The second downside to get out the way from the off is that the petrol engine – a 1.6-litre four-cylinder – is a little bit wheezy when left out on its own. If you’ve exhausted your supply of volts from the batteries under the floor and ask for everything its got, the big DS will gasp a little bit, flick down some gears and just about make an overtake. Even in Sport mode.
Maybe it’s harsh to talk about a car when it’s operating outside of its main parameters, but there will be many journeys that overcome the DS’s alleged 25 mile electric range.
That 1.6-litre engine is the same whether you buy the pure ICE car or the plug-in hybrid. And, both have the same power output – 225PS (165kW) – as the petrol is downtuned for the hybrid, Perhaps explaining the wheeze. However there is 320Nm (236lb ft) when both motor and engine are in tune. Give it some volts and the DS is still not rapid, but isn’t as ponderous as before when picking up, the little boost of electric motion makes a fair old difference.
But we should come on to what the DS 9 does well: And that is to be comfortable. The damping and suspension are excellent, matching some cars worth a significant amount more, and you’ll feel you can eat up the long journey miles with absolutely no sweat broken. It takes the most maleficent of potholes to really unsteady the DS 9 from its path, and even then it’ll clear things up swiftly.
Thankfully it’s not thrown into a mess if you show it a corner too. The DS is front-wheel-drive, but it does feel secure even if you’re trying to make rapid progress down a twistier bit of road.