WHEN Citroen decided to establish a completely separate brand with its DS models it dramatically broadened the choice for people looking for small up-market cars.
The DS stable offers buyers models that stand out in the car park for their distinctive looks and quality build.
And nowhere is that more true than with the DS 4 Crossback.
This sleek five-seater has the appearance of a coupe thanks to the cleverly concealed handles in the rear doors which help create the car's svelte look.
Improving that look are the 18-inch Brisbane Black high gloss alloy wheels which are part of the extra equipment you get on the Prestige version of this car over the Elegance.
Step inside and the business-like interior immediately impresses with full leather upholstery, a stylish dashboard and intuitive switchgear.
The front seats are not only heated but come with a back massaging feature to ensure you don't end a long journey with any aches and pains.
There is space for three in the back but it's a little snug and legroom is not the most generous. And surprisingly you can't open the rear windows on this model.
But perhaps the most surprising feature of my test car was the engine.
Get behind the wheel and you would swear you were driving a 1.6-litre or 1.8-litre model. Yet beneath the bonnet lurked a turbocharged direct injection three-cylinder, 1.2-litre developing 130bhp.
The PureTech petrol engine has been a real breakthrough for the company with its compact dimensions, low weight yet ability to deliver more power while still keeping emissions at a low level.
In fact these qualities won it the coveted International Engine of the Year 2015.
On the road the performance completely belies the engine's size. Put your right foot down hard and it delivers instantly.
You can hear it's a three-cylinder but only just, as the note has a more sporty sound than anything intrusive and adds to the pleasure of driving this car.
The bonus is that this engine will allow you to average some 54 miles per gallon, a figure more normally associated with diesel rather than petrol engines.
At the same time it will hit 62 miles per hour in a very respectable 9.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 123mph.
You have to rev it hard to get the best performance out of it but it's a gutsy unit that really does deliver. I did find the six-speed gearbox a bit notchy however.
Despite the rakish roofline vision out of the back window is good and reversing is made simple thanks to both parking sensors and a rear colour camera.
For the size of the car there is decent boot, offering 385 litres of space with the seatbacks in position and some 1021 with them lowered, which goes some way to make up for a glove box which is just about large enough to accommodate a packet of sweets.