Quirky Citroën DS5 hits SA shoresComment on this story
It might not be light years ahead of its time like the original Citroën DS 19 that stunned the world back in 1955, but the new DS5 has a quirkiness about it that should at least cause brand fans to bat an eyelid or two.
This flagship of the modern DS line-up has just arrived in South Africa, with buyers enjoying a choice between petrol and diesel power.
PSA's familiar 1.6-litre turbopetrol is offered either with a six-speed automatic gearbox and 115kW and 240Nm or with six-speed manual, in which case it puts out 147kW/275Nm. There's a 2-litre HDI turbodiesel option too, this one pushing 120kW and 340Nm and it's also mated to the aforementioned autobox.
At this stage there's no word on when, or if, the all-wheel drive hybrid version is coming to South Africa.
So nothing radical in the way of firepower, but then the original DS was hardly a rocket ship. Instead it was all about silky-smooth, wafty cruising compliments of its hydraulic suspension and this is where the DS5 might have set a foot wrong.
Instead of basing it on the C5 platform and using its magic-carpet-like Hydractive suspension, the DS5 uses DS4/C4 underpinnings, which means a traditional steel suspension is the order of the day.
However this might not be such a big deal to potential customers as the DS5 provides style and luxury by the bucket load.
Alright, style is a subjective thing - but this DS flagship's quirky and distinctive exterior design is sure to turn heads on every corner. It also looks staunch on the road, thanks to 18-inch 'diamond-effect' alloy wheels.
Move inside and there's premium written all over it, with watchstrap-pattern seats clad in the finest Bavarian leather, LED-based 'gradual' interior lighting and a generous helping of soft-touch and aluminium surfaces.
The DS5 has a unique sunroof in which the roof is divided into three wells of light, each of which can be covered individually as the occupants desire.
Depending on the engine, there are two trim levels to choose from with 'Style' offering a lower price tag and 'Sport' sweetening the deal with a some extra features. The latter comes standard with a full colour heads-up display and a reverse parking camera.
Some advanced gadgets feature on the options list, including second-generation lane departure warning and a gizmo that automatically activates the high beam assist function depending on surrounding traffic.
Practical too, the DS5 offers full seating for five and 468 litres of boot space.
THP 155 Automatic Style - R344 900
THP 200 Manual Style - R374 900
THP 200 Manual Sport - R395 900
HDi 160 Sport - R399 900
Prices include a three-year/100 000km warranty and five-year/100 000km service plan.