MOTORING: New DS 4 oozes French chic and charm

by Gazette Reporter
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The original DS 4 was launched back in 2011, and joined its DS 3 and DS 5 siblings to form a trio of flamboyantly-styled upmarket alternatives to other members of the mainstream Citroën line-up at the time.

As time went on, parent company PSA saw DS as an opportunity to cash in on the rich history of the DS brand and launch it as a brand in its own right, with a French luxury twist. Now under the ownership of the giant Stellantis Group, the DS brand has launched the brand-new second-generation DS 4 as an accomplished rival that is capable of taking on the Audi A3, BMW 1-Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

Read more in this weeks Dublin Gazette out in stores now

Upmarket Cabin.

Everything about the cabin of the DS 4 is beautiful. The suede centre console provides the car with an upmarket look and feel, while the luxurious seats provide terrific support and comfort for all occupants. The metallic buttons below the infotainment screen feel precision-engineered, and the overall ambience within the cabin is one of calmness and serenity. The electric window controls have been moved from the centre of the car, like on other DS products, to the tops of the doors – freeing up valuable centre console space in the process. The centre console now accommodates a useful lidded cubby that neatly hides items from prying eyes, and the small screen located between the front seats serves as a shortcut device to operate the infotainment system. Large door pockets, a decently-sized glovebox and additional space underneath the centre armrest will prove very useful on family days out, while growing families will also enjoy the generous head, leg and elbow room on offer within the cabin.

Trim & Engine Options.

Trim levels in the DS 4 consist of Bastille Plus, Performance Line, Trocadero, Performance Line Plus, and range-topping Rivoli. Depending on the trim level, buyers can choose between a 1.2-litre PureTech 130PS petrol engine, a 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130PS diesel engine or an E-TENSE 225PS Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), all of which come with an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard. The DS 4 uses the same EMP2 platform that is used across other brands in the Stellantis Group portfolio, but 70% of it has been modified to meet various specific DS 4 requirements.

Car on Review.

My DS 4 review car was a Performance Line Plus E-TENSE 225PS variant, and it looked spectacular in its Pearl White Pearlescent paintwork with contrasting 19-inch ‘Minneapolis’ black alloy wheels. The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, in conjunction with the electric motor, can propel the car from 0-100km/h in just 7.7-seconds, with an electric driving range of up to 62km possible from a full battery. In terms of charging, the battery can be fully charged from empty in under 2 hours from a wallbox charger, or just over 7 hours from a standard IE 3-pin socket. The stylish gear selector is located on the centre console and adjacent to it is a Braking Mode (B) button that allows the car to use a higher level of regenerative braking and slow-up faster when your foot is off the accelerator. Regenerative braking sends the kinetic energy back into the battery, thus helping to maximise range, with a charge of up to 20% possible around town. The Performance Line Plus trim variant comes with a comprehensive array of safety, security, comfort, convenience, and infotainment  systems as standard, ensuring that the car drives and feels every bit as good as it looks – and it is a very good looking car, in fairness. The DS 4 benefits from a soft suspension set-up that makes it one of the most comfortable cars in its class, and the double-glazed side windows transform the car into an oasis of calm on motorway journeys. Overall driving dynamics are impressive, and the car benefits from plenty of grip through corners, allowing for spirited performance on back roads. Boot space in the new DS 4 PHEV measures in at a respectable 390-litres with the seats up and 1,190-litres when they are folded down, while the underfloor storage area is an ideal place to keep the charging cables.

Verdict & Pricing.

The DS 4 is the most convincing car yet from DS Automobiles, and it possess an admirable level of French chic and charm. DS has done a terrific job of making its new hatchback stand out in the premium market segment, with the DS 4 offering buyers a winning combination of French luxury, fuel-efficient powertrain options, striking design, advanced safety systems and intuitive infotainment. On-the-road pricing for the new DS 4 starts at €37,995 (ex-delivery). My review car specification is priced from €55,740 (ex-delivery), with annual road tax of just €140.

Dublin Gazette – Digital Edition – March 23, 2023 – Dublin Gazette Newspapers – Dublin News, Sport and LifestyleCLICK ON LINK TO READ MORE IN THIS WEEKS DIGITAL EDITION

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