Citroen announced during 2015 that it was separating its Citroen and DS business. While Citroen still own DS, they have decided to let it be a standalone brand. At the launch of DS the powers that be pretty much admitted that it'll be some time before they are truly at the races with the likes of Audi and BMW. The DS4, is new to the Irish market and our view in the office is that there is still a bit of work to be done.
This is arguably the best looking of the current DS range. While it doesn't have the same dimensions as the DS5, it seems more comfortable in its own skin. On the road, we would rate this as a better drive than the DS5. Everything, including the suspension, seems better. Once again, we'll use that phrase, "more comfortable in its own skin". The car itself is based on the C4 and they do look slightly similar. While it can be jumpy over uneven surfaces, it's very comfortable on corners.
Like the C4, the diesel engines are economical – but can sound a little gruff on acceleration. On offer in this country is a 1.6 litre BlueHDi engine which gives 120hp, a 1.2 litre Puretech petrol engine which gives 130hp, there is also a 2.0 litre diesel BlueHDi engine which can offer 150hp or 180hp depending on what you choose. Our test model was a Crossback BlueHDi 120hp with the 1.6 litre engine. On-paper we are told that it will slowly bring you from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds. The 2.0 litre BlueHDi with 180hp engine covers the same distance in 9.3 seconds.
The interior of the DS4 is nice, but there are a few things that we just don’t understand. For example, in what world does it make sense to have back windows that can’t be opened? This is so difficult to comprehend – were they having a laugh? Apart from that, the surrounds are nice and the front cabin does not feel at all claustrophobic (the front of the DS5 does). Legroom in row two could be a lot better, but I think the rear cabin is let down enough by the windows that don’t open.
The DS4 is an easier car to take over the DS5. However, the car isn’t there yet ad there is a lot of room for improvement. I have faith though. DS has potential to be an excellent standalone brand, and the DS3 is the best they’ve got on the current line-up. The DS4 will improve to the standard now set by the DS3. The future should be bright for DS, but they must get the basics right first.
Prices for our test model start from €32,495. However, to get into a DS4 the prices start from €26,995 for the ELEGANCE PureTech 130 6-speed manual.