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.
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.