deeply comfortable seats and the double-glazed side windows keep out near enough all wind and tyre noise. It’s a really rather relaxing car to travel in. Activate the standard-fit adaptive cruise control and all you have to do is steer.

The 1.6-litre turbocharged engine is strong enough to maintain 70mph easily and efficiently, despite the DS 9’s not inconsiderable weight. If there’s charge left in the batteries, the electric motors in PHEV models can give an extra punch to help pile some speed on when you need to. You can use the battery-powered EV mode at up to 80mph, but charge will run out pretty quickly at motorway speeds.

On a twisty road

Being focused on comfort, the DS 9 doesn’t deliver a scintillating country road driving experience. The steering is responsive and accurate enough in corners and there’s good grip. But the car doesn’t really involve you in the process, even the apparently sporty Performance Line+ models. And, though the engine is pretty punchy, the gearbox can be a bit lethargic about changing gears. The engine can get quite loud and thrashy if you stamp on the throttle, too.

Regardless, you can still make pretty rapid progress if you need to, in part due to that sophisticated suspension which keeps the car nice and flat through corners. But you’ll have more fun in a BMW 5 Series or Jaguar XF.

Space and practicality

The DS 9 is generously spacious inside and the hybrid models don’t lose any boot space

Practicality

There’s a vast amount of space in the front seats of the DS 9, though some of the alternatives do have a bit more headroom. But, unless you’re extremely tall, you’re unlikely to find your head touching the ceiling. It helps that there’s lots of adjustment in the (electric) seats, so it’s easy to get comfy.

Interior storage is at a bit of a premium. The carpet lined door bins feel quite posh but they’re not exactly huge. Likewise the cubby hole under the front centre armrest. There’s a pair of cupholders in front of the armrest and a slot for your phone in front of the gearstick. As is typical of French cars designed for left-hand-drive, the fusebox occupies most of the glovebox area, leaving storage space that’s really only big enough for an actual pair of gloves.

Space in the back seats

As in the front, there’s masses of legroom in the back, so even tall passengers have room to stretch out. However, headroom is a little restricted. That’s because of the sloping roofline and the back seats are mounted on top of the space the hybrid models’ batteries go in (it’s still there in the non-hybrid models). The middle back seat is just about spacious enough for adults, but they won’t want to be there for long. A teenager should be fine, though.

There are ISOFIX mounts on the two outer rear seats that are easy enough to get at, though be aware that the relatively low roofline can make fitting a child seat quite awkward. Usefully, however, the front passenger seat also has ISOFIX mounts.

Boot space

With a capacity of 510 litres, the DS 9’s boot is average size for this type of car. You’ll get a few big suitcases in there, but the opening is relatively small, which could make it tricky to load in anything particularly bulky. The back seats fold down if you need to carry anything really long.

There’s a useful extra space below the boot floor, plus various nets, hooks and tie-downs that can hold things more securely. Significantly, the PHEV models’ batteries don’t reduce boot space, as happens in most alternatives. However, the subwoofer included with the optional Focal stereo does knock about 30 litres off boot capacity.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

A plush interior full of nice design touches, but there is a degree of form over function with some of the controls

The DS 9’s interior looks great. It’s full of interesting shapes and plush materials that create a luxurious ambience. Performance Line+ models have Alcantara trim, while Rivoli models have leather. The optional ‘Opera’ leather is absolutely gorgeous. When you turn the ignition on, a really rather cool BRM clock rotates out of the top of the dashboard. All the buttons and dials on the dashboard and steering wheel have a lovely, tactile quality to them, too. It just doesn’t feel quite as solidly built as the German and Japanese alternatives.

There’s a 12.0-inch digital dial display in front of the driver which shows all the usual data like speed and mileage, plus a whole lot more that’s accessed using the rotary controller on the steering wheel. You can call up information abouts what’s playing on the stereo, full screen 3D sat nav maps and even the night vision system, which can help you pick out hazards when driving in the dark. The display’s design is a bit fussy, but it’s easy enough to find and view the information you want.

On the dashboard there’s another 12.3-inch display, this time the display for the infotainment system. It’s chock full of features including the nav, stereo, Bluetooth, all the vehicle settings and a huge suite of apps. But it’s not the slickest system, though, and can be quite tricky to navigate through. So it may be better to connect your phone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, both of which are included as standard, or use the voice recognition function.

Other standard features include dual-zone climate control, a wireless phone charging pad, memory seats and keyless entry/start.

MPG, emissions and tax

The 225hp petrol model can give fuel economy of 42mpg with CO2 emissions of 152g/km. The 250hp plug-in hybrid can give up to 256mpg, CO2 emissions of 25g/km and battery range of up to 38 miles. And the 360hp plug-in hybrid can give 156mpg, CO2 emissions of 41g/km and a battery range of up to 28 miles.

Those numbers are all pretty much on par with similar cars in this class. Bear in mind that you’re unlikely to match the plug-in hybrids’ quoted fuel economy driving in the real world, but you should see numbers similar to or even better than an equivalent diesel, especially if you maximise battery use by regularly recharging – which takes under two hours using a 7kW wallbox at home.

The PHEV’s low CO2 emissions translates to a low tax band, which could give you big savings if you’re a company car driver.

Safety and security

The DS 9 hasn’t yet been assessed by safety experts Euro NCAP, but it should score highly. Not least because it’s absolutely packed with safety features. We’ve already mentioned some of the high-tech stuff including adaptive cruise control and the night vision system. There’s also a driver attention monitor that will spot if the driver’s getting tired or distracted. Active LED headlights adapt to the weather and the type of road you’re driving on to give the best illumination. And there’s a park assist system that drives the car into your chosen space for you.

Reliability and problems

The DS 9 is too new for there to be significant data about how reliable it is. Closely related brands Citroen and Peugeot have made great strides improving the quality of their cars in recent years, which should translate to the DS 9. There haven’t been any recalls issued for it, which is a good start. You get a three-year/60,000 mile warranty on petrol models, and an eight-year/100,000 mile warranty on plug-in hybrid models.

Buy or lease the DS DS 9 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £56,200 - £74,615 Avg. Carwow saving £3,317 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£53,438
Monthly
£428*
Used
£22,486
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers Compare used deals
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