Monday, 21 May 2012


Citroën South Africa could be forgiven for having the image of a dainty, pretty and lovely office. Anyone who sells cars like the brand new DS5 must come from a place made of flower petals and flavoured in strawberry cream! Actually, Citroën SA HQ is just off the smoggy N3 freeway, about 3km from a landfill site, facing parts of Alexandra township…

You have to break an egg to make an omelette they say. Citroën broke a leg again. DS5 follows the DS3 and DS4 models, which were first of the new premium DS Line. It’s the biggest of the lot yet, measuring 4.5 metres long, 1.85m wide and 1.5m high. While it’s longer than the C4 and even the previous-generation C4 Grand Picasso MPV, it’s not entirely the most spacious car in the market; actually it’s 25cm shorter than the C5 sedan.

DS5 first appeared on the scene as the Jean-Pierre Ploué-designed C-Sport Lounge Concept car at the 2005 Frankfurt International Motor Show. We were undoubtedly bowled over by its styling, and are mighty glad Citroen kept most of its outstanding design elements. Like the hockey-stick shaped chrome strip that extends from bonnet to B-pillar, the sweeping shoulder line and uniform chrome Citroen emblem. Come to think of it, there’s plenty of chrome on the car, including on the sides as well as the two tailpipes.

“Citroëns are known to be innovative, stylish cars and the reintroduction of the DS nomenclature symbolises the Brand’s ability to continuously push back the limits of the automotive experience” said Citroën South Africa MD Didier Gerard. “DS Line cars feature an inspired and unique styling, with strong bold and creative convictions. Recently we have used the DS magic in the small and medium categories. Now we move up to the large premium segment with the DS5.”

I must say monsieur Gerard, this is one potential golden goose you and your marketing and sales team will be well-advised not to curry. There’s good recent history to suggest as much though; new sales figures show that DS3 and DS4 have been outselling their C3 and C4 siblings over the past four months.

Engines and variants supplied are reflective of a number of new Citroens, including DS4 and C5. The hardworking THP motor that displaces 1.6-litres and lives alongside a turbo, makes its welcome appearance here too. For the THP 155 model it delivers 114kW and 240Nm of torque, while in the THP 200 it makes a useful 147kW and 275Nm of torque. I was surprised to discover DS5 also comes with a 6-speed manual, but it does. The other transmission choice is of course, a 6-speed automatic. We also get an HDi 160 variant that pulls out 118kW and 340Nm. Lovely thing on the road too, just like the THP 200 we drove.

And in similar vein as other DS models, the DS5 handles itself quite well when it comes to bending roads, without dipping too much into safety systems like Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Anti-Skid Braking (ABS) , and the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP).

Just as attractive, probably even more so actually, is the inside, which features those really classy “Club” leather seats in an expensive watchstrap design, a Denon sound system, hill-start assist for those steep hills, USB ports, satellite navigation, an optional reversing camera and a speed-limiter cruise control system among others.

Citroën launched the new DS5 along some of the most scenic roads in the country, around the beautiful, pristine and very friendly Eastern Cape Province. A proper match if ever there was one. Again, the ball is now in your court Citroën South Africa. You have the right product at the right time. You’ve wowed us, now go for the public.

Citroën Pricing
THP 155 Automatic Style (R344 900)
THP 200 Manual Style (R374 900)
THP 200 Manual Sport (R395 900)
HDi 160 Sport (R399 900)


Anonymous said...

great work for Citroen. I can put this one on my shoppping list for August

Anonymous said...

I want it