New 2022 DS 9 review

Rory White

23 Feb 2022

1/9
The DS 9 is an upmarket saloon that's gunning for sales versus the usual German options. DS has the heritage but does the DS 9 have what it takes today?

YesAuto Score:

68/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Stylish inside and out

+ Comfy and quiet to drive

+ Decent PHEV electric range


CONS:

- Average infotainment system...

- ...and boot space

- Interior quality in places


Verdict: The DS 9 is a head-turning premium saloon with lots of space and equipment and an impressive plug-in hybrid version. It still doesn't rival its German competition for outright quality, though, and the DS 9 looks expensive when buying on finance. 


2022 DS 9: walking around it


The DS 9 is certainly one of the most striking saloons on the market. Next to the sort of cars it competes against, such as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, it has the most visual impact out on the road.


A prominent grille, thin, sharp daytime running lights and piercing LED headlights do the business at the front, while a strong shoulder line and flowing roofline make the DS 9 very easy on the eye.


There are only two trim versions of the DS 9 you can buy in the UK – the Performance Line + and the Rivoli +. The former is the sportier-looking of the two, with black alloy wheels and red badges. The Rivoli + has more chrome detailing and silver alloys instead.


2022 DS 9: sitting inside it


Like its exterior, the DS 9's interior has a unique look that really sets it apart from the more clinical interiors of its German rivals.


There's a high, flat-front dash and tall centre console that cocoons the driver and front passenger in, plus a large widescreen infotainment system in the middle of it all – more on that later.


This is one of DS's finest efforts when it comes to quality, but the DS 9 still doesn't quite look or feel as sturdily screwed together as the efforts from Audi, BMW or Mercedes inside. Its switches don't feel as plush, either.


The best the DS 9's interior gets is in Rivoli spec, which features Nappa leather on the dash and doors. The Performance Line + replaces this with Alcantara, as well as on the steering wheel for a sportier feel inside.


If you really want to step up the luxury, you can add a further Opera Pack for £3000 to Rivoli + cars, which adds even more Nappa leather around the place in black or red.


2022 DS 9: using the tech


All DS 9s come with a 12-inch widescreen infotainment touchscreen on the centre of the dash and a 12.3-inch set of digital driver's dials.


The main screen is bright, pin-sharp and decently responsive. However, its native menus aren't the easiest to get your head around, so swapping to the standard-fit Apple CarPlay or Android Auto will be preferable for most.


Likewise, the in-built sat-nav is a bit clunky – it isn't that easy to input an address and following the maps isn't as simple as it should be.


The digital dials are clear and sharp, but not the most configurable set on the market. All told, Audi, BMW and Mercedes all do better infotainment systems than this.


2022 DS 9: getting stuff in it


The DS 9 offers lots of space for tall adults in the front, plus lots of electric seat movement and manual steering wheel adjustment as standard. As such, it's easy to get a good driving position sorted quickly.


In the back, the amount of legroom is very generous, so even tall adults should be able to stretch out. Headroom is good too, as long as you avoid the optional panoramic sunroof.


As a result, getting a couple of child seats in the back doesn't mean having to shove the front seats too far forward, although bending down and getting them in beneath the low-slung roof will be more difficult than it would be in an SUV.


Spending an extra £2000 gets you the Rivoli Lounge Pack on Rivoli + models. That means a rear lounge armrest, heated rear seats and ventilated and massaging rear seats.


That also means that the DS 9s rear seats no longer fold, though – as standard they split in a 60:40 configuration and fold down to open up the boot space.


The DS 9's boot measures 510-litres, although the plug-in hybrid versions get a smaller more shallow boot due to their batteries being beneath the boot floor. The same is true of its PHEV German alternatives, though.


DS is yet to confirm how much smaller the PHEV models' boot actually is, but the space is really quite shallow inside and narrower than the boot you get in the aforementioned German rivals too.


2022 DS 9: driving it


The DS 9 comes with petrol or plug-in hybrid petrol-electric forms. There's no diesel engine on offer here.


The petrol-only model is a 1.6-litre with 225hp, while the PHEVs come with the same engine and electric motors in 225hp, 250hp and 360hp forms. The PHEVs all have a small battery onboard that can be charged at an impressive 7kW (faster than most PHEVs) in 105 minutes via a wall box. A full charge allows an electric-only range of between 35 and 43 miles depending on the model.


All models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and all but the range-topping 360hp PHEV get front-wheel drive as standard. The range-topper comes with all-wheel drive as standard instead.


The petrol-only DS 9 is the best bet if you're buying privately. Its engine is a bit noisy when revved but is smooth and fast enough in and out of town and high-30s fuel economy is possible if it's driven sensibly.


However, if you're planning on running a DS 9 as a company car, or have access to charging at home or work, the PHEVs are a better option. The 250hp version is best, as it has the longest electric range (43 miles) and enough get up and go no matter the sort of road.


The 360hp PHEV DS 9 is billed as the sporty option, but in truth, the softer, less agile 250hp version is more in keeping with the DS 9 character. It's also more comfortable at low speeds and impressively quiet at higher speeds on the motorway too.


The DS 9 might not keep up with a 5 Series in the corners, but in the right form, it gives Audi, BMW and Mercedes a run for their money when it comes to comfort and quiet.


2022 DS 9: paying for it


For a full in-depth rundown on the DS9's prices, specs and YesAuto deals, click here.


The DS 9 starts at a little under £41,000 for the 225hp petrol Performance Line + model, and tops out at Just over £57,000 for the range-topping 360hp PHEV in Rivoli + trim.


These prices are broadly in line with those of the A6, 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, although the DS 9 does come with more equipment as standard.


The problem is that while DS has dramatically improved its brand image and in turn residual values, the DS 9 still doesn't hold on to as much of its value on the used market as these German alternatives. For private buyers buying with cash or on a lease, this means a DS 9 will cost considerably more to own in the long run.


Of course, if your company is happy to take that hit, running a PHEV DS 9 through work will mean comparably cheap company car tax payments as these rivals.


If you have home charging, running a PHEV DS 9 is the cheapest option too, especially the 250hp PHEV with its decent electric range and impressive charge rate (for a PHEV.)


2022 DS 9: comparing it


Compared with an Audi A6, the DS 9 has a more striking look and a slightly better PHEV electric range. It holds its own in terms of comfort and quiet, too. However, the A6 has a better infotainment system, a higher-quality cabin, a better boot and will be cheaper to own.


BMW's 5 Series is much more fun to drive on the right road, is also higher-quality inside and has the best infotainment system of any large premium saloon. The DS 9 is as comfy and quiet, though and once again betters the electric range of the BMW when the PHEVs are compared side-by-side.


The Mercedes E-Class comes closest to matching the pizzazz of the DS 9 inside and out and is also better screwed together inside. It also has a better infotainment system and a better boot too. The DS 9 is similarly comfortable and quiet, though and once again outdoes the E-Class PHEV's electric range.


Compare these cars with the DS 9 using YesAuto's car comparison tool here.


FAQs


Q: How much does a DS 9 cost?

A: The DS 9 starts at a little under £41,000 for the 225hp petrol Performance Line + model, and tops out at Just over £57,000 for the range-topping 360hp PHEV in Rivoli + trim.


Q: Who makes the DS 9 car?

A: DS is a French brand under the Stellantis group along with other manufacturers such as Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall. It is a premium car manufacturer that aims to rival others like Audi, BMW and Mercedes.


Q: Are DS cars luxury?

A: Yes. DS cars are a premium option, rivalling cars from other premium manufacturers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Of the car manufacturers grouped under the Stellantis umbrella company, it is the most luxurious option.


Read more


Buy a new or used car with YesAuto

Configure your perfect car with YesAuto

Rory White

23 Feb 2022