The Citroën DS5 may not have the same presence as the original DS (then again, what does?), but in some ways it’s the closest thing the giant French manufacturer has produced to the revolutionary hydropneumatically-suspended saloon since it made such a dramatic impact in 1955. Sixty years on, the current range-topping DS5 was the logical choice of car to take us to Paris for the recent Retromobile show.
When it was delivered to us at the Goodwood circuit, we were surprised to find ourselves walking around it and taking in its styling as appreciatively as we did. There’s plenty of aggression blended with a soupcon of avant garde and some very neat touches; like the silver strip which runs from the front of the headlights back to the rearmost part of the split A-pillar.
With only two of us (and some camera equipment) on board it was never going to be tight for space on the inside, where the design surprises kept on coming. What with a number of buttons on the centre console and another panel of them on the overhead console, it’s what you might describe as a bit ‘busy’ in the cockpit, but the strong sense of high design conveyed by the exterior is very much in evidence still.
We set off for Paris happy that the DS5 looked the part inside and out, and soon learned that despite a little intrusive noise from the 2.0 turbodiesel at very low speeds that it is a very quiet place to be once the speedometer needle strays into the second half of its scale. Even more impressive was that at motorway speeds (and without making any particular effort) we were managing around 50mpg, which meant we did the Goodwood-Paris-Goodwood run without needing to bother any French filling station attendants.
Once in Paris, and witnessing the sheer magnificence of the architecture, the DS5’s emphasis on strong design seems like part of a French evolutionary process; Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Louvre Pyramid… and so on. It’s good that so long after the original DS, Citroën has again come up with a car which not only goes about the business of being a practical and comfortable vehicle, but which also treats its occupants (and onlookers) to bold and attractive styling.
If there’s one gripe, it’s that the DS5 doesn’t feature hydropneumatic suspension… oh and the little lever that let you raise and lower the ride height! Other than that, the DS5 is the closest thing Citroën could reasonably build to the 60 year old original.