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Citroen DS5 diesel hybrid

The DS5 looks great – elegant and with a prestige feel about it

Citroen DS5 DSport  Hybrid4 200 Airdream

What is it?

It’s the greenest version of the top model in Citroen’s upper-crust DS sub-brand.

1 in 10 DS5s in the UK is expected to be a diesel hybrid

Introduced late last year was a raft of technological changes – including modifciations to the hybrid system – that succeeded in lowering CO2 emissions to 88g/km.

And for company car drivers, that also means lower company car tax with the result that one in ten DS5s on UK roads is expected to be one of these, and 70 per cent of them will be going to business car drivers.

So is it a modest performer as well as a frugal drinker?

Not at all. You get a 163PS punch of power from the two-litre diesel engine, and a stonking 300Nm of torque.

Plus an extra 37PS from the electric motor that drives the rear axle and turns this into an all-wheel-drive model. The dual-power system gives it a top speed of getting on for double the legal limit, and acceleration to 62 mph in 8.3 seconds is by no means leisurely.

There is a twist-dial selector to let you choose the driving mode that suits your mood and the conditions. You can opt between Auto mode to let the car make the decisions, or switch to Sport for swifter gearshifts and faster throttle response, ZEV for zero emissions electric mode in town driving, or 4WD mode when the going is slippery.

Citroen DS5 diesel hybrid

Apart from giving up a bit of boot space, the DS5 is another example hybrids moving into the mainstream – performance, practicality and comfort aren’t compromised

There is a penalty to pay for its reduced CO2 and raised mpg. As a result of the electric motor and other hybrid kit installed under the boot floor, the hybrid version of the DS5 loses 140 litres (think big suitcase) of luggage room compared with its non-hybrid siblings.

 

What’s hot?

  • Low CO2 output of only 88g/km
  • Unusually good fuel economy for a car this size at 74.3mpg on the combined figure
  • No road tax and congestion-charge exemption available – at least for now
  • Qualifies for 100 percent first year write down allowance – increasingly hard to find
    Citroen D5 diesel hybrid

    Lavishly equipped, and with a quality feel inside. Vast panoramic glass roof

  • Only 10 percent company car tax for the 2013-14 tax year – ducks the 3 percent diesel supplement
  • Low running costs
  • Powerful 163PS turbo-diesel engine plus an added 37 PS of electric power
  • Engine drives front wheels, electric motor drives back ones, so four-wheel-drive
  • Choice of trim grades, DSign, DStyle or DSport
  • Prices start from £22,700
  • Five-door hatchback practicality but saloon style elegance
  • Standard kit includes aircon, multi-function steering wheel, smart alloys and cruise control
  • DStyle kit list adds climate control, leather seats, glass sunroof, Bluetooth, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors
  • Range-topping DSport has keyless entry, a colour head-up display, heated and cooled front seats with a massage facility, lane departure warning
  • Very stylish exterior with a prestige look to it
  • Lavishly kitted out cabin that looks and feels high-quality
  • Boot capacity of 325 litres for too bad for a hybrid
  • Tidy handling and good refinement
  • Standard cruise control helps to optimise economy over a distance
  • Very quick and efficient automatic stop-start system, now in its second generation
  • Vast panoramic glass roof with blind to shield the cabin in bright sunshine
  • Sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel

 

Citroen DS5 diesel hybrid

The hybrid kit takes up 140 litres of boot space

What’s not?

  • Distinctive diesel sound on start-up
  • Actual fuel economy may fall well short of the combined figure when you use the performance
  • Ride can be quite unsettled over a coarse road surface
  • Body roll evident on the bends
  • Quite modest towing capacity at 800 kg
  • Boot 140 litres poorer than in a non-hybrid DS5
  • Some parts of the dash display quite hard to read in dull light conditions
  • Robotised manual gearbox not to all tastes, have to drive it like an automated manual, not treat it like an automatic
  • Sometimes a bit slow to respond to steering column paddle-shifts
  • Bewilderingly busy proliferation of switches and controls

 

Citroen DS5 hybrid

This is another big capable car that attracts only 10 percent company car ta – £108 a month to a 40 percent tax payer

Business Car Manager road test verdict

The Citroen DS5 model reviewed here can be specified in the DSport version with 17 inch alloy wheels that contribute to even lower CO2 emissions: now registered at a low, low 88g/km.

So not only do company car drivers benefit from a tax banding of 10% for the 2013/14 tax year, but if you’re a small business with cash in the bank, you can buy the Citroen DS5 DSport outright and it will qualify for 100% first year writing down allowances.

In other words, this is Citroen’s best effort yet with a company car tax special.

But this version of the Citroen DS5 is quite pricey and you need to weigh up whether the benefits are worth it. The low CO2 and modest company car tax are attractive. The downsides are a reduced boot size and that Marmite automated manual gearbox.

Ultimately good value if your business mileage is high and you would value having four-wheel-drive.

 

The Low Down…

Doors and body style  5-door hatchback
Engine/gearbox

 2 litre 4-cyl turbodiesel hybrid/6-speed automated manual, 4WD (40hp electric motor drives rear wheels)

CO2 Emissions  88g/km
Economy  74.3mpg
Power/torque 163HP/300Nm
0-62mph/top speed 8.3secs/131mph
Insurance group  28

…and what it costs

P11D Value  £32,645
Monthly business rental (ex VAT)  From £468 (3yrs/30,000 miles)
Road tax (VED) Band B
Company Car Tax Bands 2013/14 to 2015/16  10%, 11%, 13%
Benefit in kind 2013/14 to 2015/16  £3265, £3591, £4284
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)  £506/£42
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)  £1013/£84
Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)  £648/£54
Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)  £1296/£108
Figures correct at time of posting 
For latest figures Use our company car tax calculator


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