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DS refreshes and reinvents DS 4. Image by DS.

DS refreshes and reinvents DS 4
New face and taller springs for posh DS crossover hatchback.
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Ah, plus ca change.


That's your actual French.

Ah, you must be talking about the updated DS 4, the second of what-was-Citroen-and-what-we're-now-supposed-to-just-call-DS' new models, ditching the old double-chevron face that identified it as a Citroen first and a DS second, and bringing in the same upright grille and square lights of the DS 5 that was (re)launched earlier this year.

The DS 4 has actually not done too badly for itself, selling just over 100,000 examples since launched in 2011. Not exceptional perhaps, but equally more than you might have thought. This round of refreshing brings it into line with the new DS-is-a-standalone-brand styling of the DS 5 and introduces some new technology and a new body style.

Well, not quite a new body style - the DS 4 Crossback is being touted as a new model for the DS 4 range, but really it's just a more rugged-looking version with a 30mm higher ride height and some butch cross bars and bash panels to try and play more heavily on the car's crossover-ish styling. Still no four-wheel drive, but it does get 'Intelligent Traction Control', which is said to be able to help it tackle rough or slippery terrain.

Across the range, the DS 4 now gets two-tone colour options (you can have contrast colours on the roof, mirrors, spoiler and hubs) and new DS LED Vision headlights, which combine LEDs and a swivelling Xenon high-beam unit delivering what DS says is a "crisp, powerful light beam." There are also very fashionable scrolling indicators, which help bring the total LED bulb count at the front of the car to a whopping 84...

Inside, there's a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment setup (basically lifted straight from the DS 5 and Citroen C4 Picasso) that trims the button count by a dozen and adds MirrorLink capability for pairing your smartphone.

There are also some new functions including a Monitoring Pack, which has a virtual maintenance manual with automatic mileage monitoring, notification of upcoming service operations and eco-driving tips based on technical information provided by the car. In addition, a system monitors the car's geographical location via its GPS antenna and sends you an email if it is driven outside of a set area. Useful if the kids have borrowed the keys... A reversing camera, keyless entry and start and a blind spot monitor are also now available.

Engines include a 130hp turbo PureTech petrol that has CO2 emissions of 119g/km, a 165hp 1.6 turbo petrol with 130g/km emissions and a new 210hp 1.6 turbo with 138g/km. Diesels include the 1.6 BlueHDi 120hp with 100g/km, the 2,0-litre 150hp with 103g/km and the 2.0-litre 180hp BlueHDi with 115g/km.

"DS embodies the spirit of avant-garde. In the case of new DS 4, the brand's spirit is expressed through an offering made up of two body styles: a new premium hatchback and an unprecedented new offer: DS 4 Crossback, with elegant go-anywhere style. With such complementary vehicles, the DS brand is clearly stating its ambition, and its ability, to meet customer expectations" said Yves Bonnefont, CEO, DS Automobiles.

UK sales start in November.

Neil Briscoe - 1 Sep 2015

2015 DS 4. Image by DS.2015 DS 4. Image by DS.2015 DS 4. Image by DS.2015 DS 4. Image by DS.2015 DS 4. Image by DS.

2015 DS 4. Image by DS.  

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