You can’t help but notice something new every time you sit in to the Citroën DS5 – from the architectural fluidness of the door handle design to the almost hidden cup holders in car’s doors.
Looking like a raised estate from the outside, talking points on the exterior are the chrome sabres stretching from the tip of the LED front lights to the wing mirrors.
Inside, the styling is exquisite and the cabin is a mini version of what I imagine a plane cockpit to be like – with buttons on the roof as well as in the usual spots.
Shark tooth-like window controls are located on the very wide centre console rather than on the doors and that area also houses the door lock button.
A centre storage compartment is home to a mobile phone/MP3 player shelf as well as to a large cooler box.
On the roof, there are glass portholes; back and front, which can be concealed with electric blinds – unfortunately, the windows themselves don’t open.
The mid-range DSTYLE model I was driving boasts really comfortable leather watchstrap seats, and leather covered instrument panel.
Front seats were heated, and the driver’s seat also had a wonderful massage feature.
I like a nice high driving position and the driver’s seat in this car made it feel much higher off the ground than it actually was.
Spec-wise, there was Bluetooth, radio/CD/USB/aux, cruise control with speed limiter, keyless access, dual control air conditioning, and lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat as standard.
Go one level up to the mid-range DSTYLE and you get Citroën Emergency and Assistance System, the glass roof, built in Sat Nav and passenger and driver sunglasses holders in the cockpit roof.
The analogue clock, my favourite design feature, is also included in the DSTYLE spec.
The model I was driving also had a pretty handy reversing camera and a lane departure warning, which alerted you to the problem with a gentle vibration on one side of your bum, depending on which lane you were veering into.
The DS5 is powered by a Stop/Start button rather than by turning a key.
In most cars of this type, once the fob is within the car it doesn’t matter where you put it – creating problems for those of us who are absent-minded and can’t remember what we’ve done with it.
However, the thoughtful designers of the DS5 have created a special home for its fob, a slot to the left of the steering wheel.
Very quick off at the lights, the DS5 had a nice bit of poke in it and got from 0-100kph smoothly and swiftly. Gear changes were also flawless.
City driving also proved effortless for it; however, I thought it was a little bit jerky at precision manoeuvers, such as easing itself into my narrow, at an angle and on a slope driveway.
The DS5 has its genesis in the C-SportLounge concept car and Citroën is happy that it has made very few compromises in the production model, and it shows.
The DS5 is a head turner in every sense of the word. In fact, not only does it attract attention, people also want to talk to you about it. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people strike up a conversation with me about a car.
Citroën reckons that because this car falls into the premium executive category, men are most likely to buy it. I think, however, that given its spectacular look both outside and in, quite a few ladies will also want to take it for a spin too.
Regardless, I believe that because of its quirkiness, the DS5 will attract the younger and more adventurous end of that market.
Overall, I really enjoyed the driving element of the DS5 and the knowledge that every time I sat into it, I would discover something new quite brightened my day.
I think in the DS5, Citroën has produced a stunningly beautiful car that it can be proud of.
Irish prices for the Citroën DS5 start from €32,500, with the top of the range DSTYLE Hybrid4 version starting from €44,850. The mid-range DSTYLE model I was driving cost €36,400, including optional leather upholstery and lane departure warning.
Engine: 2l HDi 160 (diesel)
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds
Top speed: 215km/h
Combined Fuel Consumption: 5.1l/100km
CO2 Emissions: 133g/km
Annual road tax: €225 (Band B)
Visit citroen.ie for further information.