The DS 9 sedan comes with its own vision of the business class, where all roles and rules have long been defined. Does such boldness guarantee attention to the car? So! Does a bright image guarantee public interest? Of course! But does all this guarantee good sales? Oh…

Design: not like everyone else

The phrase “not like everyone else” can be used to describe the entire design of the DS 9 car – what’s outside, what’s inside. It’s as if we have a traditional sedan, but at the same time, we have a minimum of familiar forms.

All the convex parts of the body are emphasized by sharp angles and lines, plus many chrome decorative details. The wide and massive grille has black gloss-finish openings inside, but the outer contour is (again…) chrome. Wheel rims with numerous wave-shaped spokes, some of which are tinted in a “dark copper” style. The front lights attract attention with triple modules and the lights on the trunk lid with a diamond-shaped decoration. Finally, the roof pillars are decorated with yellow lights: these are not turn signals, but only (again…) decoration. However, in addition to the decor, it is also a hint of the DS car of 1955, with which they are generally trying to connect the entire history of the DS Automobiles brand.

DS 9 is a substantial D-E-class sedan: length – 4.93 meters, width – 1.86 meters, height – 1.46 meters, wheel the base is almost 2.9 meters. Designers tried to fill all these meters with fiction and noticeable differences: general forms and chrome decor, decoration materials, and interesting little things.

The same happens in the car interior. Here is the front panel, the center console, the steering wheel and the seats – it’s all there, everything is present in its usual places. And at the same time, everything is so unusual. The seats have a “watch strap” design, which has already become a trademark for various DS models. In the center of the front panel is a large touch display with excellent quality and a nice glossy frame. Above that are vent deflectors with a diamond-shaped engine start button and a BRM R180 scrolling winding clock. And on the central console, there are metalized keys for the window regulators: also one of the characteristic details of the DS.

What was not seen before in DS cars is such maximum attention to the rear passengers. The large length of the body and the wheelbase guarantee a reserve of legroom, and there is enough “air” above the head. However, the silhouette of the body and the shape of the doors force you to bend over when sitting back. However, when you find yourself in the back, the passages have a “climate” control unit (admittedly, this is not a separate zone, but a general “climate” control unit), heating and ventilation of the seats, and even a massage is provided. Perfect!

DS cars always have interesting interior designs and premium finishing materials. And the DS 9 sedan is no exception: the fabrication of decorative details would be enough for two cars of this class, used leather too. The business class status obliges you to pay attention not only to the front part of the interior but also to the back: a good amount of space and a maximum of options for the convenience of passengers. And a 510-liter trunk is provided for their suitcases.

Equipment: modern systems, but not everything has reached Ukraine…

Generally speaking, the DS 9 car is based on the EMP2 platform. For example, the recent crossover Opel Grandland on a similar platform can be mentioned. However, do not rush to compare these cars directly because the DS 9 sedan has rear independent suspension, under the hood hides a 1.6-liter gasoline turbo engine paired with an EAT8 automatic transmission, and as an option for the DS 9, you can order a night vision system. It has become more interesting!

However, unfortunately, the most interesting versions from the point of view of equipment did not come to Ukraine. We are talking about PHEV-hybrids, of which two are offered for the DS 9 model – with the usual front-wheel drive or even with all-wheel drive and total power of 360 hp.

Sedan DS 9 has an EMP2 platform, a supporting body and fully independent wheel suspensions, a PureTech gasoline turbo engine (1.6 liters; 215 hp at 5500 rpm /min; 300 Nm at 2000 rpm), and an 8-speed automatic transmission. There are hybrid versions of the DS 9 E-TENSE on the European market: a similar gasoline engine plus an electric motor (front-wheel drive) or even two electric motors (all-wheel drive), the battery charge should be enough for a range of up to 50 km in electric mode. Unfortunately, this is not about us: in Ukraine, there is only a 215-horsepower version. And how is it going?

Behind the wheel: for the driver or for the passenger?

In general, it is suitable for both. But with nuances. For example, even with 19-inch wheels and low-profile rubber, the car does not demonstrate extreme rigidity. Certain individual pits with sharp edges or large protrusions are still felt in the interior, but the series of small or medium bumps that you drive at speed is well masked by the suspension. And all this happens quietly – not a sound, not a hint, only a moderate and pleasant swaying. At the same time, everything is also “pleasant” with the driving: the DS 9 sedan clearly follows the turn of the steering wheel, in a tight turn it has a little skid (traditionally for front-wheel drive), but it does not have large rolls. That is: in general, everything related to the suspension-chassis-steering wheel is quite good.

And the acceleration seems to be normal: the DS 9 car honestly fulfills the promised “8.7 seconds to a hundred km/h” in the passport, sometimes even 0.1-0.2 seconds ahead of schedule. But there are unpleasant questions about how exactly it achieves it. The fact is that a small-volume turbo engine likes medium and high revolutions. Therefore, each acceleration, even at an average pace, occurs at 2.5-3-4 thousand revolutions, and the maximum acceleration requires “dancing” already about five thousand. Accordingly, each active acceleration forces the automatic transmission to switch to a gear or two down; thankfully, at least it does it quickly and imperceptibly. It turns out that the turbo engine provokes the DS 9 sedan to drive more sharply and dynamically; it doesn’t seem to mind, but it doesn’t quite suit his status. At the same time, in order to drive slowly, measuredly, and nobly, there is a little lack of smoothness and traction at low gears. The idea remains that under the hood of the DS 9, either a turbodiesel, or a larger volume, or a hybrid is requested, in which the electric motor can add torque from below.

The engine honestly works not at its 1.6 liters of volume, but 215 hp.: 8.7 seconds to a hundred km/h and 246 km/h maximum speed declared by the passport are generally real. However, the question is how exactly the engine does it: from the format of a large sedan, you want to get more smoothness and traction within one gear and “pickup” due to torque at low revolutions. And the proposed driving modes do not change the overall perception of the car too much. Except that in “sport” the steering wheel becomes heavier, and the automatic transmission keeps the gears lower and the engine always works in the zone of medium revolutions: you want to drive more actively. It turns out, the DS 9 sedan by its nature is still a car for the driver. By the way, a few more words and figures: in the city, fuel consumption is promised at the level of 10.2 liters per 100 km, on the highway – 5.8 liters per 100 km of travel is declared. My observations confirmed this: an average of 10-11 l in the city and 5.5 l on the highway at a speed of 90-100 km/h.

The cost of the DS 9 car and potential competitors

The DS 9 car for the Ukrainian market is offered not only with one engine but also in one Opera configuration. However, there are two price tags: the standard price DS 9 1.6 PureTech 215 AT8 Opera start from 1.75 million UAH, but there is a special price of 1.6 million UAH or $42.5 thousand.

The Opera package includes everything and even more: ABS and ESP systems, frontal and side airbags, inflatable safety curtains, assistant for monitoring the “blind zones” of the mirrors, driver fatigue monitoring, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistant traffic, traffic sign recognition, adaptive high beam, two-zone “climate”, keyless entry, 360 cameras and parking sensors in the front and behind, touch 12-inch display, front seats with heating and ventilation and massage, wireless charging for a smartphone, interior decoration DS Inspiration RAVOLI (black grained leather), 19-inch alloy wheels, DS ACTIVE LED VISION headlights, digital instrument panel with a 12.3-inch display, etc. The following is offered as an option: night vision system DS NIGHT VISION, FOCAL ELECTRA audio, Opera interior trim with Nappa leather, rear seats with heating and ventilation, as well as back massage functions, etc.

Adaptive light, leather upholstery, a large central touch display, heating and ventilation of the front seats, a digital instrument panel, and 360-degree view cameras – all this is already included in the car’s configuration. Heated and ventilated rear seats, a back massage function with three modes (buttons on the armrests), dark red premium leather, night vision system are options.

And a few words about competitors. Need a large D/E-class sedan with a powerful engine and a hint of driving ambition? For example, there is Mazda6: a well-known model and a well-known reputation, which loses in the list of equipment but wins in the price advantage. But, probably, potential buyers of DS 9 need something more seductive, individual, and modern. For example, like Peugeot 508: again more profitable for the price (although the difference is small), plus with a turbodiesel instead of a gasoline engine. But there is less space in the back – this is a car specifically for the owner-driver in front, but not for the boss-passenger behind. The one that is equally suitable for the owner in front and for the boss-passenger, offers an original design and a luxurious interior, and is well-known in the market is the Lexus ES sedan. But it is much more expensive.

DS 9 test drive results

Interesting: DS 9 raises questions not only about the car itself but also about the originality of the choice of car. After all, on the one hand, we have a traditional business sedan: quite large, convenient for the owner-driver, can be used for the boss-passenger, maximum equipment, premium interior decoration, modern systems, and equipment. At the same time, on the other hand, we have an option “to stand out” against the background of already well-known and familiar competitors. And this is key and even more important for DS 9 and its potential buyers.

After all, there are categories of buyers who will choose the “German top three” or well-known Japanese or British competitors – this is their fair choice and their own preferences. However, there are categories of buyers for whom these alternatives are not enough. For those who want to be radically different and have the courage to do so, the DS 9 sedan will be a good choice. Luckily, the car market of Ukraine gives you the opportunity to choose any option you like.

Car provided by DS Automobiles