The DS 9 is here to prove big French sedans aren't dead

By topgear, 25 February 2020

The big, luxurious French sedan. Loved by car enthusiasts, but largely ignored by the buying public. Until they’re on a used car forecourt for a measly couple of grand, that is.

Will the DS 9 join the Citroen C6, Peugeot 605 and Renault Vel Satis* in the annals of flamboyantly depreciating French car history?

It arrives with the same dimensions as a BMW 5 Series or Merc E-Class and prioritising hybrid power. There’ll be three petrol-electric DS 9s offered: 225 and 250bhp versions with front-wheel drive, and a 360bhp range-topper with four-wheel drive.

You can expect up to 48km on electric alone – helping the DS 9 slink into zero emission zones in cities – with a mix of driving modes to help prioritise how you want to shuffle power around. If you care not for exhaust emissions, there’ll be a solely petrol version using a 225bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder.

As you’d hope, there is much luxury. Heated, cooled and massaging back seats. Much ambient lighting. Something called Art Rubis leather. The option of a 180deg-rotating B.R.M watch atop the dashboard. Which, in time, may be worth more than the car…

We jest. Probably. But we do wonder if the DS 9 looks a little… tame. Some of our favourite depreciation-disaster French sedans of the past have been aesthetically gobsmacking, but perhaps that’s the point here.

Keep the styling as safe as its German rivals, and watch the residual values climb. And there are at least nods to the wonderful Citroen DS of old (a car still worth lots of money, we must point out), most notably the additional set of orange lights above the rear window.

There’s a good smattering of tech to ape the old DS’s forward-thinking swagger, too. Level 2 autonomous driving functions up until 178km/h. Active Scan suspension that uses a camera to read the road surface ahead and preps the damping for it. Night vision cameras to improve safety.

Enough to make this the big French sedan to buck the money-burning trend? We’ll get a good glimpse of it at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March.

*And Citroen XM, Peugeot 607, Renault Safrane… how long have you got?

STORY Stephen Dobie

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