DS 4 Prestige

BlueHDi 180

Automatic

DS 4, 2015, front, action
DS 4, 2015, front, static
DS 4, 2015, rear, action
DS 4, 2015, rear, static
DS 4, interior, auto
DS 4, dash detail

MOST of us are after ‘something a bit different' when it comes to cars.

Put it another way, I've never heard anyone choosing a new motor admit to wanting a ‘run of the mill' model.

One of the newest names on the block DS, formerly the posh end of the Citroen range and now a brand in its own right, is out to target fashion-conscious motorists who are looking for a special cocktail of individuality, quality and style.

The DS 4 fits in the centre of the current range with the just-revamped DS 3 below and the large and futuristic looking DS 5 as the flagship.

With a choice of petrol and diesels engines, I opted for the most powerful DS 4 with a 2.0-litre 180 turbo diesel engine in Prestige trim. It delivers almost hot hatch performance alongside miserly thirst.

Designers have gone to considerable efforts to lift the cabin ambiance to new heights to reflect the marque's prestige status. Soft touch plastics, plenty of leather and flashes of aluminium help make your living quarters stylish and comfortable.

A seven-inch touch-screen in centre of proceedings on the facia.

It takes a while to get to know your way around the dash, but overall there's an appropriate impression of luxury.

This car looked stunning with optional special finish 19-inch alloy wheels, a £400 extra. The Prestige at £25,495 comes with keyless entry, leather steering wheel, LED xenon headlights, headlight washers, digital radio, and sports front seats.

The 178bhp engine has loads of torque - 295lb/ft, to be exact - making mid-range acceleration brisk yet undramatic. 62mph comes up in 8.6 seconds top speed is 127mph. In wet or greasy road conditions the front tyres can be made to scrabble for adhesion under full power so a degree of restraint is needed.

A six-speed automatic gearbox takes the strain out of long trips but can be a shade jerky on bendy roads where frequent gear changes are the norm. There's a sport button which makes progress more eager, but the DS4 isn't available with a paddle change.

Even making use of the considerable power had little effect on the fuel consumption which remained in the high 40s. The official combined figure is 64.2mpg.

Cornering is secure and relatively roll-free but the ride is somewhat fidgety over rippled surfaces and it can be unsettles by bumps and pot holes. Possibly the larger than standard 19-inch alloys play a part here.

Space in the front is more than adequate but the rear seat passengers are rather less well catered for. Access to the rear seats isn't helped by back doors which don't open very wide.

The hatchback boot is of reasonable, if not class-leading size and can accommodate 385 litres of luggage. The rear seats flip down to expand capacity, but bags must be lifted over a high lip.

FAST FACTS

DS 4 Prestige BlueHDi 180 Automatic

Price:£25,495

Mechanical:178bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driven by front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 8.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 64.2

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions: 115g/km

Bik rating: 18%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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