2014 Citroen DS4 Faubourg Pack review
* Range-topping Citroen DS4 driven * Faubourg Pack adds styling tweaks * On sale now, priced from £24,250...
The Faubourg styling pack creates a new range-topping version of the Citroen DS4.
Citroen says that the £600 Faubourg Pack is ‘all about personalisation and elegance’. What this means is that the car gets the DS logo tessellated all over its roof and laser-etched into the door mirrors, plus a bespoke finish on the 19-inch Cairns alloy wheels.
The introduction of the pack also coincides with a new Whisper Purple paint colour being added to the range.
The Faubourg Pack can only be added to DSport models, which means you can only have the 197bhp turbo petrol or 161bhp diesel engine. You also have to choose Whisper Purple, Perla Nera Black or White Pearlescent paint.
What’s the 2014 Citroen DS4 Faubourg Pack like to drive?
We sampled the Faubourg Pack in the most expensive DS4 – the 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel with six-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a strong and flexible engine, and isn't much noisier than the diesel engine in the range-topping Seat Leon FR.
However, the Citroen’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions are way behind the class leaders. In fact, the manual’s 130g/km output means that (as a 40% rate taxpayer) you'll pay a whopping £600 a year more in company car tax than for a Leon 2.0 TDI 184 FR.
Choosing the automatic gearbox that our test car had makes the DS4 even most costly to run. Still, it does at least provide reasonably smooth changes – a world away from the jerky semi-automatic you get with lower-powered diesel models.
Unfortunately, the DS4’s ride and handling don’t make up for its inefficient engine. Even though the suspension is raised up, it’s also very stiff – even more so with the sport suspension fitted to DSport versions. The DS4 never settles down at any speed, and bigger bumps really thump through the cabin around town.
The firm dampers do at least keep body roll in check through bends, but the steering simply isn’t direct enough to enjoy this. What’s more, the self-centering action is too aggressive, while mid-corner bumps tend to make the whole car hop sideways.
Wind noise is never a huge issue in the DS4, but tyre roar is a constant companion – especially with the DSport trim’s stiffest suspension and 19-inch wheels.
What’s the 2014 Citroen DS4 Faubourg Pack like inside?
The Faubourg Pack changes nothing inside the DS4. That means you get the same well-built but compromised cabin.
The steering wheel and driver’s seat are both adjustable, but the range of movement isn’t as good as in most rivals. A six-foot driver will be okay on short trips, but is likely to feel cramped on longer journeys.
The raised driving position does at least afford a good view out of the front, but the rear window is tiny and the sloping roofline means over-the-shoulder visibility is poor compared with more conventional family hatchbacks.
While plenty of the plastics around the cockpit-style dashboard are soft to the touch and feel substantial, the cheap partition between driver and passenger is a disappointment. The buttons cluttering the fascia aren't particularly intuitive, either, and the infotainment system with DAB radio (a £750 option) is downright fiddly.
That coupe bodystyle restricts passenger space, too. The rear doors have small openings that make it awkward to access what limited rear head- and legroom there is; and if you do fit inside, you can’t even open the rear windows.
There is at least a decent-sized boot, although there’s a substantial lip to lift heavier items over. The optional, high-end Denon sound system (£550) is best avoided, because it adds a subwoofer that takes away some of the space.
This version of the DS4 gets all the safety kit you’d expect, including six airbags and a blind spot monitoring system.
Should I buy one?
No. Even the biggest fan of the DS4’s styling should be able to see that the pricey versions with the Faubourg Pack are a classic case of style over substance. The cosmetic upgrades only come with engines that are simply too expensive to buy and too costly to run.
If you’re looking for a stylish hatchback with a punchy engine, then buy a five-door Seat Leon 2.0 TDI 184 FR. It offers hot hatch levels of performance, with a ride and handling setup that shames the Citroen, yet it costs thousands less to buy.
Alternatively, if want a classy SUV with a dose of extra practicality, then go for our 2014 Car of the Year, the Nissan Qashqai. It’s far more spacious inside and will cost much less to run. We’d go for the 1.5 dCi Acenta Premium version, but you could have a fully-loaded Tekna model for the same price as this DS4.