Technically speaking, the DS 9 is a rebodied Chinese 508.
Moreover, this large sedan which claims French know-how is made in China.
Aesthetically, the result is very convincing.
Unquestionably, the DS 9 is an imposing, elegant and statutory car.
To our great astonishment, several people even expressed a certain curiosity as we passed by.
It must be said that you don't see DS 9s on every street corner!
Under its bonnet, this large sedan, almost 5 meters long, accommodates only a small sixteen-hundred 4-cylinder engine coupled to an electric motor.
Admittedly, the set develops 250 hp, but we can't help but think that this lack of mechanical nobility is incompatible with a base price bordering on €60,000.
Admittedly, the dashboard does not have the stylistic charm and audacity of that of a Peugeot 508, but when you take your seat on board the DS 9, you are still very pleasantly surprised by the generous presence of the alcantara.
And then, when switching on the ignition, the deployment of the BRM mount in the middle of the dashboard still has its little effect.
Another positive point is that the storage is vast and numerous.
In the DS 9, we are also entitled to (digital) instrumentation worthy of the name.
This is much more serious than the one, all pokey of the DS 4. On the other hand, the DS 9 being of an older design, its infotainment system does not offer multiple displays (you have to choose to display the radio,
navigation or air conditioning settings) as well as Android Auto does not work wirelessly and the size of the screen seems quite small compared to what is available today.
On the other hand, it is difficult not to be seduced by the magnificent Alcantara seats with electric adjustments and which can be heated and massaged.
In the back, the passengers are installed like kings.
The legroom is simply amazing.
The trunk lacks height but it is very deep and can swallow 510 liters of luggage.
On the road
For this test, we had the basic version, namely the 2-wheel drive (front) version combining a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder developing 200 hp and 300 Nm and a 110 hp and 320 Nm electric motor. together gives cumulative values of 250 hp and 360 Nm. There is also a version equipped with 2 strong electric motors of 360 hp.
In this case, the second electric motor is installed on the rear axle, so it is a 4WD.
Starting is always done in electric mode.
If you do not want to drain the battery quickly, you will therefore have to think about switching to hybrid mode each time.
Because with 15.6 kWh of capacity, the battery only offers a limited range.
During our test, it varied from 36 to 40 km.
This "basic" hybrid powertrain is more than enough for everyday use.
Very quiet, it only gives voice when you crush the accelerator.
It is precisely at this moment that we remember the presence of a small 4-cylinder under the big hood.
In terms of comfort, while the DS 4 had really disappointed us (because of its 20-inch wheels), the DS 9 is a solid hit with a body that breathes but without being excessively relaxed, and an excellent vibration balance despite 19 inch wheels.
For a "battery" car, we will also appreciate the perfect vertical harmony between the front and the rear, understand that the rear axle never causes relaunches.
But the real strong point of the DS 9 is its soundproofing.
On the highway, we hear absolutely no extraneous noise.
That is remarkable.
A few details, however, irritated us: the parking assistance system is simply unusable because it is so slow, and the drowsiness detection device is really too intrusive.
It is enough to take your eyes off the road for a few seconds (even if only to change radio station) for it to signal itself visually and acoustically.
In the same vein, the active lane keeping assistance is just as sensitive: without regular movements of the steering wheel, you will quickly be entitled to a call to order.
After 790 km of testing, our DS 9 left us with an average fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km.
A nice result, which would have been even better if we had been able to reload more often.
But as we have already said, the electric range is quite limited and therefore inevitably, we have had several occasions to start a motorway journey with an empty battery.
Charging can be done with a power of 7.4 kW.
It therefore takes about 2h30 to fully recharge an empty battery.
Displayed at 59,000 €, the DS 9 E-Tense 250 does not really have a direct competitor, at least as far as plug-in hybrids are concerned, which are much more expensive if we consider the German manufacturers.
This DS-9 did not fail to seduce us with its presence and its comfort (habitability and soundproofing), to the point of making us forget its lack of mechanical nobility.
Still, like many others no doubt, we can't help but ask ourselves the question: would we be ready to put more than €50,000 in a Frenchwoman made in China, even if it were a rechargeable hybrid?
One thing is certain in any case, driving a DS 9 will ensure you great exclusivity!
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