Following the runaway success of the sport, funky DS3 supermini, Citroen has wasted no time in adapting its C4 hatchback to something altogether more interesting, in the shape of the Citroen DS4.
With an on-the-road stance that suggests a coupe SUV, but with five doors and seats, the DS4 can claim to be good-looking and practical – and all at a more desirable price than most competitors.
There are five seats inside and 370 litres of boot space, while the rear seats fold own to extend boot space further. There are plenty of storage spaces throughout the DS4 too in the cabin.
So it’s practical, but it’s just as good looking inside as it is from the outside. The materials feel soft and well put-together, meaning there’s a perception of real quality and the DS4 feels built to last too. Up front the DS4’s high stance means excellent forward visibility.
There are gadgets aplenty like a blind-spot monitoring system and one-touch emergency call response, while front headlights turn into bends to improve visibility around corners.
There are heated front seats and even a massage function – the sort of features usually seen on much more expensive cars.
There are several petrol and diesel engines to choose from, including the excellent, responsive THP turbo petrol engines in 156bhp and 200bhp guises, the latter is particularly smooth and quick to respond.
For those seeking performance and economy there’s a 160bhp 2.0-litre diesel that will offer good performance, fuel economy and low CO2 – although all buyers will find something to suit their needs here.
There’s even a diesel micro-hybrid that uses stop-start technology and brake energy regeneration, similar to KERS systems on Formula One cars, to cut urban fuel economy and emissions by up to 15 per cent.
Citroen promises a dynamic drive on the DS4 and the suspension is stiffer, meaning very little body roll when cornering, while intelligent traction control improves grip in tricky conditions.
The ride comfort is as smooth as one would expect from a Citroen and sounds insulation is very good, making for hushed driving, even given the raspy engine note of the turbo petrol engines.
Prices start from £18.5K and go up to around £25,000 which, considering the specification levels of the DS4, look very favourable.
For a car that packs in looks, quality, gadgetry, strong engines and something different in the sector it could be one of the best bargains on the road today.