The DS 4 Crossback has chunky SUV styling and generous equipment levels, but it has dated infotainment and rear seats space is below the class average
The DS 4 Crossback is the SUV-inspired version of the regular DS 4 family car. As such it gets tough-looking body cladding to ward off rogue shopping trolleys and a jacked-up suspension to elevate you above other motorists. However, it’s two-wheel drive only, unlike close alternatives such as the Volvo V40 Cross Country which can be equipped with all-wheel drive.
Inside, you’re greeted by a stylish dashboard that combines interesting lines and premium materials and trim inserts for a more interesting look than in a VW Golf Alltrack. It’s a shame, then, that the beauty seems skin deep – areas such as the top of the doors and the centre console have disappointingly low-quality plastics. The standard 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is also a tad dated.
It’s fairly spacious up front in the DS 4 Crossback but the driving position is a bit awkward: the steering wheel is too far away and the pedals are too close. It gets worse in the back. The first difficulty is getting in and out through the narrow rear doors and once there it’s pretty claustrophobic because the rear windows don’t open.
In terms of boot space, the DS 4 Crossback is pretty competitive with a Volvo V40 Cross Country, but its seats don’t fold flat and the boot opening is fairly narrow. Ultimately a VW Golf Alltrack is much more spacious and practical choice than either the DS or Volvo.
The DS 4 Crossback is a bit like wearing a survival watch in public – only you think that makes you cool
There are two diesels and one petrol engine available for the DS 4. Fitted with the 180hp diesel, the DS copes well with a full load of passengers and luggage, but the 120hp should be fine for most needs as it’s hushed, pulls decently well and should return impressive real-world fuel economy. If you plan to drive your DS 4 Crossback mainly in town, it’s worth looking at the 130-hp petrol – it’s nippy and sounds nice, but feels more strained trying to keep up with traffic on the motorway.
The Crossback is better on a bumpy road than the regular DS 4 but still falls short of alternatives such as the V40 Cross Country that better irons out road imperfections. For safety, you get DS’s Connect Box emergency assistance system that will alert rescuers if you have an accident with the car, but it’s disappointing that automatic city braking is an option and not standard at this price point.
So, if you’re looking for a left-field choice, then the DS 4 Crossback is a quirky pseudo-suv with eye-catching styling that will be relatively rare on UK roads.