It takes only a few hundred yards to appreciate that the revised suspension makes the DS 4 Crossback a much more enjoyable companion. While the ride still never settles fully, the edge is now taken off the worst bumps.
You’d never call it properly comfortable but you won’t be wincing every time you hit a pothole or expansion joint. The Crossback is also less affected by mid-corner bumps that can knock the DS 4 off line. There is more body roll but this is still perfectly acceptable.
The engine also proves strong – a little too strong at times. In damp conditions the traction control light flashes persistently when accelerating from low speed, and you feel the steering wheel squirming in your hands. Once rolling, though, the engine feels every bit as potent as the 8.6-second 0-62mph time suggests.
Although the engine is flexible, the automatic gearbox is far too eager to kick-down one or more cogs even under fairly small throttle openings. To make matters worse, the gearshifts are far jerkier than you’d hope from a traditional automatic.
At least there’s no great penalty in opting for this engine and gearbox combination. With claimed average economy of 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 115g/km, this engine is cleaner and more efficient than the base petrol and not far off the smallest diesel.
Inside, the cabin is identical to the standard DS 4's. That means there’s a mixture of pleasing soft-touch plastics and attractive flashes of patterned trim surrounded by hard, scratchy plastic. It wouldn’t be too bad if the cheaper stuff was out of reach but there’s too much in places you’ll touch regularly.
Although there are five doors, the rears are not only small but an odd shape, too. This makes getting in and out tricky at best. That is assuming you’ll even fit behind the front seats; with a six-footer up front, leg room is shockingly tight. Head room isn’t great either.
There’s only one trim level for Crossbacks (effectively Prestige trim on normal DS 4s) and it’s pretty generous. Standard equipment includes a touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav and a DAB radio, keyless entry, part leather seats and dual-zone climate control.
You can also personalise your DS 4; there are four different roof colours to make a total of 38 colour combinations. You can even opt for semi-aniline ‘watchstrap’ style leather seats with a massage function.