In its modern history, the DS car company is starting to supply us with very interesting cars quite regularly. We still have a recent editorial test of the electrified DS 9 fresh in our minds, and now we're already sitting in the latest news of the DS 4 model.
We said goodbye to the first generation of the "four" in 2018, but we currently have a significantly more charismatic car of the second generation, which is shaped by the very bold and imaginative handwriting of the modern car manufacturer DS.
Due to unspecified problems, instead of the electrified version of the E-TENSE, the importer offered us a "classic" version with a diesel engine, which really pleasantly surprised me. In addition to the imaginative exterior and well-crafted interior of the DS 4, in the case of the diesel engine, I was also surprisingly treated to a sufficiently agile driving performance, which was accompanied by very decent fuel consumption.
The DS 4 model is primarily a compact hatchback, which is also quite successfully shaped by other fashionable elements. The unusually low silhouette of the roof, robust proportions or higher ground clearance indicate that the shaping of the "four" is to some extent inspired by cars from the trendy SUV coupe category.
The body of the DS 4 thus has a very specific and original combination of shapes, the low and sporty silhouette of the roof is combined here with a very robust and wide stance of the car.
The wide front part has a voluminous radiator grille and headlights with a slightly enchanting look (with the DS MATRIX LED VISION function). The advertised width of the front part is then completed by the significantly curved lines of the daytime running lights located in the corner, which come from the front headlights. Their gradual lighting when approaching the car is very effective.
From the side profile, the shaping of a classic hatchback is most noticeable, which in the case of the DS 4 is combined with elements of the body of an SUV coupe. The elegant and optically graceful shaping of the roof and glazing of the car contrast here with the relatively robust proportions of the lower part of the body, which also has a higher ground clearance.
In the same spirit, the rear part is also quite logically shaped, the low roof brings relatively subtle glazing, which is underlined by narrow and horizontally oriented lamps with completely typical interior decor. The wide stance is successfully supported by distinctively shaped fenders and a massive bumper. Unfortunately, the weakest point of this lot and actually of the whole car are the fake exhaust tips.
The tested Cross version brings elements to the car that support its partial SUV character. These include, for example, the differently shaped lower parts of both bumpers, which are also painted black. The side window frames or the radiator grille itself are also painted black, the car is also equipped with roof racks and the roof is painted in the body color. The relevant plaque with the name Cross on the sides of the car then becomes a matter of course.
The Cross version can also be equipped with the Advanced Traction Control system with sand, snow and mud modes. Hill Assist Descent Control can also be an additional helper for controlled downhill driving.
In the case of the interiors of DS cars, you must always count on a moment of patience before you get used to the interior ergonomics, for the "four" it is mainly the position of the start button or the location of the window controls.
Otherwise, the interior of the DS 4 is dominated by very pleasant materials with high-quality workmanship, as well as simple and elegant lines and imaginative shaping of individual parts and details.
The dashboard is very simple in shape and continuous. The side vents of the air conditioning have been moved to the side panels of the doors, following the model of the smaller "three" , within which, rather unconventionally, the relatively subtle controls for lowering the windows are also located.
Let's stay with the air conditioning vents, because those in the central part of the dashboard are imaginatively set back in a kind of saber, which is created by the individual air conditioning controls together with the running line up to the passenger compartment. This elegant design element effectively covers the exhalations themselves and at the same time contributes to ideal air distribution.
The on-board infotainment display itself offers decent dimensions and pleasant graphics with a good resolution. On the other hand, the digital instrument cluster in front of the driver is, like the "troika", rather smaller in size and with a layout of individual data that I would imagine is more clear.
The center tunnel is equipped with the DS Smart Touch system, i.e. a small 5″ display with which individual functions can be controlled, or if you hold your finger on it for a longer time, you can call up six favorite functions on the main infotainment display. This display is then integrated into a handsome and compact plate together with the automatic transmission controller, driving mode controller and radio volume control. It also includes a small surface for supporting your palm, an ergonomically managed and elegant solution.
From the driver's position, I also have to praise the multifunctional steering wheel, for its ideal shape and leather upholstery, as well as the excellent head-up, which has very good graphics and a wide range of displayed data.
Sufficient comfort on board is therefore not only ensured by premium materials and excellent workmanship, the individual seats are also very comfortable. The front ones can be not only heated, but also ventilated, in addition with a massage function.
The interior of the DS 4 is therefore very good, its treatment adequately follows on from the imaginative exterior, its processing and materials are adequate for the premium class to which this car belongs.
Offered motorizations and driving impressions
The DS 4 model is available with both petrol and diesel engines, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain is also available. The basis is a 130-horsepower three-cylinder 1.2 PureTech gasoline engine, which is combined with an eight-speed automatic. Gasoline power units are also represented by the PureTech sixteen-cylinder in two power variants (180 and 225 hp). Again, the engines work exclusively with an eight-speed automatic.
There is only one diesel under the hood of the DS 4, it is a 1.5 BlueHDi engine tuned to 130 horsepower combined with an eight-speed automatic.
The highlight of the price list is the E-TENSE plug-in hybrid powertrain, the base of which is the 16-liter PureTech gasoline engine, which also works with an electric motor with a capacity of 110 horsepower and a battery with a capacity of 12.4 kWh. The indicated range on pure electric energy reaches a value of 55 km.
We tested a car with a diesel under the hood, its 96 kW (130 hp) power and 300 Nm of torque give the DS 4 surprisingly very decent driving dynamics. The motorization is refined and excellently soundproofed towards the interior. This motorization traditionally gets along very well with the eight-speed Aisin automatic. It handles a calm and comfortable driving style just as well as a sharper pace. All this for an average of 6.5 liters of diesel per 100 km.
DS 4 also has a choice of driving modes, from Eco, Normal, Comfort and Sport modes to Sand, Mud and Snow modes, which are available thanks to the optional Advanced Traction Control system. Personally, however, I oscillated the most between the Comfort and Sport modes. The comfortable position is really close to the "four", thanks to the DS Active Scan Suspension system. In this case, it is an active suspension system that evaluates data from a camera located in the upper part of the windshield, four height sensors and three accelerometers. The system then acts independently on each wheel in real time and adjusts the stiffness of the suspension to the unevenness of the road.
Sports mode "hardens" the whole car, of course its response to the gas pedal changes, and the eight-speed automatic also shifts gears in another mode. The DS 4 is then pleasantly confident and its wide stance is evident. The car responds very well to commands from the steering wheel and willingly throws itself into corners. The diesel 15-liter becomes an interesting choice for a car designed in this way.
The DS 4 is offered in a relatively wide range of equipment levels, the basis is the BASTILLE level, which is available from CZK 750,000 including VAT, the car is also equipped with a basic three-cylinder 1.2 PureTech engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Other trim levels include BASTILLE+, PERFORMANCE LINE, TROCADERO, TROCADERO CROSS, PERFORMANCE LINE+, RIVOLI and RIVOLI CROSS.
In the case of diesel under the hood, the DS 4 starts at 825,000 CZK (BASTILLE+) and the plug-in hybrid E-TENSE (PERFORMANCE LINE) at 1,145,000 CZK including VAT.
The highest trim level, the RIVOLI CROSS, again with a three-cylinder petrol engine and an eight-speed automatic, can be purchased from CZK 1,000,000 including tax. The very top of the price list is the plug-in hybrid RIVOLI CROSS, which starts at CZK 1,280,000 including VAT.
DS cars traditionally include a 5-year / 60,000 km warranty in their purchase price, as well as a FreeDrive service contract included in this price, which includes all mandatory service, including service work and also the replacement of worn parts.
The piece we tested was one of the top versions of the offer. DS 4 RIVOLI CROSS with diesel engine and automatic transmission starts from 1,050,000 CZK including tax. The price of a specific car, including extras for pressed gray Galet leather, wireless phone charging, Advanced Traction Control system, electric trunk lid or DS Active Scan Suspension, climbed to CZK 1,186,000.
Model 4 is an adequate representative in the varied portfolio of the French car company DS. It brings a certain uniqueness, originality and comfort to its customers, which is supported not only by high-quality materials including excellent workmanship, but also by a sufficiently comfortable chassis. The currently tested diesel then became a very pleasant surprise for me, this engine gives the car a sufficiently lively driving performance, all while maintaining reasonable consumption values.
Source: Author's text
Image source: Author's own photos