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TG Awards 2011: family car of the year

Welcome to an award for bravery. Bravery in the face of stolid corporate thinking and customer-clinic blandness. For avoiding the trap. Because if you incessantly ask the customer what they want, they’ll inevitably answer: “The same. But better.” Sometimes you have to lead. And that’s what Citroen is doing with the quirky, strange and pleasingly different DS5.

Top Gear drives the Citroen DS5

Where the Teutonic mafia plough their obsessive furrow, the French have decided they will not follow. The DS5 isn’t a tall wagon plumped up as a pseudo-SUV, but it is a tall car with front-wheel drive. Not the usual plush executive blueprint. It takes the wheelbase of the C4 Picasso and the wide-track suspension of the platform-shared Peugeot RCZ to make… something new.

Gallery: the Citroen DS5

Something exciting. It’s a well-grounded, slick, futuristic machine, both inside and out. In fact, the inside is quirky but rational, exciting but functional, and put together with considerable care, just like the rest of the car. And that makes it very pleasing indeed. All of which goes to show that because the DS5 isn’t a half-hearted copy of a German saloon, it’s the better for it. Say hello to the TopGear Family Car of the Year, the Citroen DS5. A beautiful oddball in a dreary sector.

Read this and much much more in our huge new Awards issue of TopGear magazine, on sale now

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