I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

TMW - The flagship DS range of cars from the PSA Group is topped off with the DS5, a great car, so why does it not sell better ?

The DS automobiles brand, which has split from Citroen, has a trio of cars for sale in the UK, and the top of that range is the DS5, within that are three distinct models, the Elegance, performance line and Prestige and a hybrid 4x4 on top of that, the model we have today is the DS5 Prestige BlueHDi 150 S&S, six speed manual, in a stunning Whisper Purple, unfortunately the colour looks black unless you look at it with the sun on, or bright light, otherwise you really struggle to tell what colour this is.

On first glance when the car arrives, you are stuck by how large it is, and how stylised it is, with that silver slash from the front to the door and the kink that goes a few inches up the side, the split rear window on the tailgate, an old trait used before on another Citroen.

When you open the door you get a hint of aircraft, with the central stack in the roof with various buttons which activate the HUD, and the three, yes three, covers for the three stage glass roof. Once you get the car into the position that you are happy to be in, by moving the electric seats and the steering wheel, you slide into the seat, which actually is sat quite high, more SUV height, that luxury saloon, and that’s not an issue.

With the roof stack, and the central stack you feel very cosseted and quite claustrophobic, but in this car that’s not a problem, as there are so many other things for you to look at, like the really good sat-nav system, decent infotainment set up, the various settings for MPG, speed and eco mode, which is just a timer for when the car is at a standstill.

Once you start the car, by pressing the button below the art deco style clock, the car fires up to a roar, it is rather noisy, more so than I expected, but once inside, and driving along the noise goes from intrusive to becoming part of the excitement of driving this piece of French Flair.

The car in question is one that tries to compete with the likes of the Mondeo and Passat, to the C-Class, 3-Series and A4, does it work, well, yes and no, in terms of quality, build, equipment levels and price, yes, definitely, where it fails to compete is pure and simple, they have the market well and truly sewn up between them, so getting a car in there, and be successful, along with decent pricing, residuals and cost of ownership, this car is left wanting, and really that is a huge shame.

People do not look at this car, instead they immediately go for the German brands, and as I have said enough times before, these German brands are NOT as good as they pretend to be, we won’t even mention the VW diesel scandal, the Mondeo, took so long to come to the UK, that it lost its way, and became an instant overnight, out of date car, which is where the DS 5 should have jumped on the band wagon, and pushed the car for all its might, and tried to take some market share for the car.

The DS 5 is a brilliant car, there is no other word to describe it, you feel like you are flying a jet fighter, the car shifts, very quickly, and it has equally good brakes to bring the car to a safe and competent stop, without feeling like you are not in control.

This model comes with a host of added equipment:- 
  • Cruise Control
  • TPMS
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Sat Nav
  • Trip Computer
  • Reversing camera
  • Hill start assist
  • ABS
  • EBD
  • EBA
  • ESC
  • Auto handbrake
  • eTouch emergency assistance system
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Auto activation of hazard lights
  • Front armrest storage
  • Leather pack
  • 3-Part glass sunroof with sunblind’s
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • DAB Digital radio
  • USB Socket
  • Bluetooth
  • Mirror Link
  • LED Daytime running lights
  • DS LED Vision Xenon direction headlights
  • Auto lights
  • 18" Alloys 
Just a very small amount of the standard kit on the car, so you can see that it is very well specified, and can fight it with the best of them and come out on top.

Our car here today came with very few additions but they were:-
  • Metallic Paint £600
  • Metal Effect Interior Trim Finishers
  • Colour Heads Up Display (HUD)
  • Electric Comfort Pack £500
  • Grey Leather £0.00 
The car is also quite friendly to the environment, considering its size and weight, the model here runs 113g/km Co2, which is not bad, however the range does start at 103g/km Co2, it can cruise quite happily at over 100mph, and it tops out at 127mph, whilst taking 10.6 seconds to get from standstill to 62mph, quite slow compared to other cars in the class, but then who actually does drive it like the road testers do?

Fuel consumption is claimed from DS Automobiles as really very good 
  • Urban Cycle 4.4litre/100km    64.2mpg
  • Extra Urban  3.8litre/100km    74.3mpg
  • Combined     4.1litre/100km    68.9mpg 
These are claimed figures, and I didn't manage to get to the high numbers, but according to the trip computer I did manage to get high 40's on a run to Malvern, where we had a bespoke tour of Morgan Motor Company, (post to come shortly) and this included motorway, city and country road driving, and getting stuck in a large traffic jam in Malvern.

Personally I would have preferred to have driven an automatic, as most people who would buy this type of car would opt for the EAT6, which is a great auto box once you get used to the way it needs to be driven, one of our own cars is the C4 Cactus with the EAT6, and for the first few days it was like a kangaroo driving, but now you can drive the car very smoothly, and that’s what would be in this car as standard.

Driving the car and you feel like you are in something very well made, ergonomically the car is great, with everything easily to hand, you never have to reach about for anything, I did have issues with the roof toggle switches when I first got the car, but once I got used to where there were and which switch did what, there was no problems.

Pulling away from junctions is not an issue for the car as there are bags of torque to get you moving, and the well to heavily weighted power steering never diverts from where you point it, no torque steer here.

Now the negative points, and there is one that’s just too big to ignore, and that’s depreciation, this car drops like a stone, but then the big Citroen models generally have, which makes the DS5 a brilliant buy second hand, which then begs the question, would I have one, too right I would, the car has all the toys, the build quality and looks that some of the supposed quality brands would dearly love to have, and fail to achieve.

The car runs, stops and performs faultlessly, has loads of boot space, my only issues are the dark interior for the rear seat passengers, but that can be rectified by the triple glass roof, and the double glass tailgate, this can be an issue if you slam it shut with something in the way, and crash that’s the tailgate window broken, but being careful should alleviate that.

Nissan announces that the Qashqai will be fitted with low resistance tyres, meaning a host of improved savings on driving costs.

  • CO2 and VED improvements on Qashqai 18” alloys thanks to low resistance tyres
  • Up to £130 OTR savings and 1% BIK improvements on selected models  
Nissan is pleased to announce that Qashqai models specified with 18” alloy wheels will now benefit from factory-fitted low resistance tyres delivering improved efficiency and reduced cost of ownership across the range.
The special tyre design means CO2 and fuel consumption figures now match those of the 17” alloy wheel size, saving £130 in VED payments on some models with lower BIK across the line-up. 

The update presents an enhanced offer for fleet and business users with all Qashqais equipped with 18” alloys gaining a 1% BIK improvement. On selected models this means BIK is as low as 19%, with combined fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg.
The improved efficiency of the tyres means dCi 110 engines on Acenta with Premium Pack, N-Connecta and N-Vision grades now deliver CO2 emissions of just 99g/km. DiG-T 115 and dCi 130 4WD versions now emit 129g/km, which means they’re exempt from VED in the first year, saving customers £130.
The model improvements are outlined below:
Acenta Premium Pack, N-Connecta
& N-Vision
Previous / New
MPG (l/100km)
BIK Band &
DiG-T 115 2WD manual133 → 129g/km50.4 (5.6)23% → 22%-£130
DiG-T 115 2WD Xtronic133 → 129g/km50.4 (5.6)23% → 22%-£130
DiG-T 163 2WD manual*138 → 134g/km48.7 (5.8)24% → 23%-£0
dCi 110 2WD manual103 → 99g/km74.3 (3.8)20% → 19%-£0
dCi 130 2WD manual120 → 116g/km64.2 (4.4)24% → 23%-£0
dCi 130 2WD Xtronic128 → 122g/km60.1 (4.7)25% → 24%-£0
dCi 130 4WD Manual133 → 129g/km57.6 (4.9)26% → 25%-£130
*DiG-T 163 engine available on N-Connecta and N-Vision grades
Kieran McMenamin, Category Manager for Qashqai at Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd said; ‘Qashqai has always offered a great balance of style, technology and affordability so we’re delighted we’re improving the model yet again with these wheel improvements that will reduce cost of ownership, improve environmental credentials and add presence with the slightly larger alloy size.’ 

Alfa Romeo in the UK has announced that the order books are now open for the All-New Giulia Sports Saloon.

  • The Alfa Romeo Giulia is now available to order in the UK, priced from £29,180 OTR
  • The highly-anticipated sports saloon features all new rear-wheel drive architecture, perfect 50/50 weight distribution and innovative engine and driver technologies
  • Awarded a prestigious Five Star Euro NCAP rating – the highest score ever achieved – thanks to new efficient active safety systems which come as standard across the five new trim levels
  • The range-topping Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is capable of 0 to 62mph in just 3.9 seconds, combining distinctive Italian styling and exhilarating performance
  • For more information about the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia range, visit alfaromeo.co.uk
Alfa Romeo has opened UK order books today on the highly-anticipated all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia range, with prices starting from £29,180 OTR.
Combining perfect weight distribution with all new rear-wheel drive architecture, the Alfa Romeo Giulia offers customers best in class power-to-weight ratios and innovative engine and driver technologies.
Customers can also choose between four engine variants (two petrol and two diesel), which are all paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.

In the UK, the Alfa Romeo Giulia model range features five trim levels – the Giulia, Super, Tecnica, Speciale and the top-of-the-range Quadrifoglio. Order books for the Alfa Romeo Giulia Speciale will open later this month.
Damien Dally, Country Manager at Alfa Romeo UK, commented; ‘The all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia is a true driver’s car, offering beautiful Italian styling and stunning performance, and so we’re delighted to see strong early interest in the car. Passion and practicality combine in the Alfa Romeo Giulia; there’s never been more temptation to own an Alfa Romeo’.
New efficient active safety systems come as standard across the range, with the entry level ‘Giulia’ trim featuring Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) with pedestrian recognition, Integrated Brake System (IBS), and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). The innovative safety technology contributed to the Alfa Romeo Giulia being awarded a prestigious Five Star Euro NCAP rating, with 98% protection result for adult occupants – making it the highest score ever achieved by a car, despite the more severe Euro NCAP evaluation system introduced in 2015.
As with all Alfa Romeos, the interior of the car focuses on driving satisfaction with dual-zone climate control, Alfa™ D.N.A. rotary driving mode selector, Alfa Connect™ display infotainment system with DAB plus MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity, 8-speaker audio system, rear parking sensors and cruise control. 
The top-of-the-range Giulia Quadrifoglio, powered by a new 510hp, 600Nm Bi-Turbo V6 petrol engine, with an eight-speed paddle shift automatic transmission as standard, and featuring sector first Alfa™ Chassis Domain Control (CDC) system, is also available to order from Alfa showrooms with prices starting at £59,000 OTR.