DS DS 4 Review & Prices

The DS 4 is a good-looking premium family car with strong, economical engines, decent personalisation options and good standard equipment. It just can’t match the quality of premium alternatives and it’s too harsh over poor roads

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RRP £32,795 - £47,265 Avg. Carwow saving £2,211 off RRP
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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Good engine choice
  • Premium looks
  • Well equipped as standard

What's not so good

  • Not cheap
  • Limited rear seat space
  • Inconsistent interior quality

Find out more about the DS DS 4

Is the DS 4 a good car?

If you’re looking for a family hatchback that’s a little different to the norm, and with a premium edge, the DS 4 will flag up on your radar. It’s a car to consider alongside the Mercedes A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3.

The DS4 is a bit like watching a French drama film without speaking a word of the language. There’s a lot that may confuse you, but it’s hard to deny there’s a strong sense of flair to it.

It’s also hard to deny the DS4 is quite a good-looking car, with super-sharp angles and all sorts of trick light technology to distinguish it from rather tame-looking German equivalents. Though that’s best served with higher-spec 19-inch alloy wheels — entry-level 17-inch wheels less so.

That plotline continues inside the car too. Lots of sharply-styled surfaces do add some character to the DS4, and there’s a decent amount of high-quality materials throughout. However, it starts to unravel from there.

It’s hard to find a decent driving position, and visibility out of the car — particularly towards the back — isn’t great. There’s a strong reliance on the touchscreen infotainment system too (including climate controls…) which is rather sluggish and awkward to use. You’ll get a lower screen which can shortcut to your preferred features, but again this isn’t all that responsive or easy to configure on the go.

If you’re set on a DS 4 then you’ll love its quirkiness, however, German alternatives are far better to drive

Space in the back is really tight for adults too, so it’s not advisable to cram your taller friends or family in for long journeys. Kids should find it ok, though.

On the plus side, the DS4 does boast a decent boot. Its 430-litre capacity is comfortably above the Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series — offering 355 and 380 litres respectively. It just pips the Audi A3’s 425 litres, too. It’s worth noting plug-in hybrid versions do take a hit in capacity though, dropping to 390 litres.

There’s a selection of petrol engines to pick from, along with a diesel and a plug-in hybrid. All send power to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The sweet spot of the range is the mid-range petrol, dubbed the PureTech 180, providing a solid mix of useable performance and decent fuel economy. The official figure is 43.9mpg, though a week with the car returned a very acceptable real-world figure just short of 40mpg.

Around town, the light-set steering of the DS4 makes it pretty easy to manoeuvre around. That said, the tricky rear visibility mentioned comes back to haunt it here — making it a pain to park if you didn’t opt for a car with a reversing camera.

At least there’s not much in the way of wind noise to contend with on a motorway. Nor is it incompetent when hustled down a back road, albeit not exactly fun either. An optional camera-based adaptive suspension system helps with all conditions too, setting the car up to be quite comfy in all conditions. 

As something stylish and different to the norm, the DS4 certainly has appeal. Though as a complete package, it falls short of the better-rounded established German models.

If you’re looking for the latest deals on a DS model, check out the latest offers available through carwow, or find your next used DS with carwow.

How much is the DS4?

The DS DS 4 has a RRP range of £32,795 to £47,265. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,211. Prices start at £31,059 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £314. The price of a used DS DS 4 on Carwow starts at £18,173.

Our most popular versions of the DS DS 4 are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.2 PureTech Performance Line Nav 5dr EAT8 £31,059 Compare offers

Performance and drive comfort

The DS4 is a comfortable drive in all conditions, but visibility can prove tricky

In town

With light-set steering, the DS4 is a pretty easy car to manoeuvre around town. Visibility out of the front is alright, though chunky C-pillars and a short windscreen make it particularly tricky to see out of the back.

You can get a reversing camera to help mitigate this when parking or an even better 360-degree system, but it’s a shame you have to pay extra for the convenience.

A clever camera-based adaptive suspension system is also available which does an excellent job of slackening the car off when necessary to help mitigate lumps and bumps in the road.

On the motorway

Wind and road noise coming into the DS4 is pretty good, so it’s perfectly fine for covering a couple of hundred motorway miles at a time. Not quite Rolls-Royce, but not bad either — especially with the adaptive suspension. 

Cruise control does come as standard across the range, though you’ll need to pay extra for an adaptive system. This is well worth the money if you’re covering a lot of ground, allowing you to set a speed that the car will manage while also keeping a safe distance from the car ahead. 

On a twisty road

With a focus on comfort more than anything with the DS4, it’s no shock to find it’s not all too much fun on a backroad. It’s not problematic, but with a lot of slack in the suspension, it’s akin to steering jelly around Silverstone.

There’s no performance-focused variant of the DS4 either, as you’ll get with German alternatives, nor is it likely one will come. So you’ll want to look elsewhere for some driving fun.

Space and practicality

Few can match the DS4 for boot capacity, but it’s let down by limited space in the back

With a boot capacity of 430 litres, the DS4 is right at the top of its class. By comparison, you’ll get 355 litres to work with from a Mercedes A-Class and 380 litres with the BMW 1 Series. It even squeezes just ahead of the Audi A3’s impressive 425 litres.

That said, the shape of the boot isn’t the most practical, with some awkward crevices and a large load lip.

If you opt for a plug-in hybrid version of the DS4, it’s worth keeping in mind boot space takes a hit due to the placement of the batteries, dropping to 390 litres.

Space in the back seats

Space in the DS4’s back seats is, in quite honest terms, pretty bad. Adults will find there’s little legroom and the sloped roofline will have them banging their heads on the ceiling. Shoulder space isn’t great either, so this is one to avoid if you’ve got three grumpy teenagers to drive around…

Kids shouldn’t find it too much of an issue, though the rear doors don’t open very wide so moving a car seat regularly could prove annoying.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

There’s no denying the DS4 has a very stylish interior, however it’s let down by a disappointing infotainment system

If offerings from Audi, Mercedes or BMW come across as a bit bland inside to you, then the DS4 should appeal.

There’s no denying the interior looks striking. Lots of angular surfaces and a mix of materials creates quite a dramatic effect, and it’s good to report that everything feels quite high quality too.

That said, there’s a lot of reliance on the infotainment screen. For example, climate controls are housed here along with the vast majority of settings for your safety tech like lane keep assist.

This wouldn’t be such a problem with an intuitive and responsive system. However, the software in the DS is clunkily laid out and lags quite a lot. Imagine it a bit like your phone if you had 20 apps open.

At least there’s support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, which mirrors your phone for media, navigation and calls.

MPG, emissions and tax

You’ve got a pick of three petrol engines, along with a diesel or a plug-in hybrid for the DS4.

All three petrol engines are a 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, coming in varying states of tune — 130hp, 180hp or 225hp. Aim down the middle of those for a decent mix of performance and economy.

Diesel BlueHDi 130 cars are best if you’re covering lots and lots of motorway miles, but the additional outright cost doesn’t make much sense if you’re pootling around town. There isn’t a drastic enough drop in emissions to knock the tax bill down more than one band either, equating to about £40 a year by 2022 levels.

Plug-in hybrid ‘E-Tense’ versions use the 1.2-litre petrol engine paired up with an electric motor. These do cost significantly more to buy outright, and break the £40,000 additional new car tax threshold, but will allow you to cover up to 38 miles on electric power alone and are by far the best option from a company car tax point of view.

Safety and security

Independent safety ratings board Euro NCAP gave the DS4 a four-star result out of five in 2022. It did well in adult and child occupant testing, though average pedestrian safety and assistance technology scores prevented it from taking top marks.

Reliability and problems

With the current DS4 so fresh to the market, it’s hard to predict how its future reliability will pan out. However, DS does offer a three-year/60,000-mile warranty from the factory.

Buy or lease the DS DS 4 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £32,795 - £47,265 Avg. Carwow saving £2,211 off RRP
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