DS 4 review
Delivering supreme comfort, good practicality and a premium feel, the DS 4 hatchback is an interesting alternative to class-leading rivals
The DS 4 hatchback can hold its head high in the competitive, premium family hatchback market. A smooth ride and refined character help it mount a real challenge to the established players, while its beautiful build quality and generous standard kit give buyers further reason to favour the French hatch.
Practicality is good, too, with a sizeable boot and lots of useful onboard technology, although you will have to pay extra for the full suite of infotainment and safety systems. The DS 4 isn’t blessed with intoxicating performance, instead it’s the overall levels of comfort that make it really stand out from the crowd, offering plenty of substance to match its undoubted style.
About the DS4
Creating a premium family hatchback to take on the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes is no easy task. Whether you’re after simple, Teutonic design, outstanding driving dynamics or superb build quality, the three German brands each offer their own individual take on what makes a first-rate family car.
In looking to its past, DS has recognised that it has real pedigree for making cars that offer a soothing and relaxing ride. The original Citroen DS was outstanding in this area, and the new DS 4 hatchback is looking to steal sales away from ‘the big three’ with a brilliant blend of comfort, build quality and generous levels of standard equipment.
Has it succeeded? The answer has to be yes, because the DS 4 offers another sophisticated option for buyers at the top end of the hatchback market. The Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class now have a challenger that offers something different to the norm, but is still equally as classy. The competition doesn’t stop there, however, because the DS 4 will still have to prove itself worthy against higher-spec versions of the Volkswagen Golf, the attractively-styled Mazda 3 and two of its sister cars, the Peugeot 308 and Vauxhall Astra.
The front-wheel drive DS 4 comes with either a PureTech 130 petrol or a BlueHDi 130 diesel engine, both delivering 129bhp. Buyers don’t have the option of a manual gearbox, with only an eight-speed automatic transmission available.
Company car drivers, in particular, may find the DS 4 E-Tense model more appealing because it employs a more efficient plug-in hybrid system. Its 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor generate a combined 222bhp, with the ability to travel up to 38.5 miles on electric power alone.
The DS 4 is available in four trim levels: Performance Line+, Rivoli, Espirit De Voyage and Opera. If you can forego the best extras, the entry-level Performance Line+ comes with plenty of kit as standard, including 19-inch alloy wheels, acoustic glass, keyless entry and start, faux leather/Alcantara upholstery, reversing camera, adaptive cruise control, interior ambient lighting, a seven-inch digital instrument panel, head-up display and 10-inch central touchscreen, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, too.
DS also offered the 4x4-inspired DS 4 Cross for a time, but it's been removed from the price list. It didn't add any real off-road ability mind you, just cosmetic touches, such as unique badging, black roof rails and extra protective trim.
For an alternative review of the DS 4, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingDelivering supreme comfort, good practicality and a premium feel, the DS 4 hatchback is an interesting alternative to class-leading rivals
- 2Engines, performance and drivePetrol and diesel models are perfectly capable, but if you’re after more performance then you’ll want the DS 4 plug-in hybrid
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsThe DS 4 diesel model offers impressive fuel economy, but the PHEV will be more cost-effective for company car drivers
- 4Interior, design and technologyBuyers that are prioritising a high level of quality and onboard technology won’t be disappointed with the DS 4
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWith a big boot and lots of useful practical touches, the DS 4 hatchback should fit well into family life
- 6Reliability and safetyReliability should be good, although you’ll have to pay extra to access the full range of onboard active safety tech