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An amazing highway effort: 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres!
Location: Hume Highway, in northern Victoria.

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The Citroen DS5 at Woodlands Historic Park near Melbourne Airport.

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The Citroen DS5 in Melbourne before the road trip to Newcastle.

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The Citroen DS5 in Newcastle at Fort Scratchley's Master Gunner's Cottage #1.

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The Citroen DS5 in Newcastle East at Fort Scratchley.

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The DS5 in Stockton NSW looking towards Nobbys.

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The DS5 alongside the Hunter River in Stockton NSW.

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The DS5 in Brooklyn (NSW), near the Hawkesbury River Bridge.

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The DS5 alongside some of Port Phillip Bay's famous beach huts.

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The final few minutes of the DS5's road trip are arriving
as the car heads back to its Melbourne base.

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The Editor concluding the road trip after 3 weeks and 3,239 rewarding kilometres.

Citroen DS5 extended road test

by Stephen Walker

10th March, 2014

Home > Road Tests > Citroen


How low can Citroen go?

With fuel consumption that is!

Whilst the proof is in the accompanying image, I shall raise the excellent fuel economy later.


Let me begin with a bit of banter.

Perception indicates that the Citroen brand has had somewhat of a low profile in Australia during recent years. However, the French marque, now under the guidance of a new importer, has expanded its dealer network over the past twelve months. These days there are 27 Citroen dealers across six states and one territory. This will, no doubt, improve Citroen's exposure and I believe the increased presence will be rewarded.

Also favourable for the Double Chevron is an expanding model range. We take one of the least known models on a road trip that would see us cover over 3,000 kilometres in one of the brand's newer hatchbacks.

This road trip in the Citroen DS5 even managed to surprise me! In the process of undertaking this road trip I beat the extra urban fuel consumption rating without the application of any particular driving techniques.

Our fuel consumption figures will impress those who seek admirably low consumption.

Test Car particulars

A diesel version of Citroen's mid-size hatchback, the DS5, was our drive car for a 3 week period.

Prices*

Citroen DS 5 is priced from $48,990* for the petrol variant.

The diesel version, like our drive car, is priced from $51,990*.

Metallic Paint is optional at $800* and Premium Pearlescent Paint is a $1,000* option.

Driving the DS5 diesel

The DS5 impresses immediately because of its smoothness and the lack of noise in the cabin as you motor along.

Citroen has done an excellent job with the driving dynamics. The handling, steering, braking and NVH are all excellent and, as such, justify the DS5 pricing and its positioning in the marketplace.

You appreciate the silence the more you experience the pleasantness of this particular model. The smoothness was a real treat. Performance is very good with assertive acceleration provided by a bit of turbocharging to the diesel.

All controls were within easy reach.

The Road Trip

Melbourne to Newcastle and back again

Two of my drive sectors were approximately 12 hours in duration, including plenty of stops to ensure fatigue was never a problem. Instead of two hourly breaks, because I was undertaking both long trips solo, I stopped more frequently. During the early stages of each journey I stopped approximately each 40 minutes so that my alertness was consistently high for the entire trip. I recommend hourly stops for a drink and nature calls plus a meal if appropriate for at least the first three hours as a minimum. That way dehydration doesn't become an issue. When travelling, I never contemplate using a drive-through facility for a cuppa. It is always better to stop, get out of the car and have a walk about the place. Sometimes you may even have a welcome opportunity to say g'day to a fellow traveller.

As an example, from my getaway point in the bayside south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne I headed north and had my first break about 40 minutes into the trip then another at Wallan which was a further 40 minutes on. So in the first hour I had had two breaks which set the old body up for a good trip. A further two stops would occur for drink, fuel and a nature call before arriving in Albury for an enjoyable sit-down lunch and a bit of a walk around. Again, this was ensuring the body and mind would be capable of a long distance drive. Then as the trip progressed the stops were stretched out a little further apart on each occasion - this was possible because of the good preparation and the wisdom demonstrated during the early stages of the trip.

So how did I fare after very long drives? Let me assure you that each long drive was well within my proven capacity and I felt quite good at the completion of each journey. The Citroen DS5 was better suited to this drive than many cars that I have taken on this very same journey. The DS5 was quite comfortable and surprisingly economical but it did have one shortfall. Whilst the 'space-age' interior styling was very nicely presented the designers forgot to position a cup holder in a convenient location. Now it hurts me to join the cup holder fanatics group but on a long drive or a regular long distance commute a cup holder has become a must-have component of the centre console. Front seat occupants have a minimal-type of cup holder at the forward end of the door pocket. It isn't a good location for convenience.

In preparing for the long drive I went into 'training' just as an athlete would do prior to an event. For example, I drove several 400 kilometre drives and one 10 hour trip covering 500 kilometres to ensure my stamina was capable of yet another 12 hour drive. I make this point because you just wouldn't take on a 12 hour drive if the longest you have driven in the prior month was only a 40 minute trip in your local area.

Fatigue should never be underestimated and this aspect requires a plan to ensure that it doesn't become a problem. Plan B for me was to stay overnight before the destination came onto the horizon if it was necessary. All drivers should have a Plan B for any long journey. Be prepared is a good motto, but Scouts Australia already have that one.

Living with DS5 diesel

The interior ambience is superb, with quality a key component. An appealing design together with a startling presentation of colour with the trendy seating sure made a lasting impression on me.

Comfort seems to be paramount and with over 3,000 kilometres behind the wheel you can be sure that I felt this aspect was well and truly a unquestionable attribute of the car. The seating was very good with excellent side support by the comfortable bolsters upfront.

Each of my passengers noticed there were no grab handles. This must have, surely, been an oversight because the interior was an impressive environment. Handy cup holders would have improved the user-friendliness of the DS5 too. The coat hooks were of the minimalist type.

But my biggest gripe with the DS5 was the air conditioning. Citroen have a habit of being quirky. But the air con was the most user unfriendly that I have experienced in a long time. If Citroen ever seek my guidance to assist in future model preparation I would recommend the sub-contract the air con design to a Japanese car maker so that it would be intuitive to operate and therefore user friendly!

Putting these shortfalls to one side you then have a very well equipped interior to enjoy that will reward you with the sound of silence. The DS5 offers first class comfort for the occupants in the front without any pretentious overtones. I didn't have any rear seat passengers to gauge an opinion from that angle.

Specifications

The Euro 5 compliant diesel version of the DS 5 has a front-mounted 2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine which drives the front wheels. Power is 120kW at 3,750rpm and maximum torque is 340Nm at 2,000rpm.

The automatic transmission is a six-speed unit.

Braking is by disc brakes at each wheel.

The suspension is independent at each wheel and anti-roll bars are fitted at both front and rear.

Four 18" alloy wheels and a puncture kit are standard.

Variable electro-hydraulic power steering is standard. Turning circle is 11.2 metres (minimum).

Safety

DS5 comes very well equipped for occupant protection with six airbags, electronic stability programme (ESP), anti-skid brake system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), emergency brake assist (EBA) and so much more.

ANCAP rate the Citroen DS5 with five stars for crash worthiness with a score of 35.66 (out of 37). The testing was actually performed by EuroNCAP.

Importantly, a reversing camera is fitted to assist in reversing manoeuvres and this is always appreciated when you are in a tight spot.

Fuel and emissions

Factory figures indicate the fuel consumption rating is 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle. Whilst the urban cycle rating of 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres is a good, many will enjoy the extra-urban figure of 5.1 litres per 100 kilometres. It was improving upon the factory's standard test figure of 5.1l/100km that thrilled me whilst I was driving across northern Victoria when I managed to score an amazing 4.9l/100kms whilst on cruise control at the speed limit.

Let me repeat that. Across northern Victoria I managed to achieve a consumption figure of just 4.9 litres per 100 kms as indicated by the car's onboard trip computer. See the accompanying image at the top of the page. The 4.9 figure is an outstanding result!

Fuel tank capacity is 60 litres, thus providing a very good range for this diesel.

Connectivity/Infotainment

Standard: MP3, CD player, AM/FM tuner, AUX, USB compatibility, Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls.

On such a big trip I enjoyed the easy to use aspects of the Bluetooth connection for my telephone.

User friendly satellite navigation is included, as is a very good head-up display.

Dimensions

Length: 4,530 mm
Width: 2,128 mm (including side mirrors)
Height: 1,539 mm
Wheelbase: 2,727 mm
Boot capacity: 465 litres (behind back seats and under the parcel tray). Kerb weight: 1,615 kg (approx).

Towing

Whilst the Citroen DS5 may not spring to mind as a tow vehicle, it does have the capacity to tow a braked trailer weighing up 1,500 kg when equipped with suitable towing equipment.

After Sales

Citroen DS5 is covered by a three-year/100,000km warranty (conditions apply, of course).

Roadside Assistance is included for the period of the warranty (again, conditions apply).

Capped price servicing is available (once again, conditions apply).

Conclusion

The very nicely equipped Citroen DS5 isn't perfect and it isn't cheap. But once some-one in your family has mastered the air conditioning system I can almost guarantee you that you will be one mighty happy driver and you will recognise that the asking price is quite fair.

The Citroen DS5 is an absolute delight to drive on long trips and I have proven as much with over 3,000 kilometres hands-on experience!

The car is particularly well sorted and exceptionally comfortable. I'm not about to do another 3,000 kilometre trip anytime soon, but if I was I would be suggesting to the folks at Citroen Australia that I need to check if I can obtain a brilliant 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres once again!



NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


E&OE



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