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.