DS 4 review - French luxury hatch sets its sights on prestige rivals - DS 4 ride and handling

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

Ride and handling

This is where it all goes wrong for the DS 4. Perhaps befuddled by the very prospect of trying to make a high-riding SUV-hatchback crossover handle like a coupé, Citroen seems to have tied itself in knots and misses the two targets at either end of the chassis set-up spectrum: namely, involving handling or a truly comfortable ride.

On the plus side, constant refinement sees the DS 4 riding significantly better than its surprisingly firm predecessors. It's not yet buttery-smooth and won't trouble its 1955 Citroen DS grandfather for ride quality over rough terrain, but it's an improvement and makes the DS 4 more appropriate for its intended role.

However, that still leaves the DS 4's handling, which in turn leaves plenty to be desired. It's not bad, as such - just resolutely uninvolving. Sébastien Loeb’s weekend wheels it is not. As with so many modern front-drivers, the emphasis is on safety first: there's lots of grip, then mild understeer when that runs out and steering that’s always severely lacking feel. On the plus side, body roll is largely quelled and the brakes are generally good, so the DS 4 isn’t a total write-off in the corners.

The DS 4 weighs anything between 1255- and 1420kg, which is reasonable for a well-equipped C-segment crossover like this and actually a little lighter than it was in its Citroen-badged days.

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