If we discount the rebadged citroens of the early 2010s, the more recent ds7 and ds3 suvs hold appeal in their own right, while the ds9 saloon offers a comfort focused take on the company car formula. Now, though, its the turn of the ds4 a hatchback come crossover designed to hit the mercedes a class exactly where it hurts and it seems youd be a fool to dismiss it, whereas the ds3 and the s7 were perhaps a bit bling a bit chintzy and the Ds9, well that just wasnt that fashionable was it because its a saloon, after all the ds4 its got something about it. But im not going to stand here and pick apart. The design thats for you, the potential buyers to decide, but certainly in the metal, proportionally strikes a pretty convincing pose inside it looks the part too. You still get a smattering of these diamond shaped buttons and switches that you did in previous ds models, but its been toned down and thats a good thing just because people want something that isnt, a mercedes or a bmw. Doesnt necessarily mean they want something radical or something thats really going to make them stand out from the crowd now. A key feature in here are these invisible air vents, which are called ds air by the brand. It apparently removes the need for conventional slots and slats with the blades hidden behind the dash okay, its not hot today, but ive not once thought that the climate controls anything but flawlessly effective quality is very good.

Youve got soft touch materials everywhere. You expect them. Youve got leather on the steering wheel, some wood up here on the doors and the central tunnel here, thats covered in leather too, the seats theyre so comfortable and so cushioned and thats something weve seen in ds models before the screens in terms of connectivity and everything. Youve got a big screen here in the middle and some digital dials. Now the whole screen here has been revamped, its far easier to use and far more responsive and the graphics have been updated as well, and you get that convenient home button on the side. You also get this small screen down here, its basically a shortcut menu. So if you hold your finger on here, you have access to six shortcuts and you can program those exactly as you want them, which means i can navigate straight to the map and then use it straight through the main screen. Ds offers three style treatments: the s4. The s4 performance line and the s4 cross, as well as different trim levels within those models, every version gets at least 19 inch, wheels, led lights and a 10 inch touchscreen, while moving up the range brings luxuries like a head up, display, matrix lights and semi autonomous Drive functions, performance line models, get some sportier styling, while cross variants get an suv inspired. Appearance. Appearance is all it is, though. These cars dont even get a raised ride height, just some black trim and some roof bars, but as great as all of that is, the ds4 needs to tick all of those boxes, as well as being easy to live with and good to drive now well, come To practicality in a moment, but first of all lets see what this thing is like on the road.

You hear that no me, neither okay lets not get ahead of ourselves. There is a fully electric version coming in 2024, but for now the range is served by a petrol and a diesel, both of which we will ignore, as well as a plug in hybrid like this, with a 12.4 kilowatt hour battery and a pure electric range of 35 miles prices for the performance line plug in start from just under 35 000 pounds or just over 43 and a half thousand for the la premiere launch edition. The suv inspired crosstrim is available on some models, but not all for around 600 quid more than the standard car, but well review. What weve got here today and that is the la premiere launch edition model, but no matter which spec or trim you go for. If you go for the plug in hybrid, you get the same 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine as you do in the standard petrol model, as well as the same electric motor and petrol combination that you get in the ds9 thats combined power, output of 222 brake horsepower And not 62 miles an hour in 7.7 seconds performance is adequate, but just like in the the s9, the electric motor pretty much patches over any flat spots, which means by and large it feels quicker than the performance figures suggest not that youll want to use all That performance, all that often the ds4, is quite unashamedly geared towards comfort and just like the ds9 again, it gets active scan suspension, whichever model you go for.

That is, if you go for the e tents, the entry level, petrol versions, dont all get that suspension set up, but basically what it does. Is it scans the road ahead for any lumps or bumps in the road and prepares each individual wheel to deal with those imperfections and, on the whole, it actually works really? Well, it actually wafts along pretty nicely theres very little road noise, theres, no wind noise and even with the engine firing youre not going to notice it. Unless you put your foot right to the floor and thats all great, i mean it really is the ds4 offers something quite unique in this class, but as a result, theres just no engagement, it lacks any kind of feedback. The steering is so light its completely numb and theres literally no feel to be had through the wheel as a result, quite a lot of the time youre left guessing, which way the front wheels, are pointing and thats thats. A shame rivals are stiffer, are less comfortable, but, as a result, they just offer a greater sense of balance plug in hybrids like this have the ability to offer rock bottom running costs, providing you use them as intended. That 35 mile official range is more like 28 to 30 in practice, which is on par with rivals, but falls short of the a classs, 40 plus mile official figure still plug it in regularly a task that takes between two hours on a seven kilowatt wall box And seven hours on a three pin plug and you could see your fuel bills plummet.

Company car drivers can slash their benefiting kind tax bills versus an equivalent petrol or diesel car. Though again, the ds cant match the mercedes in this regard. How about as a family car, then these models need to be all things to all people, so a big boot and roomy rear seats are a must starting back here, youve got ‘0 liters with the seats up or 1240 litres, with the seats down thats pretty much On par with most cars in this class, but 40 litres smaller than the pure petrol version, the biggest issue theres absolutely no underfloor storage under here. So if you want to carry the cables with you, if you want to charge your destination, for example, youre going to have to put them in there with the rest of your luggage, what isnt par for the class is space in the back, while fine for kids, Both leg and headroom are tight, meaning taller adults like me, arent going to want to sit there for all that long and there you have it. It feels like we said something similar about the ds9 when we drove that a few months ago, but with every new product, the ds brand edges ever closer to being a true premium player for those established german brands. The ds4 is less quirky than other models in the ds range, but its all the better for it. People in this area of the market want a car that says something about them, but they dont necessarily want diamonds on the dashboard or chrome trim.

Splattered all over the outside the ds4 is more conventional, and that is a good thing head to drivingelectric.com for all the latest electric and hybrid car advice, news and reviews and check us out on twitter, facebook and instagram.