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The latest French executive car promises great comfort and luxury

DS 9 Saloon (21 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £40,060 - £49,200
Lease from new From £678 p/m View lease deals
Used price £24,390 - £31,515
Used monthly cost From £609 per month
Fuel Economy 40.4 - 176.6 mpg
New

PROS

  • Supremely luxurious interior
  • Lots of driver-assistance tech
  • DS promises excellent comfort

CONS

  • Limited range of engines
  • Unproven resale values
  • Brand has little presence in the UK

DS 9 Saloon rivals

Written by Keith Adams on

DS Automobiles has added a new luxury saloon to its range. The DS 9 is a full-sized saloon that moves away from the company's current SUV-style cars to come out of France's upstart premium brand. DS hopes that it will shade its German rivals in comfort. It’s not the most innovative car on the outside, but jump in and you’ll find a stylish interior with electrified power under your foot.

DS's parent company, Stellantis, which also controls Citroen, Peugeot, Vauxhall, Alfa Romeo and Fiat, is throwing the kitchen sink at it's flagship saloon. It straddles two classes, so its rivals include plusher versions of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 as well as the lower-powered 5 Series, E-Class and A6 models. It's a tough market, so the DS needs to carve itself a niche all of its own…

It's a full-sized saloon

There are some nice styling touches on the outside including the theatrical LED headlights upfront, Z-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) at the front and speckled rear light cluster continue DS’s family look. A nice nod to the car’s heritage are the high-mounted rear indicators, just like a 1955 Citroen DS. But most obvious feature of the DS 9 is its full-sized footprint.

At 4,930mm long and 1,850mm wide, the DS 9 is almost identical in size to the current BMW 5 Series. Silhouette-wise it’s what you’d expect from a three-box, executive flagship saloon, but with a rear-raked window right on trend with the current fastback style that does so well for cars like the Audi A5 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz CLA.

It’s original on the inside 

The DS 9 is striking and interesting inside – and more than a little familiar to anyone who's sat in a Peugeot 508. Both the driver and passenger are enveloped in a similar way to the rest of the DS range. Expect lots of posh materials, with generous suede and Nappa leather features.

DS has managed to squeeze in all the safety tech you’d expect from a range-topping saloon, too. The DS 9 comes with autonomous parking, a night vision mode and driver attention monitoring. Adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist is also included as part of the DS Drive Assist package. 

The DS Safety suite includes DS Night Vision (the dashboard shows an infrared version of the view ahead), DS Driver Attention Monitoring (warning you if your attention wanes), and DS Active LED Vision (the beam pattern adapts to speed and road conditions), blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and extended traffic sign recognition.

As is traditional for large French cars, the DS 9 has been designed to have very comfortable suspension. It comes with Active Scan Suspension, which uses a camera to 'read' the road ahead to prepare the damping of each wheel – if it sees a pothole or sharp ridge on the road ahead, for instance, then it softens the damping for the affected wheel or wheels in preparation.

What engines are available?

The DS 9 will debut with either a 1.6-litre petrol engine or a plug-in hybrid with both developing 225hp. In the PHEV version, called E-Tense, an 11.9kWh battery pack feeds an electric motor capable of developing 110hp of power. The petrol motor is a turbocharged unit that's combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

DS says that the E-Tense has a claimed standalone electric-only range of between 25 and 31 miles, and it is limited to 84mph in battery mode – more than enough for UK motorways. 

The 225hp petrol version is available as the entry-level model for those not yet ready to plug in, and is powered by the same 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine found in the Peugeot 508. Available from later in 2021, there will be a 250hp hybrid long-range E-Tense version, and beyond that, a 360hp performance hybrid with four-wheel drive.

What models are available?

There are two models offered - the Performance Line+ and the plusher Rivoli+. From launch, the starting price for the 'entry-level' model is £40,615, which puts it up against some seriously desirable rivals.

But to counter that it's being offered with an impressively long list of personalisation options including a whole line of DS Inspirations interior options with the Performance Line+ making great use of Alcantara, and Nappa leather in the Rivoli+. All models get the rotating BRM clock, which pops up out of the dashboard when the car is fired up.

We're looking forward to driving this one, and we'll be one of the first to get behind the wheel later in 2021.

Read on to see if we think the DS 9 is worth waiting for...

DS 9 Saloon rivals