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DS 4 (2015 - ) Review

Selling more than 115,000 models of the DS 4 worldwide since it was introduced in 2011, the DS 4 according to DS is a premium hatchback aimed at attracting crossover buyers with its appealing looks.

By Simon McBride
Sep 05, 2016
More On This Car
Take one for a spin or order a brochure
Request a DS DS 4 brochure
Request a DS DS 4 test drive
From £19,595
Pros:
  • Two-tone roof/body colour is unique to segment
  • The DS 4 design certainly stands out
  • Plenty of kit comes as standard
Cons:
  • Dynamically it’s not as good as rivals
  • Ride comfort is not as good as its sibling the DS 4 Crossback
  • Rear windows do not open

Introduction

The refreshed DS 4 features a new-look front-end and also comes customization features which include two-tone choices and on the inside it features a 7-inch touchscreen incorporating satnav and entertainment system that features Apple CarPlay.

According to DS, its cars are recognizable by their design and there is no question there, the DS 4 is instantly recognizable, however, is it good enough to compete? Read on to find out more.

On The Road

DS 4 Review

Performance

The refreshed DS 4 was launched in the UK with a choice of six engines. It consists of three petrol including one PureTech and two THP while there’s also three diesel units.

The PureTech 130 engine S&S has a maximum of 230Nm of torque and produces 128bhp. It reaches 62mph in 9.9 seconds from zero and go on to a top speed of 123mph.

The THP 165 engine has a power output of 162bhp and propels the DS4 to 62mph from a standing start in 8.7 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 131mph.

The flagship petrol engine on the line-up is the 210 THP, which produces 207bhp. It can sprint from zero to 62mp in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed of 146mph where legal.

There’s plenty of choice if you prefer diesel power. The BlueHDi 120 has a power output of 118bhp. It will complete the benchmark sprint in 10.9 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 120 when mated to a six-speed manual ‘box and 117mph when matched to the EAT automatic gearbox.

The mid-level diesel engine is the BlueHDI 150. It produces 147bhp meaning it can sprint from zero to 62mph in an impressive 8.8 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 129mph.

The top of the range diesel engine produces 178bhp enabling it to complete the benchmark sprint in 8.6 seconds and it has a top speed of 127mph when mated to the manual ‘box and 135mph when matched to the auto gearbox.

On the whole, there is a good spread of power across the range and the choice on offer should fulfill most customers needs. On the road the 210 THP had a decent amount of power, but, the delivery was not as smooth as one would expect of what is acclaimed to be a luxury end car. 

DS 4 Review

Ride Handling

On the twisty stuff, the DS 4 has never been the most dynamic of cars. We expected great things from this version, and yes the engineers have addressed the issues that the original car with a revised suspension, consisting of a lowered ride height and new dampers and springs. However, the set-up still does not feel sorted. On smooth European roads it feels okay, however, encounter a pothole or an undulation (which the UK is full) and the DS 4 becomes uncomfortable, the ride is crashy. Dynamically, the car has a long way to go while the steering doesn’t give you anywhere near enough feedback when cornering. Unfortunately the DS 4 is not a driver’s car and should be used mainly on smooth motorways and town centres. 

DS 4 Review

Styling

The DS 4 suffered from road and wind noise. The large a pillars get buffeted quite a bit from the wind. At times it can be quite intrusive and you may need to raise voices inside the cabin or up the volume on the entertainment system. 

In The Car

DS 4 Review

Behind the Wheel

One of the main features of the car is the panoramic windscreen. It is angled at 45 degrees to offer more visibility, making the cabin feel very airy when seated in the front. One of the downsides when sitting in the rear of the DS 4 is that you cannot lower the rear windows, just like the original car, the rear windows cannot be opened – not great if you suffer from claustrophobia.

DS 4 is quite tech heavy and is the first DS to offer Apple CarPlay which is compatible with iPhone. CarPlay mirrors your phone on the screen of the entertainment device allowing easy access to your device via the touchscreen.

Other features include a 7-inch touchscreen, which provides access to the satnav to the entertainment system.

The DS 4 is available with a DS Connect Box including SOS and assistance pack, a monitoring pack, a mapping back, and a tracking pack. These systems help locate the vehicle in an emergency, monitor mileage and notify the owner of upcoming services and it can provide the police with the vehicle’s geographical position in the event of a theft. 

DS 4 Review

Space & Practicality

On a practical front the DS 4 had a few drawbacks and this car, unfortunately still has a few. You can get a decent driving position, however, there’s not a vast amount of room up front. Rear head-room is hindered by the coupe-esque lines while rear-most passengers will not be overly joyous at having windows that do not lower.

The real plus on the practical front is the boot, it is easily accessed, there is no huge lip to negotiate while the rear seats are easy to fold making it child’s play to load awkward items. Load space with the seats in place is 385 litres and this expands to 1,021 when folded. 

Ownership

DS 4 Review

Running Costs

The most frugal engine on the DS 4 range is the BlueHDi 120 S&S when mated to the six –speed manual gearbox as it has a claimed average economy of 74.3mpg while it also emits the lowest CO2 emissions of 100g/km. 

DS 4 Review

Quality & Reliability

The materials are good, however, the luxury German makers are better and there are too many materials that were easily scratched and marked. Engines on the DS 4 range are proven and the reliability from the whole PSA group is improving which bodes well for DS 4 customers.

DS 4 Review

Safety & Security

Loaded with safety kit, the DS 4 includes ABS with EBD, ESC with intelligent traction control, Hill Start Assist function, driver, front passenger, front lateral and curtain airbags, two rear ISOFIX mounting points, alarm, immobiliser and a DS Connect Box including SOS and assistance pack, a monitoring pack, a mapping back, and a tracking pack.

More On This Car
Take one for a spin or order a brochure
Request a DS DS 4 brochure
Request a DS DS 4 test drive
By Simon McBride
Sep 05, 2016