The DS range has restored some of the ‘je ne sais quoi’ to Citroën’s fleet, it sits comfortable alongside the ‘C’ series, while existing in a much cool, sexier parallel universe.
The DS4 I’ve just been driving takes many of it’s design leads from the more compact DS3, but whereas the DS3 is fun and sporty, this car is bigger, and just that bit more grown up.
From certain angles it has a slightly bulbous shape, from others, sleek and dynamic. I like the melted, molten-metal DS logo, and in relation to the slightly ordinary (in comparison) C series, oozes French sophistication like a packet of Gitane cigarettes.
The raised suspension means it could technically be classed as a SUV crossover, but because of stiffer roll bars and springs the ride inside a DS4 is much better than most of the competition and it doesn’t really feel like an SUV to drive. There is minimal body roll and the steering feels responsive without being over edgy. The overall driving experience you get from the DS4 is more refined and comfortable one that you would expect for a car with that slightly higher driving position.
The six speed manual gearbox is nicely fluid, and the gearing together with the 1.6 Turbo diesel engine (producing a maximum torque of 340/2000 (Nm/rpm)) means you’ve always got power in reserve should you need it. 0-62mph (100kmh) is a fairly sedate 9.3 seconds, although it does feels faster somehow.
If you can find anywhere quiet enough the DS4 will reach 132mph, but you’ll have to take Citroën’s word for that, there are too many over-eager traffic police round here to risk going anywhere near that.
Citroën builds some of my favourite cars to drive comfort-wise, the plush leather seats and the modern, cool interior in the DS4 make it a place you actively look forward to sitting in. It is one of those cars that seems to envelope itself around you, like a cosy metal French nest.
It has some nice quirks, the indicator sound is straight from a 1979 Morris Marina, which depending on your preferences is either über cool or ultra naff. (me: cool), and you can change the light colour around the speedo and rev counter, to suit your mood. I went for the sexy neon blue. Sensitive, but masculine, oh yes.
There is lots of storage space in the front, and the designers have spent time looking at this car from the driving seat, working out how to give you that personal touch. Such is the quality of new cars these days, it’s these small details that can make all the difference when parting with your hard earned money.
The DS4 comes in a number of versions, 3 petrol versions (VTi 120 manual, THP 160 6-speed automatic and the THP 200 6-speed manual), and 3 diesel versions, a HDi 110 6-speed manual, e-HDi 110 Airdream EGS6, and the one I tested the HDi 160 6-speed manual. With 3 levels of trim the dSign, dStyle and dSport, all models are high spec.
The one I had (dStyle) comes with some very nice front sports seats with electric lumbar adjustment and massage function, Mistral ‘Claudia’ leather and ‘Sao’ cloth upholstery, LED interior mood lighting and automatic digital air conditioning.
While on the outside there is rear parking sensors, 18” ‘Brisbane’ alloy wheels, and dark tinted rear side/tailgate windows.
Emmission’s are extremely low too, (114g/km CO2) making it a green car, even if you get one in red. The dStyle has a combined figure of (55.4) MPG, (42.8, Urban) and (65.7, Extra Urban) which is also pretty good.
Negatives are relatively few, rear space is limited and the back windows don’t lower. The high windscreen is great in theory, but in reality on sunny days (remember those?) you will be covering it with the blind. The boot isn’t huge either.
For more info visit www.citroen.co.uk