The Citroen DS4 is a good-looking, high-quality alternative to a conventional small family hatch. The engines have proven themselves to be corkers, and it promises to be well equipped.
The coupe-like looks don’t come cheap, and they don’t do much for the car’s practicality, either. The ride is just too harsh for UK roads.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
We’ve only driven the two most powerful engines so far, the 197bhp turbocharged 1.6 petrol and the 161bhp 2.0 diesel. The petrol gives proper hot-hatch pace and good in-gear flexibility, and the diesel isn’t short on acceleration, either. Other choices include two more 1.6 petrols, with either 118- or 154bhp, and a 108bhp 1.6 diesel.
Ride & Handling
The DS4 is based on the C4 hatchback, and although the ride height has been raised, the suspension is much stiffer. That makes it feel decidedly crashy over bumps and potholes, and the jittery ride never settles down. It does mean strong body control in bends, though, and there’s plenty of grip, too. However, the steering feels remote and kicks back over mid-corner bumps.
The diesel engine we’ve tried isn’t as smooth as some of Citroën’s other diesels, but it’s still pretty good by class standards. The petrol makes a nice noise when you work it hard, but the noise doesn’t die down enough on the motorway. It’s joined by some wind noise at 70mph, so the DS4 isn’t the quietest cruiser.