What is it?
The DS4 is a hard car to figure out. The stylish DS3 supermini makes its own case and the DS5’s dramatic styling – inside and out – marks it out as truly individual. The DS4, however, doesn’t really paint a clear picture of its intentions.
Olivier Vincent, head of the DS4 exterior design, says that the DS4 is meant to have the look of an urban vehicle that can “tackle obstacles” but a car that is also agile. Based on the plain-Jane C4 family hatch, the DS4’s differentiation extends as far as virtually all-new body panels (the bonnet and headlights are shared), but the styling is perhaps the least convincing of the DS range.
What is it like?
What’s new about this DS4 is the combination of the 160bhp turbodiesel engine and a six-speed torque-converter auto gearbox. On paper, it might not sound significant, but it’s quite possibly the best version of the DS4 because it finally gives the car a distinct, if niche, appeal.
The combination of the semi-raised driving position, airy interior (thanks to the panoramic windscreen) and this very smooth drivetrain makes the DS4 an extremely pleasant car in which to both potter around and nip swiftly along the motorway. It rides decently on all but the worst surfaces, has credible urge from low down in the rev range and the gearbox shifts ratios very smoothly
Should I buy one?
Certainly, that’s not the ideal Autocar formula, but this DS4 is an exceptional cruiser, made all the more relaxing by the driving position. It’s an unusual mix but likely to have strong appeal to some drivers.
Citroën DS4 HDi 160 auto DStyle
Price £23,545; 0-62mph 9.9sec; Top speed 129mph; Economy 49.6mpg (combined); CO2 149g/km; Kerb weight 1540kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1997cc, turbodiesel; Power 160bhp at 3750rpm; Torque 251lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd automatic