If you like a dollop of French flair and you want to stand out from the crowd, then you’ll love the DS 4 Crossback, says our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.
My test model was coated in a funky shade, called Tourmaline Orange. The black alloy wheels made the colour look even more vivid.
It really suits the DS 4 Crossback, and provokes questions. For instance, some of the hipper parents were keen to ask me all about the car was when I was dropping my kids off at school the other day.
That’s a positive sign, then, because DS is setting its sights at the more fashion-conscious end of the family market. Certainly, it’s difficult not to be drawn to the vibrant hatchback. The DS 4 Crossback has fluid lines and smooth chrome signatures. And if the basic exterior form of the DS 4 isn’t enough, there’s a wide range of personalisation options to make the car look even funkier.
But appearances only go so far, so it’s great to know that the DS 4 Crossback is a flexible urban crossover. This is signalled in a 30mm higher ride height, compared with the car’s standard DS 4 sibling. The elevated posture helps the Crossback cope with any excursions off road. Dirt trails or fields are really the limit, as this is no out and out mud-plugger. What’s more, the DS 4 Crossback’s Intelligent Traction Control ensures it is a very safe family vehicle to have in freezing weather, keeping the car moving steadily over ice and snow.
The DS 4 Crossback is practical, seating four adults and offering enough boot space for a pushchair and the family’s weekly shop. Conversely, refinement oozes through every polished pore, so it’s almost out of the question to see this car as just an A to B workhorse. You see, DS Automobiles has a legendary reputation for state-of-the-art cabin design, with superior features, such as ‘watch strap’ leather seats and up-to-the-minute kit – now encompassing Apple CarPlay compatibility with the most current iPhones.
The DS 4 Crossback comes with a variety of three power-plants – two diesel engines and one petrol unit, containing the most recent generation Euro 6 BlueHDi 120, which is in the model under review here. The diesel isn’t the quickest, with 0-62mph achievable in 10.9 seconds, but the drive is relaxed, thanks, to some extent, to the slick six speed manual gearbox. Running costs won’t empty your wallet or purse, either; the car has an official combined fuel consumption figure of 72.4mpg and CO2 emissions are 103g/km.
The DS 4 Crossback may not be the first off the line at traffic lights, and it’s not the hardest-hitting machine off-road, but it always feels heartening to drive and it never makes any road trip a bore. It’s also the kind of family vehicle that will stick out in the mass of less inventively designed cars found in every British car park.
Why not pop into your local Perrys Citroen dealership and see what the fuss is all about!