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Citroen DS4

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7.2 10 wowscore
11
 
 
Citroen ds4 front
  • Smart styling
  • Impressive engines
  • 5 star safety rating
  • Limited rear visibility
  • Cramped back seats
  • Harsh ride

The Citroen DS4 reviews are slightly mixed. None of the experts think it’s a poor car, but a few feel a little disappointed by it. There’s no doubting it’s one of the best looking hatchbacks, but it’s not without its faults.

Citroën claim that the 5-door crossover coupe has no competitors, which isn’t strictly true – although we do admit that the Citroën’s styling is a refreshing change in an otherwise bland sector.

Interior

The interior is “pleasingly well-appointed, and although not class-leading” a view that seems to be held by the majority, although it does have some neat and clever touches. Downsides include some cheap feeling interior plastics and limited rear leg room.

The rear windows don’t open (they’re a casualty of that swooping roofline), which makes the rear seats feel “cocoon-like”, which children probably won’t appreciate.

Driving

It’s not bad to drive, but the handling and steering mean it’s not as enjoyable as some rivals are behind the wheel. There are a lot of criticisms about the ride quality too, with many saying it's too firm. The raised suspension crashes and bangs over potholes and has a fidgety ride. It grips well though and body roll is well controlled.

It’s the steering that comes in for the strongest condemnation though, being called “lifeless” and “dull”. There is more wind noise at motorway cruising speeds too, which is disappointing in such a new car.

Engines

The petrol engines are too noisy at high cruising speeds, even though they perform quite well and are nice to listen to under acceleration.

The diesel engines are noisier than the class leaders but the majority of motoring journalists that have driven them think that they are the best option on balance. The critics are particularly positive about the 2.0 HDi engine, which is fast and economical.

Both petrol and diesel engines have good fuel economy and low CO2 emissions for their power.

Value for money

It’s an interesting car that stacks up well against its opposition. DSign is the base model, followed by DStyle and DSport, and all are well equipped and well made, although others will be cheaper to buy and run.

Only you know how valuable that quirky and interesting exterior is – and Citroën are well known for their huge showroom discounts…

Worth noting

Citroën claim that its staff have been trained to recognise the “extra level of care and precision the DS brand requires” apparently. We’re not sure that it will make much difference to the assembly line workers but it is reassuring that Citroën recognise that a premium brand means more than just new badges.

Conclusion

Those in the front of the DS4 will appreciate a well-executed and airy interior that reflects Citroën’s premium brand rather well. It’s not as good in the back, though, with the low roof and fixed windows leading to an air of claustrophobia.

The steering isn’t great either, and the ride is poor. All in all, the Citroën DS4 is a miss rather than a hit – although it is smart-looking and generally economical, it doesn't shine in any particular areas and as a result is difficult to recommend over rivals.

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Key Details

Price range:
£17,815 - £25,265
MPG:
36 - 65
Safety rating (NCAP):
5 out of 5 stars
Date released:
2011
Replacement due:
Not for at least a few years!
Engine to go for:
The 2.0 HDi gets impressive reviews, it's a great all-rounder
Other variants:
There’s also the less luxurious new C4
Engine naming:
VTi engines are petrol, HDi and e-HDi engines are diesel
Read Citroen DS4 reviews >>
Type Reviews Score
1.6 THP 5 7.2
2.0 HDi 6 7.8
General 2 6.0
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Citroen DS4 User Reviews

1997cc Diesel (2011) 46.0 mpg
9 10 wowscore

I have been driving my DS4 DSPORT now for 2 weeks and love it. It has a firm grippy ride that corners very cleanly, but if it wasn’t for the very comfortable leather seats the ridge could be described as a little jarring on rough roads. It drives beautifully on suburban and motorway roads alike and low speed handling makes it very manoeverable in car parks. Onboard there are enough gadgets to keep me happy; the front and rear parking sensors take the guess work out of tight spaces and the blind spot feature on the wing mirrors is very useful.

So far, so good. Great handling, very torquey engine that gives plenty of power for overtaking and good fuel economy. I test drove BWM 3 series, Mercedes C Class and Audi A4, A5 and A6 cars and still chose to go with this model. Looks stunning (I went for the Babylon red) and turns heads. Pretty much all I am looking for in a car.

  • By Sam Cooper, who owns this car
1.6 THP (2011) 47.0 mpg
7 10 wowscore

I took a DS4 for a weekend test drive and was pretty impressed with its performance, but was mostly taken by its stylish, chunky crossover looks. It feels pretty sporty and drives well. Visibility is very good as you sit a bit higher than usual and it’s comfortable. What struck me was that it looks bigger than it actually is, inside the cabin there’s plenty of room in the front but the rear space is very compromised, the rear windows don’t even open and the boot is also fairly small. I’m still considering the DS4 but am going to check out a few competitors first like the Giuletta.

  • By Thomas Morely, who test drove this car
2 litre HDI turbo diesel (2011) 33.0 mpg
9 10 wowscore

I bought the DS4 HDI Sport, knowingly accepting its commonly taunted quirks, such as:

1) The fixed rear door windows - To me, it’s obviously apparent that the car’s rear seats aren’t designed for regular use and considering the rear door’s unusual profile it’s understandable that the windows are fixed, much like in a 3 door hatch.

2) The high but firm ride height - The crossover stance has definite practical advantages for day to day driving, and given that the car still handles fantastically, I don’t see it as a negative. The drive is quite firm on my model with 18” wheels but not overbearingly hard. It appears that most negative reviews in this regard were based on models with 19” wheels.

Actually the main negative for me, which isn’t mentioned in any reviews I have read is it’s fold down rear seats. Firstly, they dont fold down flush with the stowing floor and secondly, the front seats need to be shifted forward significantly, making it ridiculously cramped to drive, even for a person of average height, so I’d advise taking a look at this.

Otherwise, I’m perfectly happy, and truly enjoy driving this car. I was sold by it’s original styling, it’s outstanding quality & features for the price (in South Africa), it’s gutsy but economical turbo diesel engine and it’s great driving performance.

Sure, the DS4 doesn’t match up to everyone’s sensibilities and in reality there is a relatively narrow segment of buyers for this car, hence I think this is why it probably doesn’t get as much praise as it deserves. In fact, most reviews I think fall short of being able to categorise or even understand it fairly. I feel fortunate though, that it fits the bill near perfectly for me.

  • By Chris, who owns this car
110 hdi (2012)
9 10 wowscore

I have test driven many cars , from audi , ford , vw, alfa and saab . And non of them gave me that special feeling , when your about to buy that new car … And then i saw the DS4 ! The looks of this car is outstanding , both inside and outside . I test drove it for a weekend 1 moth ago and from that point on i knew this was the car for me . So i had to buy it .

The good thing is that it looks bigger than it is , alltho the rear space is pretty cramed and the rear windows dont open. But if you look for style over practicalety this car is for you !

I say dont listen to the “experts” go out an dtest drive one your self. And see what feeling you going to sit with after you hand it back again

  • By Sergey Sergeev, who owns this car
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