Monday – Head Banger


I’m a modest 5ft 10ins. The DS5 is a family car, so why do I keep cracking my head on the side of the door opening when I step inside? It’s got to the point now where I duck down when I slip behind the wheel – although today I straightened up afterwards and immediately bumped my head on the centre roof console instead.

The Citroen is unusual in the fact that often, it is the driver who has the best seating position and the passengers miss out. The DS5 is fantastically comfortable for passengers but finding that perfect driving position remains a problem, even after four days of trying.

At least there is masses of space in the rear, with a drop down armrest in the middle of the back seat that helps give armchair-style relaxation. And the luggage space is huge, although you need to remove two parcel shelves to make the most of it.

Like the Hyundai Veloster, rear visibility is lacking. Our test car has a reversing camera and an audible alert but do try a rear parking manoeuvre before you open your wallet!



Monday – Aversion to family cars…

xc60 badge 

Jessica  I have an aversion to family cars that can bring me out in a rash – so it’s no wonder I spent my youth dragging babies and child seats in and out of a coupe. Unlike the estate cars I avoided at all costs, the Volvo XC60 has evolved from a typical family car into a visually pleasing machine.

Twenty years ago I would have cringed at the prospect of owning a Volvo – now I can truly appreciate what it has to offer. Imagine retro-futuristic dials on the dashboard, safely uncluttered by extra lights or symbols, and a gentle lighting system that extends across the information display too. It doesn’t sound very Volvo but the XC60 is full of surprises…

The buttons and dials for all the usual heating, radio and sat-nav controls were clear, with a silver finish that compliments the futuristic aesthetic. As there are buttons to support a range of safety features, there are plenty of benefits to reading the manual.

I love the built-in booster seats for children – although I would choose a leather finish as is much easier to scrub down after a long journey of spilt drinks and inappropriate snacks. A DVD system in the back of the headrests would have made my life so much easier as a young mum.

It wasn’t all good news though, especially when I tried a hill start with the push button hand brake. How many ways are there to press a button – and how in the panic of rolling into the car behind you do you work out which type of button pushing you should be doing?

The fact that you can override the brake by accelerating, in my view, defeats the reasoning behind having a parking brake in the first place…