Citroen DS4 driven - What's it like to drive?

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  • Stylish, luxurious hatchback priced from £18,500
  • On sale autumn
  • MPG 44.0-67.0 (est) CO2 110-150g/km (est)
The DS4 will be available with a choice of five engines. The petrol range includes a 118bhp 1.6 and two turbocharged 1.6s with either 154bhp or 197bhp. Diesel buyers choose between a 108bhp 1.6 and a 161bhp 2.0.

We've tried the 197bhp petrol and 158bhp diesel, and neither disappoints. The diesel isn't as smooth as some of Citroen-Peugeot's other diesels, but it's still pretty smooth by class standards and it gives impressively strong performance.

The petrol, meanwhile, gives proper hot-hatch pace, and lacks nothing in flexibility. It makes a good noise when you rev it hard, too, but the noise doesn't die down enough once you get up to speed. The drone of the engine is also joined by some wind noise at 70mph, so it’s not the quietest cruiser around.

The refinement isn't as much of an issue as the ride quality, though. We drove the car on exceptionally smooth Spanish roads, but the firm suspension still felt decidedly crashy on the few small bumps we managed to find. Stick the car on a UK road, where the bumps and ruts come at you thick and fast, and we suspect the DS4 might struggle to keep you comfortable.

That said, the suspension's firmness does help make the DS4 quite fun in bends, because body lean is really well suppressed.

There's an immense amount of grip to call upon, too, so it feels secure as well as nimble. Sure, the steering doesn’t give you much in the way of feedback, but it's quick and has a nice, meaty weighting. It could be a little lighter at low speed, though.

All in all, the DS4 is quite an enjoyable car to drive. However, there are plenty of family hatches and small coupes out there which are more fun, more refined and, we suspect, a lot more comfortable.

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Citroen DS4 driven - Under the skin

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