Test drive DS 9: anti-Camry, almost-Lexus

Test drive DS 9: anti-Camry, almost-Lexus

In the segment of large sedans replenishment, and even what! Finally, sales of DS 9, the flagship of the French brand, which places a special emphasis on exclusivity and originality, will start in Ukraine. However, after all, a car is not only “to see”, but also to “ride”. How does the DS 9 sedan ride , what about acceleration and consumption, how much does it cost and who are the competitors? We will look for all the answers in a full-length review of the DS 9 car.

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Positioning DS 9

Nominally, the DS 9 is the flagship of the passenger car line of a separate brand DS Automobiles. But we all understand that the beginning of the history of DS should be sought in the history of the Citroen brand, namely, in the Citroen DS model of 1955: a true “goddess” of design and technology of its time. And even after that, the “big” Citroens did not fail: the CX, XM, C6 models have always been a model of advanced technology and expressive design. It is they who inherit the DS 9 sedan.

The positioning of the DS 9 is to be found in the history of the “big” Citroens : first of all, let’s remember the 1955 DS . But not only DS – after all, from the 1950s to the early 2000s, the CX , XM , C 6 models were still released. That is why the DS 9 sedan is nominally the first-born, but in reality it has a rich historical heritage of unique and luxurious cars.

How the DS 9 sedan rides

In terms of balance of comfort and handling, it rides very well! The car can be quite comfortable and soft on irregularities of different sizes. He can gently rock the suspension, but never tire of the swing. Still, the wheels are a little smaller and the tires are thicker to remove the proper trifle – and it would be ideal. At the same time: the DS 9 sedan is unexpectedly responsive to the steering wheel, it is commendably agile in corners. The low body and large width help to minimize body roll. It’s not a sports car yet, but the DS 9 is a pleasure to drive. At the same time, he will not upset the comfort of a person in the back seat.

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But there is a claim to the engine and gearbox. The fact is that the motor is regularly “lucky” for all its 215 hp. and 300 Nm, but does it without the “nobility” of a multi-liter engine. Every acceleration, every acceleration of the DS 9 sedan is a downshift, the engine speed is about 2.5-3-4 thousand, a small (but still noticeable) engine rumble. If you accelerate with the “pedal to the floor”, then you are psychologically ready for this – and you get the coveted numbers of dynamics or maximum speed. But when you ride in the “half-pedal”, you accelerate in the stream and on the go – you want more traction from low revs and less gear changes.

As for me, the nature of the resourceful turbo engine and the “automatic”, thirsty for switching, are best suited to the sister model Peugeot 508 . Even more: between these two cars, you just want to take and change the motors. Imagine installing a well-known 2-liter 180-horsepower turbodiesel under the hood of the DS 9. Even if the nominal power is less, but the thrust in the middle speed range is greater and the economy is better. So you could get the perfect “express for the track”: fast, but leisurely. It’s a pity, but the turbodiesel for the DS 9 is not offered at all. But what is offered for DS 9 is the PHEV version. However, we will analyze the technique of hybrids below, while we return to the test car.

Original, unformatted, interesting design – and equally interesting driving habits. The chassis is well balanced here, but the DS 9 needs a larger engine under the hood. Although, to the credit of the 1.6-liter “turbo”, it fulfills the promised power and dynamics.

The DS Automobiles brand has always paid a lot of attention to interior trim, this is one of the branded “fads”. And it is clear that for its flagship sedan DS 9, the company did not spare the skills: there is leather with a special “marble” color, and textured mother-of-pearl stitching, and numerous diamond buttons, and a branded “watch strap” on the seats. Of course, it is easy to get lost in such a variety of materials and shapes. For example, the power window keys are located next to the “automatic” selector: this is already familiar to different DS models, but it surprises people who are first introduced to the world of DS. But these keys have a metallic finish and give the feeling of an expensive item. And here’s another example: almost all the control of secondary functions is collected inside the touch screen – you constantly touch it. But the design of the menu is beautiful, and the display coating seems to increase the contrast of the image. And so in every little thing, in every detail you see a high level.

The DS 9 sedan is one of those rare occasions when the rear is just as important as the front. And it didn’t let us down: a large wheelbase provided enviable space, the seat was installed with a successful backrest, the developed head restraints really “hug” the head. Heating and ventilation of the seats are provided, and next to the deflectors there was a place for the climate control unit. That’s just a puncture: this is not a separate third “climate” zone, but an additional unit that controls the overall climate system. Sun shades are still missing, there is no possibility to control the audio system. And now, when he has already begun to count the “cons” of the car, he takes out his trump card: a massage on the backs of the rear seats. The bottom line is that the DS 9 is just as good for the driver-owner in the front seat as it is for the passenger-boss in the back seat: the DS 9 sedan suits different use cases.

Excellent space and even better quality of finishing materials: all leather, soft surfaces, skillful decor. Let the lovers of traditions say “go too far”, but this salon immediately defines the car as a DS – you can’t confuse this! But the DS 7 crossover and the DS 9 sedan can be confused in front; but not from behind – the sedan gives a “passenger” landing with outstretched legs, heated and ventilated seats, back massage. The trunk (510 l) is equipped with an electric lid.

Is there any innovation in the DS 9 model

The basis of the DS 9 sedan is the EMP2 platform, which is found on many Peugeot, Citroen, Opel cars. But the status of the model simply requires something special in the design. For example, the DS 9 car stands out with the largest wheelbase among all passenger models on the EMP2 platform. It also uses fully independent suspension, although compact models on this platform have a semi-independent rear suspension. Under the hood of the test car, a 215-horsepower PureTech gasoline engine is paired with a modern 8-speed EAT8 automatic transmission.

The main thing in this case is to focus on power, and not on the fact that it is removed from a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine, leading its history from the THP series engines (or EP6 with various additive codes). To the credit of the French, they did not abandon this engine, but continued to modernize it – in modern versions of the engine, “childhood illnesses” should have completely disappeared, leaving only high power and torque at the level of an atmospheric 3-liter “six”. Based on this motor, PHEV hybrids were also built, of which two were proposed for the DS 9 at once: power 250-360 hp, front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, power reserve 40-50 km on electric drive. Plus, for sure, the hybrid “bonus” can add smoothness to acceleration. We hope that over time, PHEV versions of DS 9 will arrive in Ukraine.

The DS 9 sedan is based on the EMP 2 platform, but with an extended wheelbase and fully independent suspensions. Under the hood is a 4-cylinder PureTech 215 gasoline engine with 215 hp. power and 300 Nm of torque. The technology is modern, but not revolutionary. Much more interesting in the list of equipment …

The price of the car DS 9 and its competitors

For potential buyers of the DS 9 car in Ukraine, everything is simple: one model, one engine (1.6 PureTech 215), one transmission (8-speed automatic transmission), one equipment (Opera).

But the equipment itself is by no means simple: DS ACTIVE LED VISION headlights, adaptive high beam, BRM R180 clock, power driver and front passenger seat with massage, adaptive cruise control, blind spot mirror assistant, lane keeping Line Positioning Assist, double laminated side windows, 2-zone “climate”, 360 camera and automatic parking assistant DS PARK PILOT, touchscreen 12-inch display, etc. Price DS 9 1.6 PureTech 215 Opera – from 1.685 million UAH. or $40 thousand.

Opera ‘s DS 9 comes with active headlights, a 12-inch central display and a 12.3-inch monitor-based instrument cluster, and a host of security systems. There is no choice of other motors / configurations in Ukraine, but it is possible to order some options. For example, in the test car, the following was optionally added: DS NIGHT VISION night vision system (sees ahead 100 m and gives a warning signal), FOCAL ELECTRA audio (13 speakers and a subwoofer), DS Lounge package (rear seats with massage, heating, ventilation). The price of the test car, taking into account the options, is about UAH 1.9 million. or $45 thousand.

What can competitors offer? And in general – who should be considered a competitor? With such dimensions, a spacious interior, a price of $ 40-45 thousand, the maximum versions of the Toyota Camry or Mazda6 suggest themselves as competitors. At the same time, Toyota offers a more economical hybrid and comfortable suspension, Mazda focuses on power and driving qualities. Plus, both cars are well known in the market – which means easy and profitable resale over time.

Everything seems to be correct. But no”. Because the story of DS 9 is a story about originality and exclusivity, it’s a story about trying to stand out from the usual. That is why, for example, Volkswagen Arteon is more likely to be written as a competitor – only the price tag of $40-45 thousand is obtained only for the basic version, which will yield to the DS 9 in terms of equipment. And one more thing: the “German” is more focused on the driver, the people behind there are clearly only passengers.

But there is another car that is very close to the DS 9 sedan in its ideology – this is the Lexus ES 250 . Its owner can ride both behind the wheel and in the back seat. Good suspension comfort and interior space. The emphasis is not so much on power, but on a high level of equipment, quality finishes, and informal design. The problem with the DS 9 is that (firstly) the Lexus brand is already well known in the market and (secondly) there is the Lexus ES 350 for those buyers who want more power and are willing to pay for it.

The main advantage of the DS 9 is that at the price of the maximum versions of the Toyota Camry and Mazda 6, this car is already competing with the Lexus ES 250 (but not the ES 350): they buy such a car to stand out. A similar bright option among the “Germans” is Volkswagen Arteon ; but it is clearly aimed at the driver and technology lovers.

DS 9 sedan fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance

In the city, a car consumes 10-11 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. However, consumption varies markedly depending on driving conditions: with a smooth ride and empty roads – sometimes you can get a consumption of “below 9 liters”, with a dynamic driving style and / or traffic jams – it comes out “12+ liters” per 100 km. On the highway at a speed of 80-90 km / h, fuel consumption is 5.5 liters per 100 km, at a speed of 100-120 km / h – the consumption increases to 6.5-7 liters per 100 km of track.

The general warranty for the car is two years with no mileage limit. Service must be carried out every 20 thousand km or once a year. The cost of standard maintenance is UAH 6.4 thousand, extended maintenance costs UAH 8-10.4 thousand. Vehicle and maintenance prices are as of September 2022.

As a result: what is DS 9 for the world and Ukraine?

With the DS 9, everything is as difficult as with its design or interior. Speaking specifically, there are comments only on the “motor / gearbox” bundle, and even then – rather, the question is not to replace this couple, but to expand the available options for power units. But speaking globally, a much more important remark is the self-determination of the DS brand, especially for Ukraine. Playing at the level of the “German trio” is not at all easy, especially when relying on the concepts of exclusivity, luxury, and uniqueness.

However, there is at least one brand that has managed to do this – Lexus. How many years have passed since the launch of the brand and until its global recognition? As for me, 10-15-20 years have passed. Today, the DS Automobiles brand marks the first “ten” and has already achieved a lot: a complete separation from Citroen, the creation of original models, the use of advanced PSA Stellantis technologies. However, more time is needed. For people to see, remember, appreciate, believe. Together with faith in cars, an increase in sales, an expansion of the dealer network, and good liquidity in the secondary market will come.

The lyrics are over; now the results on the topic of what the DS 9 is. This is a car that goes against the established rules of the class: design, interior, technology. This is a car that gives maximum originality. This is a car for those who boldly declare their “I”. However, it does not cost fabulous money. If you believe in the DS Automobiles brand, believe in its ideology and values, then the DS 9 sedan is a great candidate to buy. And if not, it’s just a matter of time.

Pros:

The most original design – inside and out

The highest quality finishing materials and excellent equipment

Good for driver and rear passenger

Minuses:

There is no choice of other versions – but I would like to get either a diesel or a hybrid

In general, the prospects and self-determination of the DS brand – it still needs time

Test drive DS 9: anti-Camry, almost-Lexus

Specifications DS 9 1.6 PureTech 215 8AT

Body – sedan, 4 doors, 5 seats

Dimensions – 4.93 x 1.855 x 1.46 m

Wheelbase – 2.895 m

Trunk – 510 l (5 seats)

Load capacity – 535 kg

Minimum curb weight – 1540 kg

Engine – petrol turbo engine R4 1.6l

Power – 215 hp at 5500 rpm.

Torque – 300 Nm at 2000 rpm.

Drive – front drive

Transmission – 8-st. “automatic” (classic hydromechanical automatic transmission)

Dynamics 0-100 km / h – 8.7 s

Maximum speed – 246km / h

Passport consumption, city – 10.2 liters per 100 km

Passport consumption, highway – 5.8 liters per 100 km

Test vehicle tires – Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/45R19

The minimum price of a car is from UAH 1.685 million. or about $40 thousand.

Car provided by DS Automobiles

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