Fresh interior options come to flagship DS in latest revisions
DS has given the DS 9 a series of small tweaks to keep it competitive in the executive-saloon class, plus a new starting price tag of £56,000.
The DS 9 launched in the UK back in 2021 as the French brand’s luxury-focused alternative to the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. Doubling down on that premium take are the new trim levels of Opera and Esprit de Voyage, sitting alongside the existing Rivoli+ edition.
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The latest DS IRIS system has been added to the DS 9 for 2023. This means the car’s infotainment system has been overhauled and given a new interface that features more extensive customisation. The sat-nav has also been updated; it can monitor traffic conditions in real time to calculate the best route, plus speed cameras, weather forecasts and availability of charging stations and prices of petrol stations are all displayed. New higher-resolution cameras have been added to improve the 360-degree camera display.
DS has also set about improving the plug-in hybrid powertrain. Before there was a 11.9kWh battery, but this has been boosted to 15.6kWh, improving the car’s all-electric range.
New DS 9: trim levels
The Rivoli+ is the new entry-level version of the DS 9. You still get the same 12.3-inch driver’s display and 12-inch central touchscreen as higher-spec models, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as standard.
Above this is the Opera model, from £64,600. To help give the DS 9 a smoother ride, there’s ‘Active Scan’ suspension, which uses a camera to study the road ahead for bumps and adjusts the suspension accordingly.
There’s also more safety tech, with DS’s Drive Assist feature and a driver-attention monitor. The former enables level two semi-autonomous drive functions, combining adaptive cruise control with steering assist and a camera system to pilot the car in a single lane at up to speeds of 111mph. Automatic parking assistance is also available, as is DS Night Vision, which uses an infrared camera to display the road ahead in clarity on dark and unlit roads.
Opera also adds an uprated sound system and the ‘DS Lounge Pack’ which consists of a courtesy button to move the passenger seat forward, dual-zone air conditioning, heated, massaged and cooled rear seats, a sunroof, a powered bootlid and a heated windscreen.
Two new upholstery colours have arrived on the Opera in 2023 – ‘Opera Red’ and ‘Opera Basalt Black’ – contrasted against a grey Alcantara headlining.
Also new for 2023 is the Esprit de Voyage Collection. Priced from £74,415, it adds Pearl Grey Nappa leather interior trim, redesigned front and rear carpet mats and special Zéphir stitching. A map of Europe is shown on the Nappa-leather section on the centre console, with lines stretching out from DS’ design studio in Paris. This design also features on the sills and mirror caps. 20-inch wheels are fitted to the Esprit de Voyage and the three exterior paint finishes are Crystal Pearl, Platinum Grey and Perla Nera Black.
DS 9: powertrains
The DS 9 used to have the option of a 222bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder PureTech petrol unit, but now there’s just the E-Tense plug-in hybrid option to choose from, in two guises. The plug-in hybrid E-Tense 250 model uses a 197bhp version of the brand’s 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine and a 15.6kWh battery feeding a 107bhp electric motor, for a total combined output of 249bhp – up from 222bhp. The E-Tense 250 can be had in Rivoli+ or Opera, whereas the 4×4 360 is available in Opera and Esprit de Voyage.
Above this is the E-Tense 4×4 360. As the name suggests it’s a four-wheel drive system made up from a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor powering the front, and another electric motor on the rear axle. A total output of 359bhp can send the DS 9 from 0 to 62mph in 5.6 seconds. The E-Tense 250 can be had in Rivoli+ or Opera, whereas the 4×4 360 is available in Opera and Esprit de Voyage. All versions of the DS 9 use an EAT8 eight-speed automatic gearbox.
DS 9: efficiency, range and charging
Pure-electric range has been increased with the 2023 car. There used to be a zero-emissions range of up to 34 miles, but this has been stretched to 39 miles in the 4×4 360 model and 46 miles for the lesser-powered E-Tense 250. The DS 9 can reach 87mph on electric power alone.
DS claims the 4×4 360 has a combined efficiency figure of 188.3mpg. CO2 emissions have dropped, with some specifications putting out as little as 18g/km. With the increased battery size, charging times have risen to two hours 25 minutes for a 0-to-100-per cent recharge from a 7kW wallbox (up from one hour and 45 minutes).
DS 9: design and engineering
The DS 9 sits on the firm’s EMP2 platform, developed by the Groupe PSA element of the new Stellantis collection of automotive brands, architecture it shares with the DS 7 SUV and the Peugeot 508 saloon.
However, the new DS 9 is larger than its Peugeot relation. At 4,930mm long and 1,850mm wide it slots into the full-size executive car market.
There is a fastback element to the car in profile, but it’s more a traditional three-box saloon. The front end takes inspiration from the brand’s other models with a large, diamond mesh chrome-effect grille flanked by chrome headlight detailing, vertical LED running lights and DS Active LED Vision headlights, with five separate automatic modes. A chrome strip runs down the centre of the bonnet to the windscreen, too, signifying the model’s flagship status.
The sides of the DS 9 are a mixture of smooth surfacing and strong lines – the sharp shoulder crease contrasts with flush door handles. The back features the now trademark DS 3D diamond pattern LED taillights, more chrome detailing, a smooth rear bumper, and a nod to the original 1955 DS in the form of the indicators – they’re mounted high on the car’s C-pillars.
The dashboard and interior are heavily based on the DS 7’s, with the only real obvious differences being the door panels, interior vents and a storage space beneath the standard central infotainment display.
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