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DS5 review New Zealand

Have you ever been on the inside of a helicopter and sat up front? The reason I ask is that memories of my last flight came flooding back the moment I sat in the driver’s seat of the new DS5. It’s more about the glass or the visibility than the three way harness and the lift off of course but the similarities are there none the less.

The windscreen is where it should be, spreading out across the main line of sight but then there are two quarter light panes that allow you extra side visibility. Up over your head the DS has split the Cielo glass roof into three independent sections, where you, your co-pilot or your rear passengers can choose to open or close their own blinds. Segregating the roof space between you and your co-pilot is a substantial panel that is full of buttons and a couple of secret compartments (ok it’s a couple of sunglasses pockets – but they are a little hard to find) Like some form of pre flight clearance check you can reach up to the one button above and engage head up display – a clear panel emerges from above the instrument dials – I half expected it to have missile lock graphics!

The seats have a bit of a Top Gun feel to them too, their watch strap design (I envisioned it in silver and to belong to a maverick pilot) breaks up what could otherwise be a plain bland leather chair – the effect really works. Aside from the ‘normal’ seat adjustments including toasty heat, the DS5 has a massage function too – perfect for those long flights to and from work.

The cabin does have a bit of individualism about it, with the DS5’s design of the trim you feel cocooned in each area (you even get your own temperature control) but it also has a natural joining ‘flow’ too. It has a great use of bling inside, enough to give a sense of creative prestige but certainly not overdone.

Continuing on the arty theme is the clock above the start stop button, for some reason its elongated design reminds me of Dali’s ‘the Persistence of memory’ – you’ll know it when you see it.


The infotainment connects well and the touch screen is easy to navigate around. Denon supply the great sound and there is a hefty sub speaker in the boot to boot.

The exterior design demands a double take – initially I didn’t like the rounding of the A Pillar but it grew on me and adds to the roofline. The brightwork accentuates the bonnet line and underscores the sills, again it’s artistically just right. The 5 spoke Alloys have an in motion design, they give the car an on the move look even when stationary and the twin exhausts round back look like they mean business. Strong DS branding front and rear leave you in no doubt what car Marque you are looking at.

Under the bonnet sits a 2L Blue HDi Diesel engine that goes about its business with aplomb. 133kW of power and 400Nm around 2,000rpm it feels peppy enough for the city and smooth on the open road as it travels up and down its EAT6 speed auto box.

Again, my thoughts about the way the DS5 performs or dives changed as I got to know it. Initially I felt it rode a little too high and too soft in the corners but before too long I felt that this was part of the DS5’s experience. The ride is smooth and comfortable and yet surprisingly grippy in the corners.

It’s a car that would be a welcome relief for anyone undertaking a long drive and be a pleasure to commute in. It’s not neck breaking in the off the mark department but it’s not that type of car. It’s a stylish daily driver that will undoubtedly have your neighbours give it a second glance. I have to admit to being a little preoccupied with the roofline switches though, I guess it’s because they are a bit different but they almost tempted me to buy a pilots cap.


So summing it all up – the DS5’s creative design looks eye catching as it sits on your driveway and its aeronautical feel is ideal for when you want to ‘take off’ for the weekend.

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