The Oxford English Dictionary definition for the word ‘set’ runs to 60,000 words. If the DS4 ever reaches the OED (yeah, it could happen), it’d smash ‘set’ right out the park.
This is a car that defies description. In top-spec, 197bhp ‘DSport’ petrol guise, this DS4 should, on paper, be a straightforward Golf GTi rival. It isn’t.
Sure, with its Mini-derived 1.6-litre turbo engine, the DS4 accelerates like a hot hatch and makes some of the fizzy noises of one. But though the steering is weighty – if short on feel and feedback – the DS4 rides higher than the standard C4, leaning squishily into bends despite its stiff springing. There’s good grip, but it isn’t, by the standards of the GTI or Megane RS, a focused drive.
Maybe it’s a family-orientated take on the hot-hatch formula, a car that won’t shake your offspring to death when you get a bit Kamui Kobayashi? Not quite.
The DS4′s rear windows don’t open, which, combined with its squashed roofline, makes it a claustrophobic place to put kids.
It all adds up to a car that, though nicely finished, can’t decide quite what it wants to be. One for the diehard tall-fast-hot-hatch-coupe fans only, then.
We like: Fizzy engine, novelty value
We don’t like: Far less exciting than the DS3
The verdict: Fast but a bit remote, tall yet cramped, the fast DS4 isn’t likely to replicate DS3′s success
Performance: 0-100kmph in 8.5secs, max 235kmph, 18.7kmpl
Tech: 1598cc, 4cyl, FWD, 197bhp, 203lb ft, 1431kg, 149g/km CO2
Tick this on the options list: Denon hi-fi
Avoid this: Hickory brown paint