SIN­U­OUS CITROEN

This SUV al­ter­na­tive from France ac­tu­ally works on our roads

Herald Sun - Motoring - - On The Web - SA­MAN­THA STEVENS sa­man­tha.stevens@cars­guide.com.au

It may look as if it doesn’t know what it wants to be. But one thing’s sure: the DS4 is a fine, sharp drive

IT’S French. So why am I so sur­prised at the rolling con­tra­dic­tion that is the DS4?

Citroen is, af­ter all, renowned for quirky designs that have, at times, for­saken func­tion for form. But here we have a cross­over-cum-hothatch, which passes ad­mirably as a com­pact Suv/wagon al­ter­na­tive, yet singing sporti­ness from both the badge on its bootlid and its chrometipped tailpipes.

Like the DS3, the DS4 is a heated ver­sion of the C4 with smart spec and sports kit. Un­like the hot-hatch driven DS3, the DS4 is aimed at buy­ers want­ing a sporty drive from a larger, higher and more prac­ti­cal ve­hi­cle.

And the most sur­pris­ing fac­toid of all is that the DS4 de­liv­ers on this.

VALUE

There are two trim lev­els. Dstyle comes with ei­ther a petrol or diesel en­gine, while the Ds­port fea­tures the more pow­er­ful turbo petrol four.

The price starts at $35,990 for the base turbo petrol, in­creas­ing to $39,990 in the Ds­port trim of our test car.

Along with the power in­crease (32kw), the ex­tra four grand also buys 19-inch al­loy wheels over the stan­dard 18-inch­ers, and leather trim with a funky wo­ven de­sign on the front seats.

The stan­dard fare for the price is quite as­tound­ing: six airbags and a five-star crash rat­ing, corner il­lu­mi­na­tion on the head­lamps, blind spot warn­ing sys­tem, re­verse and for­ward sen­sors, elec­tric park brake, hill holder, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, cooled glove box, cruise con­trol and even heated elec­tric seats with mas­sage func­tion and air lum­bar ad­just­ment.

The test car is fit­ted with the only op­tions: metal­lic paint, two-tone al­loys, bi-xenon head­lights and an up­rated stereo, all rea­son­ably priced.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The base en­gines are 1.6-litre tur­bos, the petrol de­vel­op­ing 115kw/240nm and the diesel 82kw/270nm. Both are matched to a semi-au­to­matic EGS gear­box. The Ds­port’s hy­per 147kw/275nm ver­sion is — thank­fully— hooked up to a slick six-speed man­ual with a nice throw and soft re­bound at the end of the gate. The han­dling is sur­pris­ingly sweet for a high­rid­ing car with a con­ven­tional tor­sion-beam rear axle.

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