DS is back with a splash

Citroen’s DS sub-brand launches two revamped models, the DS 5 and DS 4 Crossback

SINGAPORE – The weekend of June 25 and 26 saw a ‘re-launch’ of Citroen’s sub-brand, DS Automobiles, here in Singapore with the debut of two new models.

While the DS name was globally announced as a sub-brand in June 2014 (think Hyundai’s Genesis for another splinter brand example) this is the first big effort from DS here in Singapore. DS says it’s sold 580,000 vehicles worldwide since its outing as a stand-alone brand, which shows that it’s on the right track.

In a nod to the French-ness and avant-garde nature of the DS brand, not only did participants get to test drive the new DS models, but also take part in other activities (dubbed ‘artisanal’) such as leathercraft workshops and art appreciation talks.

The DS5 (pictured top) remains more in line with what it was previously – although it was already a combination of estate, hatch and crossover so what ‘it’ is is up for debate. DS calls the DS5 its flagship model, so it’s lavished an even more extroverted design on it.

The new grille, as on the DS4, takes pride of place but the DS5 also gets new LED headlamps. As before, there’s an interesting L-shaped chrome accent strip, which extends from the headlights to the A-pillar.

As befitting a flagship, the DS5 has lots of standard equipment like massage seats and a cleaner infotainment layout – it’s smartphone connectable through Mirrorlink (though not CarPlay, like the DS 4). DS says there are 12 fewer buttons to fiddle with.

Like the DS4, the DS5 has a 1.6-litre ‘BlueHDI’ engine with 120bhp and 300Nm, although it also gets suspension upgrades in the form of ‘preloaded linear valve’ tech, which is supposed to reduce the deflections of large movements of the shock, making the ride more comfortable.  The DS5 does 0-100km/h in 12.9 seconds with a 189km/h top speed. Efficiency stands at 4.1L/100km and 114g/km of CO2. Retail price is currently $139,988 with COE.

The DS 4 Crossback is based on the previous DS 4, naturally, but is slightly different this time around. Not only is it face-lifted with the new ‘DS Wing’ front end with the new signature DS vertical grille, it’s also 30mm higher, with larger, dark alloy wheels, contrast-coloured fenders and roof rails.

In short, DS is now marketing the DS 4 as a crossover, to reflect the current craze for soft-roaders, which puts the car in direct contention with anything from the Honda HR-V to the Renault Kadjar.

New touches include xenon lights with LED DRLs and foglamps, an Apple CarPlay equipped seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, reverse camera, keyless entry.

Powering the DS 4 is the same 1,560cc turbodiesel engine as the C4 Picasso range that incorporates urea injection (aka AdBlue) for even more efficiency and cleanliness, with 120bhp and 300Nm of torque. Performance figures are 0-100km/h in 11.4 seconds, top speed of 193km/h, fuel consumption of 3.9L/100km and CO2 emissions of 102g/km. Retail price is $119,988 with COE.

about the author

Derryn Wong
Has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. Is particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.