The Citroen DS5 is now on sale, injecting a strong dose of unique French flair to Australia’s premium mid-size class.

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The segment-straddling DS5 becomes the third model in Citroen’s Australian line-up, joining the city-sized DS3 and the high-riding DS4 compact hatch.

The Citroen DS5 is the largest of the trio: at 4530mm long, 1871mm wide, 1504mm tall and riding on a 2727mm wheelbase, the DS5 is 94mm shorter, 60mm wider and 75mm taller than the BMW 3 Series sedan.

The distinctive shape creates an SUV-like 465 litres of boot space, which grows to 1021 litres with the rear seats folded forward.

The sole variant is the $47,990 Citroen DS5 DSport, although the powertrain doesn’t quite match the badge. The familiar 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine – also found in the DS3 DSport and the entry-level DS4 – produces 115kW of power and 240Nm of torque.

Teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission, the DS5 takes 9.7 seconds to accelerate from 0-100km/h before going on to a top speed of 202km/h.

The DS5’s fuel consumption is more impressive, using 7.3 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

More powertrains - including a 147kW/275Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol and the all-wheel drive diesel-electric Hybrid4, which teams a 122kW 2.0-litre diesel engine with a 28kW electric motor - are expected to be added to the local line-up in 2013 after the local distribution rights of Citroen shift from Ateco Automotive to Syme Darby in January.

The exterior sports 18-inch Canaveral diamond-tipped gloss black alloy wheels, chrome ‘sabres’ connecting the headlights to the panoramic windscreen, front and rear parking sensors, electrically folding side mirrors, gloss black rear spoiler, chrome side strips and twin chrome exhausts in the rear bumper.

Also standard are automatic directional xenon headlamps with auto high beam, fog lights with cornering function, LED daytime running lights and rain-sensing wipers.

Style is king on the inside, with the DS5 sporting a range of colours, textures and materials ensuring it stands out from the conservative medium-car crowd. Standard features include push-button start; colour heads-up display with speed, cruise control and satellite navigation information; rear-view camera; leather-wrapped steering wheel with alloy inserts; dual-zone climate control; and a six-speaker audio system with AUX-USB inputs and Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming.

The eight-way power front sports seats are upholstered in ‘Mistral Claudia’ leather (the signature watchstrap design pictured is a $2500 option) and include heaters and a massage function for the driver.

Citroen describes the typical buyer of the quasi-hatch/wagon/crossover as an energetic 35yo-plus male business leader who is sophisticated, style-conscious and an early adopter of new technologies, as well as aspirational, discerning and an independent thinker.

It expects the DS5 to compete with the Volkswagen Passat and Honda Accord at the more rational end of the consumer-mindset spectrum, as well as the Audi A4, Volkswagen CC and the 3 Series for more emotion-driven purchases.

 

Options:

  • 10-speaker Denon audio system – $1000
  • Metallic/pearlescent black paint – $800
  • Pearlescent white paint – $1000
  • Black watchstrap leather upholstery – $2500
  • Alezan watchstrap leather upholstery – $2500