2022 DS 9 E-Tense Opéra

2022 DS 9 E-Tense Opéra

Nein danke For all its Gallic charm, the DS 9 doesn’t do enough to break Britain’s German habit.

It’s when I sit in the back seats that the DS 9 makes most sense. It’s blissful. There’s heaps of knee room and lovely seats in this 4.9-metre saloon. Iconoclastic chauffeur companies take note. Here you get the most benefit from the calm ambience, the comfort-orientated suspension and the high level of cabin tech.

2022 DS 9 E-Tense Opéra

It’s pretty agreeable up front, too – pleasing to the eye and the touch. Our plug-in hybrid – which has an 11.9kWh lithium-ion battery that can supply up to 34 miles of zero-emissions driving – pulls away in Electric mode, and when the 1.6-litre petrol four joins in it doesn’t make much noise below motorway speeds.

For a long, heavy, front-wheel-drive car, the DS 9 hauls itself competently through corners, with progressive bodyroll and sufficient front-end grip. The steering is nicely linear and pleasantly weighted, if largely uncommunicative. The brake pedal’s initial bite feels a little marshmallowy, and can be snatchy in traffic queues, which leads to some pitching.

We get three versions of the DS 9: a 222bhp turbocharged four-cylinder petrol, and two plug-in hybrids, this one with 222bhp or a 355bhp all-wheel-driver. The range structure is nice and simple too: Performance Line+ costs from £40,615, its sporty features including alcantara-trimmed seats, aluminium pedals and a matt black front grille. The alternative is Rivoli+ (from £44,715), which majors on luxury and technology. It includes leather seats with a massage and cooling function, manoeuvring camera with a 360˚ field of vision and Level 2 driver assistance to stop, start and keep you in lane in highway traffic.

Aside from the 222bhp petrol Performance Line+, all cars get DS Active Scan Suspension. A camera scans the road so the AI brain can instantly stiffen or slacken the damping force to optimise occupant comfort.

The 9 is the best DS yet. It delivers on comfort, refinement and fuel economy, and undercuts BMW’s 530e by about £6000. It’ll likely cost you more per month on a monthly rental, though, hampered by DS’s lower residual values. But if you fall for its design, this endearing limo is the Chrysler 300C for our times, Parisian-style.

First verdict The sort of big, comfortable, semi-posh car that always sells badly in Britain, but it’s very well executed

PLUS Calm, comfortable and well equipped

MINUS Can’t match a Merc or BMW for dynamism or residuals


  • 1 minute It’s an elegant design, nicely finished
  • 2 minutes Inside, it’s the usual DS mix of classy and Gauche
  • 16 minutes It’s in no hurry to accelerate. Best at wafting
  • 24 minutes Clever suspension soaks up bumps without bringing too much bodyroll
  • 54 minutes Nice. But the Peugeot 508 PHEV, based on the same chassis, is more appealing

Sloped window doesn’t cramp space for rear passengers

  • PRICE £49,200 (222bhp PHEV, Rivoli+)
  • POWERTRAIN 11.9kWh battery, 1598cc turbo four-cyl, e-motor, eight-speed auto, front-drive
  • MAX POWER 222bhp @ 6000rpm,
  • MAX TORQUE 221lb ft @ 6000rpm,
  • 8.3sec 0-62mph,
  • MAX SPEED 149mph
  • WEIGHT 1839kg
  • ON SALE Now
  • EFFICIENCY 176.6mpg,33g/km CO2
Article type:
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!
Drives TODAY use cookie