From £16,9806
A more powerful diesel engine gives the DS4 sporting appeal, but can the rest of the car match up?

What is it?

We already know the combination of an automatic gearbox and a torquey diesel engine fit well in the DS4. This latest Dsport version mates a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel unit to the same six-speed automatic torque-converter ‘box we praised in the Dstyle version. 

The DS4 is less of a style statement than its smaller DS3 sibling, but calling the design bland would be wrong. It still appeals, and we like the slightly bulbous front-end styling, even if the car looks slightly too much like a standard C4 from some angles.

What's it like?

The sportier engine certainly ups power over standard models, giving the DS4 a sense of urgency in its acceleration, even from lower down in the rev range. It’s refined and surprisingly quiet for a diesel unit, and fits well with the DS4’s ethos of being a go-anywhere, do-anything hatchback.

We couldn’t help but feel, however, that given the DS4’s new sporty credentials a seven or eight-speed gearbox would have fared better. Under load the car changes up cleanly and smoothly, but downshifting can be slow and jarring for the driver.

The car has the same positive points we’ve liked about the DS4 since it came out. Interior quality is evident throughout, especially on upper trim levels. The panoramic windscreen gives good driver visibility, and seating for front passengers is spacious. Due to a sloping rear, however, the same cannot be said for passengers relegated to the back seats. Awkwardly placed controls for lumbar support and heated seats can also lead to some mid-journey fumbling.

Ride, especially over low-speed surfaces can be a little harsh, and the effect multiplied because of the raised seating position. 

Steering is nicely weighted and gives plenty of feel from the road, although the wheel itself is crowded with buttons and dials. We enjoyed the customisation available in the DS4, though, choosing colours for the instrument panel gives a bespoke feel. 

Should I buy one?

Some aspects of the DS4 are done brilliantly. The large windscreen offers excellent visibility, and the additiion of moveable sun visors is a big plus point. There are also some things the DS4 does very badly, though, and a ride as harsh as the one offered in this car is unforgiveable.

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At £24,840 for a base model the DS4 DSport is just worthy of consideration if the standard DS4 doesn’t appeal – but the extra style comes at the cost of a poorer driving experience.

Citroën DS4 DSport HDi 160

Price £27,960; 0-62mph 9.9sec; Top speed 129mph; Economy 49.6mpg; CO2 149g/km; Kerb weight 1540kg; Engine 4 cyls, inline, transverse mounting, diesel; Power 163bhp at 3750rpm; Torque 251lb/ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd automatic

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businessman 30 June 2013

car space

Due to a sloping rear, however, the same cannot be said for passengers relegated to the back seats. Awkwardly placed controls for lumbar support and heated seats can also lead to some mid-journey fumbling.

rdsreference 28 June 2013

DIFFICULT TO MAKE A CASE

I must take my hat off to Citroen for daring to be bold. Can P.S.A really afford to be this bold when GM are rumoured to be taking control. The car and infact the whole DS packaging is commendable. However resale is the key ingrediant missing here. The brand has offered unsustainable discounting for years and are now paying the price. I do recall acquiring a 2005 Citroen C4 back in 06 it looked fantastic and drove reasonably wheel apart from that irratating steering wheel/column but the build was so so bad it reminded me of a 1987 AX. 

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