Citroen’s luxury offshoot presents a comfy, quirky take on the premium hatchback
There’s not much wrong with a BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-Class or Audi A3. If you’re after a posh VW Golf-sized hatchback, there’s every chance one of those will fit your needs. But when they litter every residential street – the A-Class has been Britain’s tenth best selling car so far in 2022 – you’d be forgiven for wanting something a bit different, something like the DS 4.With a focus on being French, comfortable and slightly alternative, the DS 4 fills a very clear theoretical gap in the market. Time will tell whether that will translate to actual sales but to do that, the DS4 will also need to simply be a competitive product.Mechanically there are few surprises. The DS 4 rides on the EMP2 platform, just like the majority of the large ex-PSA Stellantis cars including the Peugeot 508, Vauxhall Grandland X and the DS 9. In other words, it’s supposedly a bit more sophisticated than other Stellantis cars of the same size like the Peugeot 308 and Vauxhall Astra, which use the CMP architecture.The downside is that EMP2 isn’t designed with EV versions in mind, so the DS 4 just gets the usual selection of petrol, and plug-in hybrid powertrains, as well as a diesel option. Depending on which trim level you go for, there are 178 and 221bhp versions of the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol, a 129bhp 1.2-litre triple and a 1.5-litre diesel with 129bhp. All come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.