Made with 95 per cent reusable materials and featuring an interior crafted from hemp, the new and updated DS 4 is a hipster’s dream.
But this premium hatchback - a sleek family car with coupe-SUV styling - has much more going for it than just green credentials.
Because a raft of improvements, both mechanically and aesthetically, means the DS 4 has never been more attractive.
And it’s now a serious rival to the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and Audi A3.
In case you’re unfamiliar with DS as a brand, here’s a short history.
In 2015, Citroen relaunched ‘DS’ as a standalone, premium marque with the existing ‘Citroen DS 4’ simply becoming the ‘DS 4’.
It was good looking and well equipped, but it was also not without its quirks. One common complaint, for example, was that the rear windows in the DS 4 didn’t actually wind down, a deliberate compromise to enable the quirky rear styling.
Yet, slowly but surely, the DS brand has been gaining interest, with the French manufacturer enjoying a larger market share in Europe than Lexus.
And there’s one word that sums up the new DS 4 perfectly - and that’s ‘charismatic’, because it’s got bags of personality.
The headline news in terms of what’s going on under the bonnet is that the DS 4 is now available as a plug-in hybrid - the ‘E-TENSE’.
It’s been specially designed so that the drivetrain doesn’t compromise usability or boot space.
And a turbocharged 180 horsepower 4-cylinder engine is paired with a 110 horsepower electric motor and an e-EAT8 gearbox, for a combined 225 horsepower. You also get a range of more than 30 miles in electric-only mode.
But there’s also a good choice of traditional engines, including a powerful 225 hp petrol mill and a frugal 130 hp Diesel BlueHDi version.
All of those models are paired with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
And then there’s the way the DS 4 looks.
As well as the standard DS 4 there’s also the ‘DS 4 CROSS’, which has more of a rugged SUV feel, thanks to bumper protectors, roof bars, advanced traction control and black paint flourishes, while the ‘DS 4 PERFORMANCE LINE’ comes with distinctive black alloy wheels as well as an exclusive interior.
Speaking of the cabin, DS says the 4 has a ‘digital interior, seamless and ergonomic with each part integrated intuitively as much for function as form.’
There are ‘smart touch’ gesture controls, a state-of-the-art head-up display, as well as fabric embossing supposedly ‘inspired by fine watchmaking’.
There’s an ‘invisible vent’ air system, with compact central vents high up and fitted with blades that can’t be seen, with a cone to direct the blast with precision.
And owners can also enjoy cooling and massaging seats as well as swathes of brown Nappa leather.
Clever use of radar tech means the DS 4 has driver assistance features like long-distance blind spot monitoring, rear traffic warning as well as ‘DS ACTIVE SCAN SUSPENSION’, which monitors the road ahead, spots lumps and bumps, and relays that information to the suspension so that adjustments can be made to ensure your fillings aren’t loosened while going over potholes.
Thierry Metroz, Design Director at DS Automobiles, described the DS 4 saying: “The outline is athletic, very muscular, compact and sits on very large wheels. It’s turned out to be aerodynamic, efficient and charismatic all at once.”
The DS 4 will go on sale during the fourth quarter of 2021.