The Citroën DS4 brings together head-turning good looks with a satisfying driving experience, writes car reviewer Tim Barnes-Clay.
By ditching the norms of car design, Citroën has created an individual and desirable motor in the DS4.
Produced predominantly as an aerodynamic coupé but with five-door level-headedness, the Citroën DS4 takes the French automaker's Créative Technologie slogan to a new level.
The hatchback's striking outline gives you an impression of class. Its arresting lines are boosted by a chrome-finished waistline and tinted windows.
Sculpted wheel arches give emphasis to the à la mode alloys, and the tight roofline and rear spoiler add a further serving of cool.
Chic interior confirms Citroën DS4 is above-average car
Three full-size rear seats are accessed via flawlessly integrated rear doors with handles hidden in the car's extended window frames.
When ajar, the doors reveal their pointed shape. A distinctive and neat design touch you might think? No, I'd say irritating.
You see, you can find yourself jabbed by the doors' long, sharply-angled upper edges unless you take a step back when opening them up. Not great.
Despite this, a chic and attractively appointed interior offers excellent comfort for five adults.
Quality materials, including leather, drilled aluminium pedals and premium touches, such as massaging front seats, confirm you're in an above-average car.
Panoramic windscreen offers enhanced visibility
In the driver's seat, a panoramic windscreen offers you enhanced visibility and it helps to illuminate the cockpit.
The onboard atmosphere is unruffled, thanks to excellent soundproofing. And, as a bit of fun, Citroën allows you to match the DS4's mood with you own.
You can alter the cabin's character with polyphonic sound themes, and the colour of the dials and the instrument cluster can be changed too.
With its taut and alert stance, the Citroën DS4 DSport is tuned for lively performance.
Citroën DS4: Spec
The suspension and steering are highly responsive and smooth, with commendable control.
The spirited HDi 160, on test here, doles out rousing power and performance with a top speed of 129mph and a 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds.
Extremely efficient, this engine returns an impressive average official fuel consumption figure of 49.6mpg, with low CO2 emissions of 149g/km.
One of the safest cars in its category, the Citroën DS4 has been judged worthy of the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
An assortment of stock protective features are available, including an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), six airbags and two Isofix mountings for anchoring child seats into the rear.
Safety enhancing high-tech gadgetry
Other safety enhancing high-tech gadgetry includes cruise control with speed limiter and Citroën's new blind-spot monitoring system.
The latter is seriously worth having on every car as it's so reassuring - especially when you're not sure where the motorbike that was following you has gone to.
The Citroën DS4 DSport certainly satisfied my needs during the week I drove it.
It engaged me at an emotional level and it'll definitely enhance your joie de vivre.
Think Citroën and you don't think opulent hatchback
It's just a shame it costs £24,840 new because Citroën isn't the first brand you'd think of if an opulent hatchback is what you're after.
An Audi A3 Sportback would spring to my mind first of all – and it has a similar price-tag - but then you're not going to get as much kit on this as standard - or the comparable VW Golf.
Citroën DS4 DSport HDi 160: Pros & cons
- Look √
- Comfort √
- Kit √
- Efficiency √
- Safety √
- Rear doors X
- Cost X
Citroën DS4 DSport HDi 160: Fast facts
- Max speed: 129 mph
- 0-62 mph: 9.9 secs
- Combined mpg: 49.6
- Engine 1997 cc, four cylinder, 16 valve, turbo diesel
- Max. power (bhp): 163 at 3,750rpm
- Max. torque (Ib/ft): 251 at 2,000rpm
- CO2: 149 g/km
- Price: £24,840
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