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Why Citroën is Underrated

Why the DS range is a hidden gem in the European car market.

Until Renault began making some of the best hot hatches in the world, French cars had never really posed any real threat to foreign rivals. The Renault 5 Turbo being the car that got the ball rolling, paving the way for legendary variants of the Meganne and Clio.

However more recently I think Citroën has helped to push the French motor industry even further. Aside from the odd respectable model over the years, the brand really became desirable to me since the introduction of the ‘DS’ range. The DS3 was pretty revolutionary in its design is one of only a handful of cars that actually looks similar to the original concept. Then the DS3 Racing took everything that was good about the small hatch and amplified them. The futuristic stickers were questionable, but the other design touches worked very well indeed. Plus, it was genuinely brisk and drove well!

Less popular, but equally as attractive, are the DS4 and DS5. The medium-size family car market has always been a difficult nut to crack for the French firms. Small hatches and large saloons; yes. But the sizes in between; less so. Maybe this is the reason why we would never expect to see these two models everywhere like we do the DS3, but this only adds to the exclusivity and enhances the desirability.

The way that individual design features on both models come together to create a – dare I say it – pretty package, is an impressive feat. On top of this the interior quality of Citroëns is up there with any competitor nowadays. Gone are the days of wheelie bin-standard plastics on the dash and shoddily screwed together components.

With prices starting at £17,390 for the DS4 and £22,700 for the DS5, neither model is going to offer you the bargain of the century, but rest assured they are good value for money because of the quality piece of kit you’re getting. Having said that, you wouldn’t want to pay the base price, mainly due to the microscopic wheels that come as standard on both models and the fact they ruin the overall look of the car.

Citroen, like most global manufacturers at the moment, is struggling financially. Maybe some poor decisions and bad management contributed to making a loss last year, but with its DS range in particular, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t turn it around. And above all the little clever things, it’s just so refreshing to see cars that dare to be different on our roads!

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About Matt

Contributor Without the motor car I'd be bored and also late. Lifelong petrolhead. I hope you enjoy reading articles written from a different stance to the rest of the motoring world.  ... read more