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THE Peu­geot Citroen Group’s pre­mium DS brand con­tin­ues the re­ju­ve­na­tion of its model range with this much im­proved ver­sion of a DS4 model orig­i­nally launched un­der the Citroen ban­ner.

This re­vised de­sign is a fully-fledged mem­ber of the DS range - and we’re told that the dif­fer­ence is im­por­tant. There’s a proper DS-style front end, more of a pre­mium feel and, if you want it, the op­tion of a ‘Cross­back’ bodystyle with roof bars and a higher ride height aimed at buy­ers at­tracted by sportier cross­over mod­els.

It’s cer­tainly a dif­fer­ent way to go if you were look­ing for an up-mar­ket Golf or Fo­cus-sized fam­ily hatch and wanted some­thing a lit­tle sportier and more in­di­vid­ual, yet needed to stay within a rea­son­able bud­get. The ef­fi­cient en­gine range will also be quite a draw too, as will the con­sid­er­able scope for buyer per­son­al­i­sa­tion. Slightly more compact than the Citroen C4 it’s based on, the DS4 is 60mm shorter, 20mm wider than that car and, in an ef­fort to in­ject some ‘Cross­over’ per­son­al­ity, 40mm taller.

The DS en­gi­neers say that the re­sult­ing pack­age man­ages to be more sta­ble on the move, mak­ing the driver feel as if “they have the road at their fin­ger­tips.”

The en­gine range is wide and flex­i­ble and all units meet the most strin­gent Euro6 emis­sions re­quire­ments. Most will choose a 1.6, with diesel driv­ers se­lect­ing be­tween 120, 150 and 180bhp BlueHDi pow­er­plants.

The BlueHDi 180 model only comes with the brand’s EAT6 auto gear­box but its quite quick, mak­ing 62mph from rest in 8.6s. While it looks like a three­door coupe, this is in fact a gen­uine five-door hatch.

The panoramic wind­screen ex­tends back­wards into the roof and the di­men­sions and its styling give the car a compact and mus­cu­lar look.

This lat­est ver­sion gets the smart DS front grille that orig­i­nally de­buted on the re­vised DS5 model with is ‘DS Wings’ sig­na­ture and DS LED Vi­sion head­lamps.

An­other key change is the avail­abil­ity of a ‘Cross­back’ model variant, which gains a 30mm in­crease in ride height and strong styling fea­tures that in­clude grey roof bars, em­pha­sised whee­larch trims and a black rear spoiler.

This im­proved DS4 may con­cep­tu­ally re­main as an or­di­nary five­door Fo­cus-sized fam­ily hatch­back but it’s been de­signed to make you feel like you’ve bought some­thing much, much nicer. A car now a world away from the stan­dard Citroen C4 hatch upon which it’s based.

The op­tion of the ‘Cross­back’ de­riv­a­tive should widen its mar­ket ap­peal, but whichever ver­sion you choose, ex­pect to find the beau­ti­fully-trimmed cabin spa­cious, the en­gines ef­fi­cient and pow­er­ful and the tech­nol­ogy in­side the cabin im­pres­sive.

Here then, is a car that, for the price of some­thing plush and or­di­nary, de­liv­ers the ex­tra­or­di­nary.

Just as DS mod­els al­ways should.

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