New 2021 DS 4 crossover joins premium compact SUV ranks

The new DS 4 gets SUV inspiration in a bid to crack the premium C-segment family car market

This is the all-new DS 4 - the fourth standalone model DS has launched since the French brand’s spin-off from Citroen in 2015. However, while the previous DS 4 was a VW Golf rivalling family hatchback based on the last Citroen C4, this new-generation model has morphed from into a crossover in a bid to broaden its appeal. 

Competing in the C-segment, the new DS 4 still faces a variety of tough opposition from the likes of traditional hatchbacks such as the Golf and Ford Focus, but also compact crossovers such as the latest and similarly reinvented Citroen C4 and the Lexus UX.

The DS 4 measures 4,440mm long, 1,830mm wide and 1,470mm tall - making it slightly longer and wider than the Ford Focus. The front end borrows several styling cues from DS’s flagship model, the DS 7 Crossback; slim LED headlamps sit just below the bonnet shut line with daytime running lights (98 in total) cascading down the front end and blending into the lower bumper. 

Pop out door handles have been added to aid aerodynamic efficiency, while the DS 4 is available with wheels as large as 20 inches. 

Two additional DS 4 models have also been revealed: the DS 4 Cross and Performance. The Cross gets a more rugged-looking SUV makeover with black inserts fitted to the lower section of the front bumper and side skirts, while roof rails, unique alloys and black window frames round off the look. An advanced traction control system, featuring snow, mud and sand modes, is another exclusive addition. 

The DS 4 Performance Line doesn’t gain any mechanical upgrades - at least not initially - but receives a sporty visual makeover, trimmed with black window frames, front grille and rear lights. 

Inside, the cabin goes fully digital with only a handful of physical buttons remaining. Three digital displays make up the main cabin layout; there’s a digital instrument cluster located behind the wheel, a second 10-inch screen on the dashboard that displays navigation and media, which is operated via a new five-inch display located on the center console. The company refers to it as the DS Smart Touch. 

A new head-up display has also been introduced, which DS claims to be closer to augmented reality than any other system. Navigation instructions are projected onto the road four metres ahead and 21 inches wide, rather than just onto the vehicle’s windscreen.

DS is also keen to point out the lack of visible air vents - the main unit has been integrated behind the strip of physical buttons just below the main central display. UK trims and specs are yet to be confirmed, but leather, Alcantara, forged carbon and wood are all options for interior finish. 

Based on the same EMP2 platform as the DS7 Crossback and Peugeot 3008, the new DS 4 is offered with the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and there is no fully-electric version. The powertrain comprises a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor for a combined output of 223bhp and electric range of 31 miles. 

Other powertrain options include three and four-cylinder units from the familiar PureTech petrol engine with 129bhp, 178bhp and 223bhp, while a 128bhp Blue HDI diesel is also available to buyers. All models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard. 

There’s no shortage of tech either with adaptive cruise control, DS Night Vision and DS Active Scan Suspension, which monitors the road ahead and automatically sets up the car’s suspension to best deal with the surface ahead, all being offered to buyers.

What do you make of the new DS 4 crossover? Let us know in the comments section below…

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