The DS4 is a Citroen C4-derived hatchback that the company somewhat ambitiously refers to as a coupe. That it’s a five-door hatchback rather betrays that untruth, though it’s undeniably an eye-catching one. In 2016, in line with DS becoming its own entity, the Citroen DS4 became simply the 'DS 4'. It underwent a considerable upgrade, but is still essentially the same car. Confusing things further is a Crossback model, which adds slightly higher suspension and some more butch looking and contrasting trim for a pseudo-crossover.
The DS4, somewhat unsurprisingly, borrows its engines from the regular Citroen line-up, with a choice of a 1.2-litre 130hp petrol engine or three turbodiesel choices. The diesels are either 1.6- or 2.0-litre in capacity, with power ranging from 110- to 180hp. Automatic and manual transmissions are available on the diesels, with the single petrol choice limited to a six-speed manual gearbox.
As with the rest of the DS line-up, the DS4 majors heavily on style, much like Citroen itself used to. Marketed as a coupe it’s actually a five-door hatchback, though the rear lines and hidden rear door handles do hide that a bit. Such is their design that the rear door windows cannot be opened conventionally, popping out at the back instead, much like you’d get in an inexpensive city car. That’s a huge oversight, and does rather knock DS’s premium ambitions. Still, the cabin’s nicely finished up front, though the dashboard is a bit fiddly to operate.
To drive it’s decent, if unremarkable, Citroen oddly giving it a ride quality that’s overly firm, when a soft, cushioning ride was once a Citroen signature. The diesel engines are strong though, with good economy and emissions, while the upmarket intent means that even the entry-level Elegance models come decently specified as standard. The Crossback adds some pseudo off-road looks, though in reality it adds nothing more but expense, and a slightly different look outwardly.
We’d be hard pushed to recommend anything other than the 1.6 HDi turbodiesel engine combined with a manual gearbox. The shift’s fine, the economy and emissions decent and the performance more than adequate for most.
Citroen DS4 BlueHDi 120
Engine: 1,560cc four-cylinder turbodiesel
Maximum speed: 188km/h
0-100km/h: 10.9 seconds
Fuel consumption: 3.9 litres/100km
Euro NCAP: *****
- Stand out looks
- Well finished inside
- Good economy/emissions
- It’s expensive for a posh Citroen
- Ride is firm
- Those rear windows
Of the DS range on offer from Citroen the DS4’s arguably the most difficult to justify over its ordinary hatchback alternatives. If you’re sold on the style fair enough, but there are compromises for space inside due to that roofline, though running costs should be low thanks to the excellent economy and emissions on offer. Check out the Citroen C4 before you commit, as it’ll be cheaper still…