All-New DS 9 E-Tense First Drive

In Car Reviews, DS Automobiles, Hybrid 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 from the new DS flagship product. 

This sizeable, 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 plugin 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. 

Want a deeper dive into this part of the vehicle? Ok, here goes. The plugin 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. In addition, it’ll save you lots of fuel – as long as you plug in and charge the DS 9 regularly.

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’s infrared camera technology projecting 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. 

The room in the cabin of the DS 9 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.

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!

Car reviewed: DS 9 E-TENSE 225 Performance Line

on the road price £46,100

  • 0-62mph 8.3secs
  • Top speed 149mph
  • Engine Layout 1598cc four-cylinder turbo petrol + electric 
  • Fuel Economy 256.8-176.6mpg (WLTP)
  • Max. Power 225PS@5500rpm
  • Torque 300Nm@1900rpm
  • All-Electric Range 34miles
  • CO2 emissions 33-35g/km
  • Transmission 8-speed automatic front-wheel-drive
  • Bootspace 510 1itres

Tim Barnes-Clay

Motoring Journalist

Tim Barnes-Clay qualified as a journalist in 1994 and is a member of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers. He initially trained in broadcast journalism and has worked as a reporter and news reader at various radio stations in East Anglia and the Midlands. He has also been a motoring journalist for the Mirror Group’s L!ve TV cable network and a presenter, reporter and producer at ITV Central in Birmingham. Tim is now an automotive writer, focusing on car reviews. He has media accreditation with all motor manufacturers’ press offices, and this enables him to test drive the latest cars. He also attends new vehicle press launches at home and abroad.