FRENCH car manufacturer Citroen has just produced another model that is reminiscent of the glory days when the company led the motor industry with innovative and attractive cars that were among the best in the world writes Bryan Longworth.
It is the DS5 diesel electric hybrid car that reminded me of the original Citroen DS which was known for its aerodynamic futuristic body design and innovative technology including hydropneumatic self levelling suspension and swivelling headlamps during a 20 year production run from 1955.
At that time I found the DS to be so different from anything else it took a lot of getting used to just like the DS5 DSport Hybrid4 200 Airdream I have been testing which is one of the most technically advanced and stylish cars in its market sector.
Prices of the DS5 range start at £22,400 and the test car which had a 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine driving the front wheels and a 37bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels was top of the range at £32,200.
Citroen explain that the DS5 sits in a market position between D segment models such as the VW Passat and Vauxhall Insignia and premium executive models such as the Audi A4 so it is clear where they are aiming this particular car and the sort of customer they are hoping to attract to it.
This model is crammed with standard equipment including luxury leather clad seats and the glass roof which can be covered with electric sunblinds along with the numerous controls, switches and dials creates the impression that is similar to an aircraft cockpit.
There is an impressive circular control that offers four different driving modes - Auto which optimises fuel consumption by automatically switching between diesel and electric drive, ZEV for all electric drive up to 37mph, Sport for extra power and 4WD for four wheel drive when the going gets tough such as driving in snow and ice.
Top speed is 131mph, zero to 62mph takes 8.3 seconds, combined fuel consumption is given as 68.9mpg but the on board computer showed the actual consumption was in the mid 55s which is still very good and CO2 emissions were 107g/km.
Inside this DS5 there is a real luxurious ambience and I liked the controls and instruments - there are three speed indicators, the conventional speedometer, a digital speedo and on this model there is also a head-up speed display in front of the steering wheel.
The DS5 hybrid has the overall feel of a premium car and is for the motorist in this sector who wants something that is different, attracts plenty of attention because of its sleek styling, offers an impressive fuel consumption and is reminiscent of the innovative and original DS.
Model: Citroen DS5 DSport Hybrid4 200 Airdream.
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel plus rear electric motor.
Outputs: 163bhp and 37bhp respectively.
Transmission: Six speed automatic.
Top speed: 131mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 8.3 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 68.9mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 107g/km.