Today sees Citroen's strange DS5 go on sale - strange because it's an executive car that's also a hatchback. And French. And a diesel-electric hybrid. Will the experiment work? Or will this be another Renault Avantime-style disaster?

If you're looking for an answer to that question, you won't get it here - we dare not predict how well (or not) the DS5 will sell. The attractive models genuine young executive key demographic couple in the picture above seem enthused, which is a good sign.

What we do know, however, is what the DS5 is like: sort of good, in a way.

It's basically a quite large family hatchback, but with better than average interior quality and, certainly, more personality than the average mid-level three-box premium saloon.

Priced from £22,400, the bottom rung of DS5 ownership is a good three grand cheaper than that of the BMW 3 Series.

That price is for a DSign spec car with a 108bhp diesel engine. The same spec offers a 158bhp diesel, and a 198bhp Hybrid4 diesel-electric hybrid setup, boasting 99g/km. That costs about £27,000.


Those that big fat hate diesel can have a THP 200 engine, which is a 1.6-litre turbo petrol unit with 198bhp. The most you can spend on a DS5, before options, is £32,200, for a Hybrid4 in DSport spec. Middle spec is DStyle, which begins at £25,000.

All cars get most of the stuff you'd expect in an executive car: alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, cruise control, MP3 connectivity, automatic wipers and lights. (As in, the lights turn on automatically when it gets dark. Never pay extra for headlamps on a car - they should always come as standard.)

DStyle adds part leather, an analogue clock (yes, really), a reversing camera, sat nav and electric sun blinds for a panoramic roof. DSport turns part leather into whole leather, heats the front seats, adds xenon auto-directional headlamps, and a colour head-up display.