Car Reviews Motoring

All-New DS 9 E-Tense Review

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

At first glance, the all-new DS 9 shows off cool rather than conservative characteristics.

On the road, body roll is minimal, even though the steering is slightly spongy. That doesn’t rain on the parade much, though. The French saloon has a sublime ride – as you’d expect for DS‘s new flagship product.

This large stylish car isn’t all about the 0-62mph sprint; the saloon is far more in its element being a cruiser. But it can still push you back into your seat stunningly, with the plug-in hybrid E-Tense version of the DS 9 managing zero to 62mph in 8.3 seconds. This is down to the car’s 1.6-litre petrol engine and twin electric motor (plus battery) combination.

Electrifying

Want a deeper dive into this part of the vehicle? Ok, here goes. The plug-in features an 11.9kWh battery connected to a 110PS electric motor, a 1.6-litre PureTech petrol powerplant, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. All this gives the DS 9 E-tense a total power output of 225PS and 360Nm, of torque.

What’s more, the DS 9 has a fully electric range of 33 miles from a single charge, with the electric motor capable of driving the saloon in zero-emissions mode up to 83mph.

The car’s silky eight-speed auto ‘box makes for effortless driving, and if you want to motor about in silence on pure electricity, then reserve it for urban commuting. It’ll save you lots of fuel – as long as you plug in and charge the DS 9 regularly.

Satisfying

The DS9 E-Tense 225 Performance Line+, driven for this review, is likely to be a model to satisfy many people. This car gets 19-inch alloy wheels, flush-fitting door handles, dark tinted rear windows, and a chrome sabre on the bonnet with ‘Clous de Paris’ embossing.

Inside, you get a 12-inch HD touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, DS Connect Nav, wireless charging for your smartphone, Bluetooth, voice recognition and a DAB radio. The infotainment system is responsive and intuitive, but more remarkable is DS’ infrared camera technology that projects a picture onto the driver’s display. It picks out animals, cyclists and pedestrians ahead of you. As we found out driving around Oxfordshire’s unlit rural roads, it works very well indeed.

Room in the DS 9’s cabin is suitable for five adults, and it’s an incredibly comfortable vehicle front and back. Furthermore, the boot is well-proportioned with room for at least two large flight cases – and a set of golf clubs.

Competition

The DS 9’s weak point is its price. At over £46,000, other more established premium brands may seem more tempting. The Audi A6 is an example of the stiff competition the elegant French saloon is up against.

Still, being different is appealing, so it’ll be intriguing to see what the future holds for the DS 9 E-Tense. Watch this space!

Fast Facts – DS 9 E-Tense 225 Performance Line+ as tested:

  • Max speed: 149 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 8.3 secs
  • Combined mpg: 256.8-176.6mpg (WLTP)
  • Engine layout: 1598cc four-cylinder turbo petrol + electric
  • Max. power (PS): 225
  • CO2: 33-35 g/km       
  • Price: £46,100

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