With the DS 4 in the compact segment, the PPE premium brand DS is making another attempt to finally have real success in Germany. The crossover shares the latest version of the EMP2 platform with the next Astra and offers a ton of fine details.
DS and the compact crossover segment – that has not necessarily been a success story so far. First they put a different emblem on the radiator grille and sold the whole thing as a Citroën DS 4. The acceptance in this country was accordingly manageable. But even then, the French tried to score with the combination of sophistication and technology (according to the slogan on the homepage). The marketing strategists remain true to this principle, but DS is now its own brand.
Of course, it cannot be done entirely without identical parts. The DS 4 shares the EMP2-Evo platform with the new Astra. The 4.40 meter long and 1.83 meter wide crossover stands sturdy on tires up to 20 inches in size and looks confidently out into the world with LED matrix light including rotating cornering lights and the typical saber teeth as daytime running lights. The striking standard paintwork in copper gold also matches this. No more Teutonic white, black or silver. So that everyone feels at home from autumn this year, the SUV with DS 4, DS 4 Performance Line and DS 4 Cross will get three variants, which differ slightly in terms of equipment. The DS 4 Cross rolls over the streets with the Advanced Traction Control, including hill descent aid, known from other PSA models; an all-wheel drive version has so far been looked for in the price list in vain.
In contrast, the Performance Line has forged carbon in the steering wheel, so no valance looks like the other. In the interior, the French want to score with fine details, such as the pearl embroidery known from noble fashion, the well-known diamond pattern on control elements and concealed ventilation slats. The infotainment is based on three pillars: the seven-inch instrument cluster, a ten-inch touchscreen and a five-inch input area. The first time we tried to sit, the system worked without any problems thanks to the palm rest and we were able to navigate through the apps without taking our eyes off the street. The driving test will show whether this is also possible on a very bad road. Alternatively, voice control is available with “Iris”. The DS 4 is provided with acoustic glazing so that the commands arrive clearly.
Technologically, the French are trying with all their might to shorten the gap to their competitors and, if possible, even overtake them. That is why the DS 4 offers some assistants that make life easier for the pilot, including a blind spot assistant, the well-known night vision assistant that is even supposed to detect rabbits on the roadside, and robotic driving functions that enable semi-autonomous driving. The days of the cheap-looking head-up display including a small plastic pane are over with the DS 4: A large, real head-up display projects the image onto the road, but does not require flying arrows as navigation instructions. Speaking of the road. So that the travel comfort also meets the self-imposed demands of the PSA noble offshoot, the French combine an active camera-controlled suspension system with the “Advanced Comfort” dampers used for the first time at Citroën, in which the classic mechanical stops are replaced by hydraulic ones, both in terms of pressure and work at Zug.
With the engines you get the usual PSA fare, which starts with the well-known and not very spirited 96 kW / 130 PS three-cylinder and ends with a plug-in hybrid in the DS 4 E-Tense 225 with 165 kW / 225 PS. With the PHEV variant, a 12.4 kilowatt hour battery enables a purely electric range of up to 55 kilometers (WLTP cycle). There is also a petrol engine with the same power without electrical assistance, a 133 kW / 181 PS petrol engine and a 96 kW / 130 PS diesel engine to choose from. An all-wheel drive version with an electric rear axle has not yet been planned, as this would involve complex and therefore cost-intensive interventions in the architecture. There we are already with the prices: It starts at 28,900 euros and the “La Premiere” -PHEV version is currently the top equipment with 52,500 euros.