DS 4 - long-term review 2023 | Top Gear
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Long-term review

DS 4 - long-term review

£41,600 / as tested £47,185 / PCM £643
Published: 06 Apr 2023

DS 4 long-term review: can the 4 do some heavy sales lifting for DS?

For the past fortnight I have had nothing but compliments: “Great looking”, “really strong lines”, “lovely nose”, “fantastic rear”. Obviously, these comments aren’t aimed at me, but rather the newest addition to the TopGear Garage – the chic and stylish DS 4.

Part of the DS’s appeal is its rarity, but I hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of them on our roads soon. Looking to steal sales from the Merc A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3, as well as the VW Golf and the DS 4’s own cousin the Peugeot 308, two weeks with our new arrival has been positively enlightening.

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Basics first... The DS 4 comes in four trim levels: Bastille, Trocadero, Rivoli and Opera (anyone else remember the days when car trims were simple? XS, S, SE). It costs from £28,330 for the lowest spec. We’ve gone with a DS 4 Rivoli E-Tense 225 PHEV costing £41,600, though with options KP22 OPZ costs £47,185. Quite the indulgence. So part of our test will be to see if those five and a half grand of options are worth forking out for, or whether you should save the cash and use it to go on a splendid holiday instead.

First driving impressions are very positive – the 4 rides well and engenders a sense of calm in the driver; it’s a great foil to the busy and frantic nature of rival German hatchbacks. As some may know, I’ve been running a DS 9 recently and we got along well, but it’s as common as a Koenigsegg so DS really needs the 4 to do some heavy sales lifting.

The cabin is less glitzy than I was expecting, but I think for many that will be welcome. It’s actually quite minimalist, very clean, very cool. And it does still have buttons for the essentials – something not true of all its rivals. However, I must admit that I’m struggling a bit with the Smart Touch technology. It’s just not something I find easy to use, and my fingertips are seemingly a bit cold for the screen to recognise they exist – as the weather warms up, maybe I’ll suddenly find it a breeze to use... we shall see.

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