Citroen DS 5LS


Debut: 2014
Maker: Citroen
Predecessor: No



 Published on 7 Sep 2014
All rights reserved. 


Unless you live in China, you are unlikely to see this car on the road. DS 5LS is a C/D-segment saloon Citroen developed exclusively for China, where this kind of cars are very popular. It appears to be quite luxurious but its underpinnings actually come from C-segment to enable affordable prices. The car is built by the joint-venture with ChangAn located in Shenzhen together with the DS5 hatchback.

Citroen wants us to believe that it is the Luxury Saloon version of DS5, but in fact it is not as simple. Just as its name suggested – read carefully: DS 5LS, not DS5 LS – it is not exactly a DS5 saloon. No matter its exterior design or interior packaging it differs quite a lot from the DS5. You might say it owes just as much underpinnings to the C4L with which it shares the 2715 mm wheelbase and general profile.



A further inspection confirms the above statement. The DS 5LS shares little visual genes with DS5. Its new front grille with wings extended well into the headlights is the realization of Numero 9 concept. The heavy use of chrome, including the arc running along the roof rails, is intended to delight Chinese customers. To promote an upmarket image, the whole car does not sport any double-chevron logos. Instead, it uses DS badges at the nose and tail. Having said that, I'm afraid the saloon can't quite deliver the visual drama of the DS5. If you have seen DS5 in person, you will find it extremely stylish, tasteful and original. In contrast, the saloon is far more ordinary in shape and details. While it is unlikely to offend, it does not feel as premium as it could have been.

The premium pretension is not supported by build quality either. Flawed workmanship can be seen in various places, especially inside the cabin and boot. After all, with DS badges or not, this is still a Citroen, not Audi. Chinese build standard just makes this worse.



The same story goes inside. With the exception of steering wheel and front seats, its interior is completely different from the DS5's. The design is more ordinary. The locally-sourced plastics and faux alloy are not as high grade, though most surfaces are now wrapped with leather. Some of the classy features of the hatchback have been abandoned, such as the panoramic roof, aircraft-style roof-mounted switches and head-up display. On the plus side, the flatter center console and lower transmission tunnel free up space between the driver and front passenger. Unfortunately, rear passengers will find the same problem that troubles the DS5 is carried over to the saloon: lack of headroom. Although legroom is adequate, 6-footers will not fit under the curvy roof. That is unforgivable for a car measuring 1510 mm in height.



Like DS5, the saloon is derived from the platform of C4, so don't expect classy mechanicals and premium driving dynamics. The base model is powered by a 139 hp 1.8-liter 16V engine which is so outdated that not even the company is promoting much. Much more modern is a pair of 1.6-liter direct-injection twin-scroll turbo motors developed by BMW. The lower power version produces 163 hp and 177 lbft as in many PSA models. The high power version is carried over from Peugeot RCZ, with the addition of Valvetronic and exhaust VVT to produce a respectable 200 hp and 203 lbft. Although the Aisin 6-speed automatic gearbox is not that responsive, the car still provides good performance.



Considering the car rides on semi-independent rear suspension without adaptive dampers, its ride and handling is quite good. In fact, the compromise between ride and handling is more sensible than the DS5. On that car, a very stiff suspension setting and waffle-thin tires were chosen to deliver a sporty feel, but that also resulted in a crashy ride. For China market, the balance is shifted towards ride quality. The saloon overcomes bumps and ridges more effortlessly, while body lean is still well managed. The 235/45R18 rubbers offer plenty of grip. The electrical power steering is lighter yet feels better than the electro-hydraulic rack of DS5. The DS 5LS drives as well as you would expect for a European car.

What a pity it doesn't look as good as the DS5. Perhaps the optimum solution is to combine the packaging of DS5 with the chassis of DS 5LS. That would be perfect.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
DS 5LS 1.6THP
2014
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4702 / 1840 / 1510 mm
2715 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT
Turbo
DI
163 hp
177 lbft
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
225/50R17
1400 kg
127 mph (c)
8.3 (c)
-
DS 5LS 1.6THP 200
2014
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4702 / 1840 / 1510 mm
2715 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
200 hp
203 lbft
6-speed automatic
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
235/45R18
1445 kg
143 mph (c)
7.6 (c)
-



























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