Test: DS Automobiles DS4

Started in the 50s of the last century, Citroën reanimated DS Automobiles at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The success of the French car manufacturer very quickly proves that it is right. With the D series, which already includes the DS3, the DS3 Cabrio, the DS5 and DS5 LS for Europe, the second generation of the DS2 and DS4 Crossback has been expanding its portfolio since 4. According to those responsible for the DS Automobiles brand, they want to stand out from the large “shark tank” of the compact class with their “avant-garde design”. This has been confirmed by 2015 customers worldwide at least for the first generation of the DS4 since 2011. The fact that the DS115.000 can not only do something in terms of "external presentation" is proven by its contemporary comfort and technology. The compact French model presents itself in the DS stores with two body variants and seven engine and transmission combinations. We were able to extensively test the 4 hp diesel unit and the six-speed automatic transmission. The compact from France starts moderately in the German market at a list price of 180 euros.

DS Automobiles DS 4 BLUEHDI 180

Compact Gaulin with Diesel Power 2.0
Successful location for a goddess
Successful location for a goddess

Design dress in DS style

The DS4 continues the design lines of its smaller and larger vehicle brothers and is just with its DS-striking front in the portfolio of the French. The far outward-facing headlights and the grille, which connects both imaginary, make the vehicle stand very wide and strong on the road. The prominently displayed "DS" symbol fulfills its demonstration purpose here. The short overhangs front and rear give the DS4 a sporty touch. The rear view looks visually stretched and athletic.

Traveling with comfort

The DS4 masters the first test kilometers, which lead over urban streets as well as through the city jumble of Frankfurt, with dignified nonchalance and well doing road bumps away. Dodge maneuvers and parking situations are also normal for them because the French compact is easy to move. In addition, a high degree of stability and a comfortable driving behavior go together. The power steering with speed-dependent steering assistance also provides direct feedback thanks to good alignment and thus also improves the reliability on straight lines and in curves alike. This makes the vehicle an optimal figure even when driving straight ahead. Due to their dynamic tuning "La Déesse" (French the goddess) but also to fast cornering. These ideal driving characteristics were achieved not only by the modified chassis with its McPherson suspension struts on the front axle and the deformable crossmember on the rear axle. As standard, an intelligent traction control is used as standard for both body variants, which noticeably starts at higher speeds and increased load changes.

Comfort is big on DS
Comfort is important to DS

Torque top value  

DS Automobiles promises a standard consumption of combined 4,3 liters per 100 kilometers, which was not quite possible in practice. Our test car requires a good 4,8 liters over the entire test phase of 14 days. For the compact DS4, which performs just as well as a family vehicle and as a car with high utility value, this is a considerably low value. The 2.0 BlueHDi Diesel delivers an astonishing 400 Newton meters of torque at 2.000 revolutions per minute. The power of the 180 hp engine allows the approx. 1,5 ton car to accelerate from zero to 9,3 km / h in 100 seconds. The top speed is up to 205 km / h, which the compact French woman can easily reach on sections of the motorway. The well-translated automatic six-speed transmission enables agile to sporty driving without any noticeable shift holes.

Luxurious leather interior

The optionally available leather interior with filigree nappa leather on the electrically adjustable seats including massage function and the dashboard match the appearance of the DS4 and underline the premium concept. Well structured, the cockpit with its instrument panel appears to be an eye-catcher and control center and provides a generous feeling of space at the front. The combination of control elements, which is now almost characteristic of DS Automobiles, introduces even inexperienced DS drivers very quickly and intuitively to the operation of navigation, telephony, media and on-board computers. The seven-inch touchscreen navigation system in the middle integrates both the functions mentioned and the trendy networking of automobiles through Citroën's “Pack SOS & Assistance” system. As with its competitors, it automatically sends an emergency call and offers appropriate assistance in emergencies. The monitoring package, which is also integrated, contains the electronic maintenance booklet, eco-diving (individual tips based on the driving style observed) and the usage report (overview of the use of the vehicle). With a vehicle length of 4 meters, the DS4,28 offers enough space for up to five people. There is no stinging of the trunk volume with full seating with the compact. 385 liters maximum capacity are among the better values ​​in their class. If the entire rear seat is folded down, the vehicle opens up a stowage volume of an acceptable 1.021 liters.

Optional packages without end

The standard equipment of the assistance systems includes a cruise control (programmable) and limiter, a hill start aid, a brake assistant, parking aid with distance sensors at the front and rear (combined with the reversing camera, the image for this is shown in the navigation display), as well as a blind spot assistant. The AFIL lane assistant, which is customary for Citroën, can be ordered as an option; it issues the warning when the side line is crossed by shaking the driver's seat. The "vision package" contains the DS LED Vision (steering xenon headlights with 84 LED modules), LED fog lights with static cornering lights, LED indicators with running lights and a headlight washer system. The comfort features include the keyless system, which guarantees keyless access to the vehicle and allows the car to be started with a button.

Nice sight in every perspective
Nice sight in every perspective

And finally ...

The DS4 not only looks very attractive and offers dynamic lines with its extraordinary design, it drives very dynamically and sporty with its 180 PS BlueHDi engine. Efficiency and safety are not neglected here. All of these properties do not allow them to sink into the uniformity of the compact class.

[toggle title=”Engine and Transmission”]

DS Automobiles


Motor R4, diesel, turbo
Capacity 1.997 ccm³
Performance 180 hp @ 3.750 rpm
kraft 400 Nm @ 2.000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic transmission
drive axle front-wheel drive
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Dimensions and performance”]
Length Width Height 4.284, 1.810, 1.502 mm
wheelbase 2.612 mm
Empty weight 1.495 kg
turning circle 10,70m
top speed 205 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km / h 9,3 sec
standard consumption 4.3 l / 100 km
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Consumption in the test”]
everyday driver 4.8 l / 100 km (Diesel)
Eco-expert 4.1 l / 100 km
Field service mode 5.7 l / 100km
Good complete package - Citroën DS4 BlueHDI 180
Good complete package - Citroën DS4 BlueHDI 180

Text and photos: Stefan Beckmann

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