DS 4 review - French luxury hatch sets its sights on prestige rivals - DS 4 engine and gearbox

Fledgling luxury brand needs stronger cars than DS 4 to prosper

Evo rating
Price
from £20,045
  • Improved ride, impressive quality and materials
  • Dull dynamics, unimpressive performance

Engine and gearbox

In transition from Citroen DS4 to DS 4, the company has removed two of the car's less favourable components and the car is all the better for it: Say goodbye to the old naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre VTi petrol, and Peugeot-Citroen's herky-jerky ETG6 robotised manual transmission.

What you're left with is a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, and a choice of either manual or EAT6 automatic transmissions, each with six gears.

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Topping the petrol range is a unit dubbed THP 210, which has long served service in Citroen and Peugeot's hotter hatchbacks and the previous generation of BMW Minis. Its 210PS figure translates to 207bhp in old money, developed at 5800rpm. That's backed up by 203lb ft of torque from a useful 1700rpm and sent to the front wheels alone, through a standard six-speed manual gearbox.

Below this in the petrol pecking order is a similar 1.6-litre turbocharged unit. Badged THP 165, it develops 163bhp and 177lb ft (at an even lower 1400rpm), though this time the transmission is automatic-only, with six speeds to play with.

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The other petrol option is quite different. Available across the Citroen and Peugeot empire, it's a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder unit with turbocharging to boost power to 128bhp and torque to 170lb ft - barely shy of the THP 165 - at 1750rpm. A six-speed manual is standard here too, and the engine is as strong as it sounds at lower engine speeds; it's probably our pick of the range.

If for some reason you're allergic to the green pump or undeterred by the media whirlwind currently surrounding any engine using compression ignition, DS offers a range of diesel options in the DS 4. Starting from the top, you'll find a 178bhp, 295lb ft 2.0-litre turbodiesel exclusively paired to a six-speed EAT6 automatic transmission.

There's also a 148bhp version of this engine (now manual-only), while a 1560cc turbocharged diesel kicks off the range. It's the most frugal, naturally, and backs up a 118bhp power figure with more torque than the THP 210, at 221lb ft from 1750rpm. This engine comes with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. DS 4s are all front-wheel drive, despite the chunky exterior appearance.

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