- Stylish aesthetics
- Generous equipment
- Contemporary interior
- Rear windows don’t open
- Not the most spacious
- Quite expensive to buy
Upmarket, stylish family hatchback
The Citroen DS4 is the latest premium offering from the French manufacturer's DS brand. First introduced in 2011, The DS4 is a large family hatchback that’s built to rival more upmarket options such as the Volkswagen Golf and the BMW 1 Series. Citroens aren’t usually associated with high quality, but the DS4’s interior really is a classy affair. Equipment levels are also pretty generous, and there are some impressive engines in its range. There are quite a few foibles with the DS4 that stop it being a class-leader, but its distinctive coupe-esque styling is sure to win a lot of fans.
From 2015 the Citroen DS4 dropped the Citroen name altogether, preferring to separate the luxury DS range from the standard Citroen lineup.
Exceptional design and impressive standard kit
When you step inside a DS4 it’s clear to see that a lot of effort has been made to make the cabin feel genuinely prestigious. Material quality isn’t the finest however, and there are a few odd exclusions that hinder practicality.
The dashboard design of the DS4 is loosely based on the Citroen C4, but is upgraded to give the DS4 a more premium feel. The dash is constructed with soft-touch materials that look and feel great, though there are some cheaper feeling plastics if you go looking for them. Controls are however easy-to-use, though they’re not as well-damped as those in a Volkswagen Golf. There are some attractive metal flourishes throughout the cabin, but ultimately it just isn’t as good as something like an Audi A3.
Space and practicality isn’t one of the DS4’s strongest points. There’s not much room in the rear seats for large passengers, and the fact that Citroen has chosen to include windows that don’t open make the rear passenger experience feel claustrophobic. The 380 litre boot capacity is pretty impressive however, as it’s identical in size to the Volkswagen Golf, so there’s more than enough room for a big family shop, or a bulky buggy.
Equipment levels in the DS4 are pretty generous no matter which trim you choose to go for. The entry-level Elegance trim comes with parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, alloy wheels, and a touchscreen infotainment system. It’s a pretty impressive lineup, but when you consider that the DS4 costs more than an Audi A3 in entry-level spec, it’s not quite as good value as it first looks.
All in all the inside of the DS4 is a bit of a mixed bag. The cabin is undoubtedly attractive, but disappointing materials hinder the DS4’s premium feel. The unretractable rear windows are a strange, and impractical addition, and might put some buyers off.
Sharp suspension hinders ride comfort
The Citroen DS4 looks like it should be a fun car to drive, and in some respects, it is. Despite the DS4’s raised ride height, the ride feels a lot taughter than the Citroen C4. There’s very little in the way of body roll through the corners, though the steering is oddly weighted, and doesn’t offer a great deal of feedback. Grip is however pretty good, so you can confidently throw it into a B-road bend, but it still doesn’t handle as well as a BMW 1 Series.
Suspension and Chassis
In many ways, the DS4 is a bit of a strange car, especially when you consider the fact that it’s not a hugely comfortable car to be in. The stiff suspension does aid handling somewhat, but it doesn’t perform that well on poor British road surfaces. Pothole-ridden roads and speed bumps send jolts through into the cabin, though Crossback models do improve ride comfort. Road and wind noise are pretty quiet however, making the DS4 an impressive long-distance motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the DS4 come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six-speed manual gearbox that performs pretty well, with a sharp, slick gearchange mechanism. A six-speed automatic is also available as an expensive option extra, though it can struggle if you need a quick burst of acceleration, whilst it also hampers fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
A good range of petrol and diesel engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your DS4, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s a wide range of power outputs available, but the more efficient diesel engines are the pick of the bunch.
If it’s power that you want from your DS4, the stand-out option in the range is the petrol-powered 1.6 litre THP 210 engine. Cars equipped with this engine produce 208bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds. It’s certainly not the quickest car in its class, and it’s some way off matching the pace of a Golf GTI. It’s also a lot thirstier than the other engines in the DS4 range, and if anything, it feels overpowered.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pretty impressed with the DS4’s engine range. The standout option in the lineup is the diesel-powered 1.6 BlueHDi model, which produces just 100g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s not only great for the planet, it’s also road-tax exempt, so you can feel good about yourself, whilst also saving money each year. This model is also the best option for money-savers, as it can achieve up to an incredible 74mpg. With this model parked on the drive, you can save yourself plenty of money each month at the fuel pumps.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your DS4 you’re going to get a modern, green, and efficient car. The diesels are undoubtedly the pick of the bunch however, and make most sense, especially when you factor in the DS4’s high pricetag.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with good standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Citroen DS4 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 90% in adult safety, 80% in child safety, and 43% in pedestrian safety, the DS4 is among the safest cars in its class, though the pedestrian safety result is a little disappointing. You will however get plenty of safety kit as standard, with six airbags, electronic stability control, and an emergency assistance system all featuring. If you’re looking for a car that’s going to keep you and your family safe, the DS4 is a great option to consider.
Good day-to-day value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Citroen DS4 represents superb value for money for family buyers. The DS4 certainly isn’t the cheapest car to buy in its class from new, but it won’t cost you too much to run day-to-day. This obviously varies between model to model, but generally speaking fuel efficiency is impressive, and CO2 emissions are relatively low. Diesel models offer the best value, but they’re still not as cheap to run as the most efficient Volkswagen Golfs.
Insurance groups for the DS4 again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 17 for the entry-level 1.2 PureTech Elegance, and climb up towards group 31 if you’re tempted by the powerful, range-topping 1.6 THP DSport. The DS4 is more expensive to insure than quite a few of its rivals however, so it’s worth checking out the competition first.
Depreciation is a large factor with the DS4, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Citroen DS4 is a family hatchback that excels in many areas, but has foibles that ultimately let it down. The lack of retractable rear windows is a glaring mistake, whilst the DS4 isn’t the most comfortable car either. However, if you’re looking for a stylish, practical, and safe family hatchback that stands out from the crowd, the DS4 is definitely worth consideration.
Buying a used Citroen DS4 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Citroen DS4 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used DS4. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Citroen DS4 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Citroen? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Citroen DS4, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used DS4, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Citroen to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.