What is it like on the inside?
The DS 4 likes to remind you it's from the global centre of fashion. Even if being a £30k-40k hatchback does put practical and cost limits on the materials and finishes.
It's plush and rather ornamental, with knurled metal (and fake metal), unusual stitching patterns, and acres of soft furniture. The air vents are tucked out of your eyeline, the centre ones behind the climate controls themselves and the outer ones in the doors.
The body is deep and the glass shallow, so it feels cocooning rather than airy. Space, front and back, is what you'd expect in a hatch. Family crossovers are roomier. And if you want versatility – individual sliding rear seats or variable boot floor – stroll over the dealer floor to the Citroen C5 Aircross.
EASY TO USE OR WILFULLY ECCENTRIC?
The DS 4 sees the first outing of a new touchscreen system that looks good and responds smartly. It has some very useful configuration options so you can set it up for rapid access to your most-used displays and controls, via a series of widgets and homescreens.
All except the cheapest DS 4 have another screen called Smart Touch, down where you'd find an iDrive controller or similar. This acts as a handwriting pad and map-zoom control. More significantly, you can use it to assign six shortcuts, each accessed by a swipe – up, down or the diagonals. You assign them to favourite destinations, radio stations or phone numbers, or particular displays and settings. I'd have one for the all-round cameras for quick activation as I approached width restrictors and carpark ramps.
There's also a wide, informative HUD in most versions. Again, configurable.
All of which needs a learning curve and plenty of setup time, but after that it becomes fairly intuitive and lets you keep eyes on the road. There are one or two hardware buttons too, including a 'home' key for the screen, and one for rapid-access to the driver aids. Also a volume knob driver and passenger can reach, hooray.