Saturday – Flawed Beauty


These aren’t the seats from a Bentley – they’re what you will find in top end versions of the Citroen DS5.

The French are notoriously good at putting fine couture into their luxury cars – remember the Citroen CX, Renault Avantime and Vel Satis – but these seats are exceptionally good to look at.

Unfortunately, they are not quite so good to sit on. Despite electric adjustment on the driver’s side with a massaging facility and heat, I’ve found it exceptionally difficult to find a decent driving position.

And it’s also worth pointing out that although the DS5 can carry five people, the centre bolster in the rear bench seat combined with a lack of rear leg room means the Citroen is really more of a stylish 2+2.

Is this going to be a typical French case of form over function – like the three cars mentioned above – or is the DS5 the real deal? Find out how it drives tomorrow…

Tuesday – More Fuel For Thought


Last week I heard from an old friend who I knew as a teenager in Ross-on-Wye. He used to service my father’s Citroen CX – a car so complex under the bonnet that not even Haynes sold a user manual!

The CX has a spinning ball speedometer, self-centering steering and was, quite frankly, bonkers. My  friend was brave enough to risk tinkering with crazy French engineering.

I just wonder what he would make of the X1 engine. Like every modern car, it’s so complex that filling the water bottle is about as far as most people go these days. Besides, it makes a mess of your warranty.

The 1.6 diesel in our X1 is a lot more lively than I thought it was going to be, at 11.5 seconds to 60mph. I’d probably opt for the 2.0d if I was buying an X1 but the 1.8 would be a good compromise.

We are currently averaging 43mpg, rather less than the 57.6mpg that BMW claim. However, I’m expecting over 550mpg from this tank of diesel, which is excellent. BMW claim 772 miles, which would be quite remarkable.