DS 4 (Review 2023)
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
Cars don’t come much more striking than this especially in this segment. Welcome to the all-new DS 4, which is a car that has been designed to offer an alternative to the premium offerings currently on the market. Could you be tempted away from the German giants for a little French flair? Lets find out. Sitting at 1.83 metres in width, 1.47 metres and 4.40 metres long the DS 4 is not exactly a small car. It has presence from the moment you lay eyes on it and the design is nothing short of spectacular. To the front, very slim projector headlamps with the new DS MATRIX LED VISION system that combines matrix and directional lighting looks sharp sitting over the daytime running lights. Walking around the side you notice flush fitting door handles, huge 19-inch alloy wheels and then your eye follows the roof which stretches down towards the steeply sloping rear window. Standing at the boot it has wide haunches and looks powerful even standing still. A flick of the key button automatically opens the tailgate to reveal 430 litres of space, which is perfectly acceptable.
This exceptional design does not stop on the exterior of DS 4 and when we opened the driver’s door it was the level of detail the master upholsterers delivered on various parts of the cockpit that impressed most. The stitching is amazing not just on the seats but around the dash, door cards and steering wheel. The whole car is relatively kind on the environment also made of 95% reusable materials and 85% recyclable parts. 30% of its weight is from renewable or recycled materials, divided between metals and polymers. The dashboard in particular is made of 20% hemp for parts that can’t be seen. Among the recycled materials, polypropylene, polyester and elastomer fibres are used under the chassis as baffles, for noise reduction or as mounting points. Speaking of noise you get virtually none from the engine but the 690-Watt FOCAL ELECTRA sound system with 14 speakers and acoustic side glass in front and rear make it resemble a moving recording studio! Crisp vocals and deep bass tones flood the cabin and can be interrupted any time by a button press on the 10-inch infotainment system or by using the DS IRIS SYSTEM. Controlled by voice and gesture, DS IRIS SYSTEM incorporates a personal assistant and is on hand to help you on any journey.
A 1.2L PureTech 130 Automatic petrol engine, plus a 1.5L BlueHDi 130 Automatic Diesel are on offer with consumption from 4.8 litres/100km for Diesel and 5.9 litres/100km for petrol on the WLTP combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 125g/km for diesel and 135g/km for petrol. If you do fancy a little more power to match the looks then the E-TENSE 225 could be the engine for you. This version has a 4-cylinder 180 horsepower 1.6L PureTech engine combined with a 110-horsepower electric motor and 12.4kWh battery. DS claim a zero emissions range of up to 55km (on the WLTP combined cycle). The 360Nm of torque allows you to hit 100km/h in just 7.7 seconds. Fuel consumption isn’t bad either sipping just 1.3 litre/100km and emissions from 29g/km of CO2 on the WLTP combined cycle. This hybrid tech was directly inherited from the DS Performance Formula E Team, which have won four championship titles to date!
The new DS 4 comes equipped with solid crash protection equipment that is common across the segment, including an active bonnet for pedestrian protection and a new centre airbag located between driver and front passenger. The standard camera-only autonomous emergency braking system, however, underwhelmed in the track tests simulating accidents with other vehicles, such as rear-end crashes, resulting in a four star rating overall. To get a performance that is more comparable to its rivals in the segment, consumers must purchase the optional ‘Safety Pack Plus’ that adds a radar sensor. These safety features combined gave the new DS 4 a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.
The on the road price, including delivery charges for DS 4 start from €37,295 here in Ireland. Customers will have five grades to choose from to include Bastille +, Performance Line, Trocadero, Performance Line+ and top of the range Rivoli spec which is also on the way. DS offer various finance and PCP packages, which you can see, samples of online or drop into the new flagship DS store.
We spent a week in the 1.2 litre Puretech variant in Performance Line trim. To drive, it was typical DS using that state of the art active scan suspension system they are now famed for. It basically has a camera mounted at the top of the windscreen watching and anticipating irregularities in the road surface and transmits the data to a computer in milliseconds to prepare the dampers. The system controls each of the wheels independently, using the information it receives, it makes the suspension harder or softer, resulting in comfort no matter the road surface! The motor pulls well but it’s a little rev happy and we would opt for the diesel or perhaps the E-TENSE 225 for the hybrid technology. Everywhere we went the DS 4 garnered plenty of attention. People seem to want to know more about the brand and who DS actually are? Yes the hardened car fanatics remember it as a Citroen derivative but it’s much more than that now and needs to be treated as its own product/brand. DS 4 is on now on sale at the newly opened DS Store Dublin, located at Gowan Motors on Navan Road in Dublin 15. We urge you to drop into this new store and enjoy the premium ambiance ahead of your test drive. Things are changing fast for the DS brand and they are here to stay!
Petrol engine a little rev happy!
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