What's the used DS DS 4 hatchback like?
Family SUVs seem to be flooding the used market these days, but truly premium ones aren't quite so prevalent. The BMW X1 was one of the first, but it’s still quite a pricey car. The DS 4, however, has been around a while and was even sold as a Citroën before being rebranded in 2015, so there are plenty of second-hand examples to choose from.
The 4 offers two petrol and three diesel engines. Everyday driving is well catered for by the 128bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrol, but there’s also a 207bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol if you need more performance. Likewise, the 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel has plenty of torque for relaxed cruising, but there are a 2.0-litre units with 148bhp and 178bhp that offer similar running costs.
As long as you’re just pottering, the 4 is okay to drive. Demand more from it and its soft suspension will make you experience body roll around even fairly shallow corners. Potholes also pose a problem, because they send shocks straight into the interior. On faster roads, the 4 floats a lot, and its slow steering means you’ll have to make plenty of additional adjustments to keep it on the right path.
In isolation, you’ll probably find the 128bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrol to be an agreeable engine, and it’s true that it doesn’t feel lacking in performance in regular driving, thanks to the relatively short gearing. However, it isn’t the most refined unit out there, and it sends plenty of vibrations through the pedals, steering wheel and seats. Wind and road noise are also very noticeable at speed, to the point that you will have to crank up the volume on the stereo.
Practicality is another weak point of the 4, because while those in the front seats have plenty of adjustment and there’s a nice panoramic windscreen that allows in plenty of light, the rear seats are very cramped for taller passengers and the door openings are very narrow, restricting access. Head room isn’t good enough either, due to the sloping roofline. To top it all off, the rear windows don’t open at all, which makes the air conditioning a necessity in even mild weather.
The boot is similar to that of the Volkswagen Golf, but there’s a significant load lip and the rear seats don't fold flat, making it awkward to load longer items. You do get plenty of tie-downs and a handy rechargeable torch, though (make sure the previous owner of the car you're looking at hasn’t half-inched the latter).
Page 1 of 5