DS 4 Prestige

BlueHDi 180

DS 4, front, action
DS 4, front action
DS 4, front static
DS 4, rear static
DS 4, rear, action
DS 4, 2015, interior
DS 4, front seats

THE DS brand, relaunched by Citroen as a stand-alone premium product last year, has a fantastic 4.

Rakish good looks and an upmarket feel make this a family hatchback with a bit of star quality.

The exterior offers a bit of French ooh-la-la with a sporty coupe feel allied to a more practical hatchback layout.

An attractive face benefits from a neat grille design and LED/xenon combination headlights fitted as standard.

Step into the £25,495 Prestige model and the figure-hugging supportive sport seats are an immediate plus while it's difficult not to be impressed with the fit and finish of the fixtures and fittings.

There are also lots of toys to play with as goodies include a multi-function leather steering wheel, keyless entry, digital radio, cruise control and an efficient dual-zone air conditioning system which maintains a pleasant atmosphere.

A comfortable position behind the wheel is easy to attain while fancy dials, Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity and a seven-inch central touchscreen with access to sat nav make the DS 4 a Thoroughly Modern Milly.

Visibility is good thanks to the extending panoramic windscreen and there are parking sensors and a rear view camera to help when it comes to fitting into those tricky city centre bays.

Practicality is addressed with the provision of a good-sized boot that easily copes with a family's weekly supermarket visit. The rear bench splits and folds giving extra capacity while a ski-hatch is provided for long, narrow loads.

There is space for four adults although those in the rear will find things a bit tighter than up front where there is plenty of room for legs and heads. Back doors which don't open very wide hinder access to the rear seats.

The interior offers Basil Rathbone levels of refinement as wind and road noise are largely banished.

Cubby holes are dotted around with cup holders, a covered central storage bay and a glovebox available to hide away valuables from prying eyes.

Beneath the bonnet of the Prestige model I drove lurked an efficient 2.0-litre diesel engine linked to a six-speed automatic gearbox that offers punchy performance and good fuel economy. A sport button makes progress more rapid although no paddle change is offered.

Five other power units are available - two more oil burners and three petrol units including the award-winning three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech.

The DS 4 is exciting to drive with informative steering and sharp handling as well as a ride that is firmer than a typical Citroen.

This means it is as adept zipping down winding lanes as it is cruising along the motorway with plenty of grip in corners and good body control.

Safety kit is plentiful with six airbags, stability control and ISOFIX child seat mounts on the team with blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning available off the options bench.

FAST FACTS

DS 4 Prestige BlueHDi 180

Price:£25,595

Mechanical:180hp, 1,997cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:127mph

0-62mph:8.6 seconds

Combined MPG:64.2

Insurance Group:27

C02 emissions:115g/km

Bik rating:21%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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