Road test: Citroën DS 4 Crossback

Posted on February 18th, 2016 by James Luckhurst

The DS 4 Crossback is a smart addition to the line-up.

Road test: Citroën DS 4 Crossback

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What is it?

DS Automobiles is Citroën’s premium brand. The DS 4 Crossback, with its go-anywhere SUV styling and raised driving position, is a rival for the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Volvo V40 Cross Country.

How safe is it?

The DS 4 Crossback has not yet been tested by Euro NCAP but the previous Citroen DS 4 received the maximum five stars. Safety specifications are plentiful.

Who should buy one?
With its impressive 72.4mpg combined fuel economy, the DS 4 Crossback 1.6 diesel makes an excellent fleet car, but works well as a family vehicle, too.

Road test by Maxine Ashford published 20 February 2016

 

 

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Road test: Citroën DS 4 Crossback

The DS 4 Crossback is based on the DS 4 hatchback’s range-topping Prestige model with a number of additions, including aluminium roof rails, a 30mm raised ground clearance, black mirrors and door sills, large 18-inch black wheels, distinctive flared wheel arches and to help make the car instantly identifiable it has the word CROSSBACK across the tailgate.
The Crossback model we drove was powered by a 120hp four-cylinder 1,560cc diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 10.9 seconds and redlines at 117mph.
We tested the car on a road route comprising busy town centres where the vehicle was nice and agile and also on more open, faster roads where it also impressed.
The upright, elevated driving position provides good all-round visibility which is ideal when driving through busy areas with cars and pedestrians darting out from all angles.
Out on faster country lanes, the DS 4 Crossback was extremely well grounded and sure-footed even when tackling bends at pace. That said, we did find the ride rather fidgety and bouncy when the road surface was less than smooth. Otherwise comfort levels are good for all occupants.
Acceleration through the lower gears is responsive, although the bite tends to fade away somewhat in fifth and sixth, which makes these gears best left for cruising on motorways. In fairness, the DS 4 Crossback is not the fastest out of the blocks but it is beautifully controlled in the way it performs with a steady stream of power on tap and ample gusto to overtake at short notice if required.
According to official figures the test car with its stop/start system could deliver combined fuel economy of 72.4mpg, but we only managed to see 56.5mpg at best.
Despite its quite large dimensions the Crossback is easy to manoeuvre with a 10.7-metre turning circle.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Road test: Citroën DS 4 Crossback

The five-door DS 4 Crossback is 4,284mm long and 1,810mm wide (exluding the mirrors). The car’s size and SUV-type proportions make for a spacious, practical cabin with plenty of head, leg and shoulder space for back seat passengers.
The interior is very modern in its design with a feature-rich, yet clutter-free appearance. There is a truly premium feel to the car with a soft-touch dashboard, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and the very finest leather upholstery with massaging and heated front seats finished in a distinctive watchstrap design. The instrumentation is clear with colour and brightness adjustment controls.
All the dials and controls are perfectly positioned for driver usability and the storage options include a rather compact glovebox, door pockets and a central bin to safely store bits and pieces.
The deep boot can accommodate 385 litres of luggage, which is 50 litres more than a Volvo V40 Cross Country’s. This capacity is increased to 1,021 litres with the 60/40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.

SAFETY
Road test: Citroën DS 4 Crossback

The DS 4 Crossback features a number of innovative safety features including LED and xenon lighting that not only looks good but is highly effective too.
Other features include anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic stability control and numerous airbags. The latest DS 4 line-up has not yet been tested for a Euro NCAP rating, but the outgoing model achieved the maximum five stars back in 2011.

EQUIPMENT
Road test: Citroën DS 4 Crossback

The DS 4 Crossback is richly equipped with many of the in-car functions accessed and controlled via the seven-inch colour touchscreen, including features such as the satnav system, the car’s settings and music options.
The model is also the first in the PSA Group to feature Apple CarPlay compatibility to iOS devices from the iPhone5 onwards. And, in addition, the MirrorLink technology can replicate both iOS and Android content on the touchscreen.

COSTS

Road test: Citroën DS 4 Crossback

The DS 4 Crossback, priced from £21,745, is only available in one trim level but with a choice between powertrains. There is the 130hp 1.2-litre petrol version, a 1.6-litre 120hp diesel with both manual or automatic transmissions and finally a 2.0-litre 180hp auto.
Running costs that will attract buyers with the most economical BlueHDi 120 S&S version delivering combined fuel efficiency of 72.8mpg with carbon dioxide emissions of just 103g/km.

WE SAY

The DS 4 Crossback is a smart addition to the line-up.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £23,495
Performance: 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds
Economy: 72.4mpg combined
Insurance: Group 24
Tax: Band B (£0 first year)

Figures for the DS 4 Crossback BlueHDi 120 6-speed S&S manual