THERE'S a stunning new up-market hatchback on the streets attracting a lot of envious looks, and for once it doesn't come from one of the premier German car makers.
In fact, so stylish is this newcomer it was awarded the title of the Most Beautiful Car of 2022 at the 37th Festival Automobile International.
The new DS 4 embodies French luxury savoir-faire, and is a car that will appeal to drivers who want to stand out in the crowd and not just be one of the herd.
Since the inception of DS as a standalone brand in 2014 - having previously worn the Citroen badge - we have come to expect its models to be interestingly different, and with the DS 4 that difference has been taken to new heights.
Not only does it have a refreshing new look inside and out it's also packed with interesting new technology and top quality switchgear.
Features include active scan suspension which uses a camera at the top of the windscreen to scan the road ahead for imperfections so the suspension can be adjusted to prepare for them. A similar system is used by Rolls-Royce.
Then there's the infrared night vision system which, in poor light, identifies hazards ahead and warns the driver.
Add to that a fighter-pilot-style head-up display as well as Matrix headlights - which allow you to retain full beam and still not affect cars ahead of you or coming towards you - and it's clear the new DS 4 is a force to be reckoned with.
With a deep gloss black honeycomb grille, ultra slim headlights, lightening flash daylight running lights, deep contours in the bodywork and 19-inch alloys the DS 4 is a car that gets you noticed.
The interior combines refinement with technology. Brown Nappa watchstrap leather on the seats, doors and centre console, a hand stitched steering wheel, air vents that have been designed to be almost invisible and intricately knurled metal work all impress.
The seats can be heated in summer, cooled in winter and come with a variety of massage choices.
There's a 10-inch HD touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard and a smaller screen near the gearshift on which you can write instructions - such as an address for the satellite navigation system - rather than key it in.
The car is available in three derivatives, the standard DS4, the Performance Line and the Cross.
The latter, driven here, comes with side skirts, black rood bars, front and rear skid plates and back bumpers and so will appeal to drivers looking for SUV styling cues.
On the road it's quiet, sharp and very refined. Powers comes from a 1.6-litre, 181bhp petrol engine - diesel and plug-in hybrids are also available - mated to a seamless eight-speed automatic gearbox.
There's a choice of three driving modes - eco, normal and sport - and you also have paddles behind the steering wheel for overriding the auto box.
Comfort is high on the agenda with this car thanks to deeply upholstered seats with multiple adjustment settings to ensure you ride at ease. But to make sure you stay in control the steering wheel has a grip sensor that regularly checks that you are alert.
Space in the rear is a little restricted for tall passengers but other than that the DS 4 has few negative points.