DS 4 PureTech 130 review
Refreshed DS 4 hatch boosted by addition of three-cylinder PureTech engine
Despite the refresh, the DS 4 is largely unchanged in terms of looks and practicality. The real plus point is the new three-cylinder engine, which adds much needed urgency to a stylish package. But when rivals offer more space, refinement and performance for less, it’s difficult to recommend.
DS has finally got its hands on the 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo engine from the PSA parts bin, which has made its way inside the DS 4 for the first time. Light cosmetic tweaks have also arrived, and despite the Citroen badging this refreshed model will form part of the new DS line-up – just like the DS 3.
The engine replaces the older and less efficient 119bhp 1.6-litre VTi in the DS 4, and boosts fuel economy to an impressive 54.3mpg. The effects of fitting a more eager and lighter unit are immediately noticeable.
There’s a whopping 44 per cent more torque in the three-cylinder over the outgoing engine, while that power is also more accessible lower down the rev range. This healthy advantage makes the DS 4 more urgent and responsive, but while the six-speed manual box’s ratios are close together, it suffers from the same notchy shift as the DS 3.
At idle, vibrations through the pedals and steering wheel are apparent, but it’s a competent and comfortable cruiser at higher speeds. The bigger, 18-inch alloy wheels on our test car did sniff out larger imperfections, but on the whole it delivers a smooth and compliant ride.
Mid-spec DStyle models come as standard with a leather steering wheel, 18-inch alloys and dual-zone air-con. Meanwhile, the gearbox is only offered in six-speed manual guise, but an auto version will be available soon.
It’s a shame that the vague steering relays little info back to the driver. The steering is also very quick to self-centre.
Another drawback is passenger space. A coupe-like profile with hidden rear doors looks great, but the narrow opening makes access awkward. When inside, head and legroom are also at a premium, but the fit and finish of the cabin is classy, even if the dash and steering wheel are a little button-heavy.