Known as ‘The Goddess’, Citroen’s original DS saloon was for many, one of the most beautiful cars ever.
Now both initials and the design commitment live again with the DS4, a premium five-door hatch targeting customers that’ll be new to the French marque.
Slightly more compact than the C4 it’s based on, the DS4 is 60mm shorter, 20mm wider and, in an effort to inject some ‘Crossover’ personality, 40mm taller. Citroen say that the resulting package manages to be more stable on the move, making the driver feel as if ‘they have the road at their fingertips’. That ambition is backed up through the use of a MacPherson-type suspension set up at the front, and a flexible transverse beam at the rear, with hydraulic power steering.
The engine range is wide and flexible and all units meet the most stringent Euro 5 emissions requirements. Most will choose a 1.6, with diesel drivers selecting between 110 and 160bhp HDi powerplants. Then there are three 1.6-litre petrol options, co-developed with BMW, the 120bhp VTi sitting under two engines that give Peugeot’s RCZ sportscar its bite, the 155bhp and 200bhp THP units, the latter serving up a meaty 275Nm of torque. All engines give the option of either Citroen’s six-speed electronic transmission alongside a more conventional manual alternative. While it looks like a three-door coupe, this is in fact a genuine five-door hatch. The panoramic windscreen extends backwards into the roof and the dimensions and its styling give the car a compact and muscular look. There’s a modest power bulge feel in the shape of the bonnet and further purposeful bulges over all four wheels, while a waist-height crease flows backwards from front arches which house wheels of up to 19-inches in size. The steeply raked roof drops away to the rear hatch with its subtle spoiler to give coupe-like sporty edginess.
Inside the leather-lined cabin, the driver faces an array of smart chrome-rimmed dials and a sculpted, contoured dashboard. Premium touches include embossed leather door handles, plenty of chrome detailing and cool ambient lighting. Far more attention has been paid to build quality and refinement too, to match this up-market feel. Then there’s that panoramic windscreen, offering front occupants a 45-degree view upwards and giving the cabin a real feeling of light and airiness. With DS4s being priced from around the £20,000 mark, this Citroen isn’t cheap - but then neither is its value proposition. The leather-trimmed cabin is spacious, the engines efficient and powerful and the technology impressive. Here then, is a car that, for the price of something plush and ordinary, delivers the extraordinary. Just as Citroen DS models always have.