Citroën DS4 facelift review
Citroën’s stylish DS4 has been given a facelift for 2015– as well as being joined by its more rugged cousin, the DS4 Crossback. Having debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier on this year, fans of the DS4 have been eagerly awaiting their opportunity to try out the stylish new offering. And, with noticeable improvements to the cabin space, ride quality and engine specifications, they’re unlikely to be left disappointed.
The new DS4 Crossback is Citroën’s way of tentatively dipping a toe into the ever expanding waters of the ‘compact crossover’, taking inspiration from leading designs such as the Nissan Juke to offer a raised seating position and new external luggage options. Coming with just one option for both petrol and diesel engines, as well as an identical trim package, this is more of a public prototype than the finished article, but gives us a clear indication of the direction in which Citroën intend to push their family-orientated ranges.
The new Citroën DS4 has had something of a facelift, with designers now factoring in the distinctive DS front end that was introduced on the DS5, removing the badge altogether and adding in sleek new LED headlights. The grille is a nod to the 60-year heritage of the DS, with a hexagonal shape that both mirrors classic models in the range and flows neatly with the new headlights. Overall, the new models feel more dynamic and athletic, with a lowered wheel-base and fluid creases to help guide air around the car’s flanks.
The hatchback incarnation is offered in three unique specs – Dsign, DStyle and DSport – with all models featuring alloy wheels and a host of options for accessorising, such as mud flaps and tow bar. Meanwhile, the DS4 crossback can be differentiated by its raised roof (30mm), luggage bars, black front end and rear spoiler, increased wheel size and skid plates. Buyers of both models can choose from four roof colours to contrast and personalise the bodywork in up to 38 different combinations, following on from the limited edition Electro Shot option released in 2013.
The new DS4 features Citroën’s latest cabin trim – semi-aniline Nappa leather – to go alongside the already generous selection of six other options, with the latest version building on what was already a high-quality interior.
All models come relatively well-equipped, with cruise control, air conditioning and steering-wheel control panel for comfort and convenience, as well as featuring improved fixtures for more of a quality feel. The new DS4 is also the first to feature the Apple CarPlay facility, an advanced infotainment system that allows complete connectivity via Bluetooth, all controlled from a brand new integrated 7in touchscreen display.
Boot capacity may come in just below that of the Citroën C4 (on which the DS4 is based), but 385-litres without shifting seats around is still an attractive proposition and gives more scope for cargo than the average saloon.
On the Road
While the new Crossback is being released with just two entry-level engine options (one petrol and one diesel), buyers of the hatchback Citroën DS4 can choose from up to six different variants, starting with the turbocharged Puretech 130 (the same petrol option as the Crossback), which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and generates a tidy 128bhp.
The THP 165 and brand new THP 210 are the other two petrol options, generating 163bhp and 207bhp respectively. The remaining three options are all diesel, beginning at the Blue HDI 120 model (also available in the Crossback) and shifting up through the Blue HDI 150 and Blue HDI 180 options, which boast fuel consumption rates of just 74.3mpg, 72.4mpg and 64.2mpg respectively. The Blue HDI 180 is the top pick for motorway cruising, as the most powerful, economical and only model with an optional automatic gearbox, while the 1.6-litre petrol engine comes straight out of the DS3 Racing and can sprint to 62mph in just 8.5 seconds.
As for driver assistance and safety features, all models include hill start assist, electronic stability control, Isofix child seat mounting and six airbags throughout the cabin. An automatic electric parking break is available in the DSport and DStyle trim packages, while both spec levels also enjoy Citroën’s innovative eTouch Emergency and Assistance System, which notifies the emergency services should the car be involved in an accident. These improvements all add up to top marks for the range in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests.
While the Crossback is in line with prevailing motor industry trends, this initial offering is something of a gentle introduction for future models to build on. There are features that set it apart from the hatchback, such as the increased ride height, however the lack of additional options at this stage will mean that most families still go for the more traditional hatchback.
With Citroën continuing to experiment with new engine, design, technology and trim options, it’s only a matter of time before a model comes out that combines the best of both these cars. With prices starting at just £15,595 and Citroën’s 80.18% Manufacturer Customer Approval Rating, the Citroën DS4 is a compelling choice for a family car that just keeps on getting better with each tweak that the French car manufacturer makes.