DS 9: Luxury on a Budget

DS Automobiles have always been about comfort and design. They sell a lifestyle choice of elegance and opulence on a bed of a thousand clouds. That is something that could have come from the marketing spiel of the new DS 9.

What is it?

We must start of course with the ethos and design language that DS have used when shaping and carving their new 9 out of urban Parisian rock faces (I’m trying to get into it a bit). The ethos of the vehicle is of course, Savoir Faire- urban, sophisticated suaveness. This ethos is then combined with the utmost in affluence and luxuriance- watch straps. I’ll take their word for that one.

Image: The custom B.R.M. timepiece is displayed front and centre in the DS 9 (picture courtesy of DS Automobiles)

If the car is a watchstrap, it holds quite an impressive watch. DS have worked with French watch manufacturer, B.R.M. to slot a 180O rotating timepiece in the centre of the dashboard. If you know anything about watches, you will know that a cheap B.R.M. will set you back around £2,500. Sacre bleu!

The Interior

The highlight of the DS 9 is the interior. The exterior is in no way ugly or lacking, but the interior is impressive. DS say that the, “DS 9 gives a new meaning to individual comfort where each setting can be adjusted for enhanced delight.” Good, let’s unpack that a little bit shall we.

Image: The central armrest has USB connections and buttons to adjust the seats for each passenger (picture courtesy of DS Automobiles)

The dashboard is draped in Nappa leather; the roof lining and sun visors are lined with Alcantara; the seats are heated, cooled and massaging; and the rear could accommodate even Andre the Giant with the 2.9m wheelbase. That is all very luxurious, and it makes what DS call the DS lounge. The DS lounge has leather galore and pleasantly tactile surfaces, DS know this and have picked out one item in particular. They say, “the hand-stitched leather door panel inserts invite you to touch and appreciate them.” I suppose it’s up to you how you choose to do that.

Image: The Rubis Nappa Leather interior makes the interior feel a bit more special- compared to the black interior leather (picture courtesy of DS Automobiles)

There are lots of other lovely features in the interior- like the pearl-stitching, which makes little pearl shapes in each stitch. I would urge you to choose the Rubis Red Nappa Leather interior too- reminiscent of DS cars of old but also a bit more special than the black. To make sure you keep the noise of the world out- or the noise of whatever you are doing inside in- the 9 has laminated acoustic glass and a hard-bonded body. Together, these reduce vibrations but also make it an altogether stronger vehicle.

Image: The DS 9 has a Clous de Paris bonnet strip, another element of French watchmaking that features in the car (picture courtesy of DS Automobiles)

What else is there?

The interior is magnificent but that is not the whole story with the DS 9. It comes with lots of clever little safety features too. Like many new cars it has a driving assist with some adaptive cruise control functions, and it will park itself if you hold down a park button. However, the Active Scan Suspension is the shining light. Tiny cameras scan the road in front of you and tell the suspension to get ready for imperfections in the road. That is just pure magic. It doesn’t just react to the road by having clever suspension- it actually prepares the car for the road ahead and adapts the suspension to suit it.

Image: The DS 9 appears to have eyelashes around its erm… rear eyes. DS say this is a nod to DS cars of old (picture courtesy of DS Automobiles)

Also, it gives you some infrared eyes at night- to show you what you might not be able to see in the dark at up to 100 metres and whilst you’re driving, the DS 9 will scan your face for signs of tiredness and set off an alarm if it thinks you might be nodding off.

Power and Performance

You can pick from two models of the DS 9. The Performance Line+ and the Rivoli+ and you can have these in either petrol or hybrid form. The DS 9 offers 222hp which means it will do 0-60mph in about 8.6 seconds- nothing to write home about but then nothing too jolty for the carefully crafted comfort. Soon to come will be a 360hp model that will offer some extra punch for those who want it.

Image: The DS 9 is 4.93 metres long to accommodate the 2.9m wheelbase for more legroom and comfort in the rear (picture courtesy of DS Automobiles)

The hybrid drivetrains will allow electric driving for up to 34 miles at speeds of up to 84mph and an inbuilt charger that tops the battery up from empty to full in an hour and a half if you require in ULEZ zones, but there is also a regenerative braking system.

The Verdict

You may assume then that this is a French car for Parisian people and whilst it may suit the Parisian streets most elegantly- it is a car of the world. Designed in France but built in China, the DS 9 will be available in both European and Asian markets and I think that could prove very lucrative for the French brand.

Image: The DS 9 has 14 speakers within the cabin, so you can be in your own cocoon of music, should you wish (picture courtesy of DS Automobiles)

The luxury car market in China is booming, many Chinese businesspeople want a comfort-focused car, with lots of lovely gadgets and plenty of leg room in the rear. The DS 9 offers that in bucket loads- with pearl-stitched bucket handles.

The competitors for the DS 9 are dramatically more expensive. The likes of the BMW 7-series, Mercedes-Benz S Class and Audi A8 will be in the same class, due to the comfort and extra legroom but you can’t get a new one of those for less than £70,000. Literally none of these competitors have an exquisite timepiece in the dashboard or a watchstrap design language if that is the clincher for you.

Image: The DS19 was released in 1955 at the Paris Motor Show and 12,000 orders were taken on the first day (picture courtesy of DS Automobiles)

The base price of the DS9 is a whole Volkswagen Golf cheaper than the German rivals, with a starting price of £40,615. If you are looking for something even more Parisian, that is around what it will cost you to get your hands on a well-looked after DS 19 from the 60s.

If you are thinking of getting your hands on a new car, then talk to us at VM Vehicle Solutions and we can talk through the options with you for what you need.

As always, thanks for reading and we hope to speak to you soon!

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