UPMARKET French brand DS is expanding its line up with the introduction of a new family-sized crossover.
The DS 4 will be available before the year is out in launch specification La Premiere trim with three mainstream versions coming on stream early in 2022.
Priced from around £25,000 to just over £40,000 it sees DS taking on the likes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW with a premium grade medium sized family car that will be available with petrol, diesel and plug-in powertrains.
A fully electric model is likely to join the range making the DS 4 the first car in the new Stellantis group to feature all methods of propulsion.
The DS 4 is a handsome hatch that will be sold in three style levels with Performance Line models having a more sporty feel and Cross versions catering for those who want a more SUV-like vehicle.
Each has its own styling cues and at 4.4 metres long the car looks purposeful and stylish.
It will be built at the former Opel works in Russelsheim, Germany, that is now part of the Stellantis operation and joins DS's other current offerings the DS 3 and DS 7 Crossback SUVs and the new flagship DS 9 saloon.
With plenty of French flair the DS 4 has a premium feel all round with interiors that are posh yet minimalistic.
Two control screens sit in the middle of the car with a digital instrument panel ahead of the driver.
There is also a widescreen head-up display which provides a variety of information projected on to the windscreen in the driver's field of view.
That is one of a number of techno features that set the DS 4 apart with the likes of active scan suspension which ‘reads' the road ahead and the new DS IRIS infotainment system which can be operated via voice control.
With an electronic parking brake and a toggle selector for the eight-speed automatic gearbox fitted on all versions there are only a handful of traditional buttons to operate the likes of the ventilation system and the hazard warning lights with all other functions being operated either via the touchscreens or steering wheel mounted controls.
It is as futuristic as it is innovative with a night vision set up also available to help detect hazards in low light situations as is a semi-autonomous driving mode which can keep the car in its lane automatically.
The five-inch Smart Touch screen sits ahead of the gear selector and is basically a feeder display for the main 10-inch panel in the centre of the dash.
It can be used to store favourite settings or to input information such as post codes for the navigation system which can be operated by a handwriting recognition set up.
With leather or Alcantara upholstery and ash wood inserts in the trim the cabin has a luxury feel which outstrips any of its rivals.
Other features include retractable door handles, an LED matrix lighting system and clever use of chrome touches in the grille and on the rail which add to the quality feel.
Engine choices are three PureTech turbo petrols with power outputs of 130, 180 and 225 bhp, a 130 bhp BlueHDi diesel and the E-Tense plug in hybrid which has a total power output of 225 bhp and a theoretical combined fuel economy of up to 168 mpg with a zero emission range of some 35 miles on a full charge.
Provisional fuel figures for the PureTech engines range from 43.6 mpg for the higher powered version to 46 to the gallon for the 130 bhp engine with the diesel said to be capable of averaging 62 mpg.
Emissions range from 32g/km for the plug-in hybrid to 123 g/km for the higher powered petrol version and 100g/km for the diesel with the PureTech 225 and the hybrid having maximum speeds of around 145mph.
Boot space ranges from 430 litres to a maximum of 1,290 with the electrical gubbins on the E-Tense model reducing minimum cargo capacity to 390 litres.
As an alternative to the likes of the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and BMW's 1 Series and X2 models the DS 4 stacks up well and looks set to give the French brand a major player in the mainstream market.
First deliveries of La Premiere versions are slated to start in December with the other variants coming on stream in January 2022.