Delta Sierra Five – Taking off with Citroën
Citroën DS5 – THP 200 manual and HDi 160 Automatic
The promise of industrial haute couture is put to the test as Stephanie Scorgie takes the new Citroën flagship through the magnificence of the barely touched Eastern Cape landscape
When being introduced to the Citroën DS5 in the unusually wind-free city of Port Elizabeth, I couldn’t help but think of what the Exterior Design Manager of Citroën, Fréféric Soubirou, said: “The car gradually became polished, rounded, softened, like a pebble polished by water.” This visual metaphor was a perfect way to describe the curves and sculpted design of the vehicle. The subtly aggressive and sporty features of the double chevron grille and sweeping chrome finished “sabres” that flow from the top of each headlight to the windscreen give the car the look of a naughty grin on an aristocrat.
Seated inside the car, my dreams of becoming the female version of Maverick in Top Gun while I was growing up were reignited as the cockpit styling had me itching to clear us for takeoff. In saying this though, I feel that a number of the buttons could have been modified from three into one multi-function. I can understand the Citroen philosophy is to make everything user friendly and they have interpreted this as one button having one function, but when you are searching for that one button in a cluster, it starts becoming a bit of an annoyance.
It’s easy to believe Citroën when they tell you that great care was taken when it came to choosing the right finishes for the DS5; the ladies would be happy to know that even the cosmetics industry was consulted when it came to the leather, and the colour combinations available would go with any outfit. The intricate watchstrap design of the seats is perfectly set against the finest metals, almost perfecting the fine balance between the soft and hard materials that is the crux to any aesthetically pleasing design.
With every beautiful body, you need a dynamic brain and powerful heart to drive it or else you land up having the automotive version of Barbie – all the looks but very little upstairs to work with. For the first half of the drive, I was given the THP 200 manual which provided the exact punch that I expected to live up to the unspoken promise of the sporty exterior. The six-speed transmission always had me believing that I wasn’t using it to its full potential as it pushed to give me more and the steering held the road curves and bends tighter than how I hold onto the last pair of size 6’s at a Louboutin sale.
My craving for something sweet was satisfied as I left a quaint cake shop in Jeffrey’s Bay at the half-way point and my fingers were crossed that the HDi 160 Automatic kept the performance winning momentum going in the second half of my journey. Unfortunately, as I hit the highway, I was already hanging onto the hope that I had perhaps received a faulty model while the engine of the vehicle took a while to comprehend that I had my foot on the accelerator. My suspicion is that in order to get the near perfect quietness that the diesel engine has, some of the torque was sacrificed. I suppose it comes down to personal preference though, as I would rather my car sound like a truck than be highway buddies as I cruise alongside one.
After spending a wonderful evening in a gorgeous villa at St Francis Links, as well as having Citroën spoil us with a dolphin watching trip, it was time to pack my bag and head back to the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg life. The ample boot space had me grinning as I imagined my grocery shopping and mountains of retail therapy fitting in quite comfortably. All in all, my two days spent with this French masterpiece were like finding the perfect pain au chocolat – temptingly delightful.