Brief DS4 E-Tense essay: Be beautiful and shut up!
Fourth model in the DS range, the DS4 was voted Most Beautiful Car of the Year 2022. But beyond these aesthetic considerations, what is it really worth in its high-end plug-in hybrid version?
The DS4 is available in 3 versions: DS 4, DS 4 Cross and DS 4 Performance Line. 4.40 m long, 1.87 m wide and 1.47 m high, it seeks to make a place for itself among the premium models of the C segment. And it is true that on the aesthetic level, it has every chance of imposing itself. But does it have any other arguments to make?
DS4 E-Tense Inside
Taking a seat on board for the first time, impressions are mixed. As a whole, the dashboard presents well, even if we can not help but find a little minimalist side, certainly as far as its instrumentation is concerned.
Before his eyes, the driver is only entitled to a very small screen really unworthy of a car of this category and this price. Not very big either, the central screen and its many menus (not always very clear by the way) give the possibility to customize the display but… we have never been able to do that. As for the “touch pad” supposedly allowing to encode an address in a handwritten way, we only needed several (vain) attempts at use to forget it completely.
The almost everything on the screen did not excite us much more, nor did the seats (which were very nicely designed), much less comfortable than the “Advanced Comfort” of a Citroën. Another annoying detail, the door panels, whose design, if it does not lack originality, only allows to rest the elbow and not the entire forearm. Painful!
The rear seats do not raise the level by their lack of legroom. Ditto for the trunk (390 liters), in which there is not even a storage under the floor for the charging cable.
DS4 E-Tense On the road
With a full charge, the 12.4 kWh battery can travel 55 km WLTP in electric mode. During our test, however, the on-board computer never indicated more than 52 km. By default, the car always starts in this mode. For a hybrid, it’s rather curious, isn’t it? In short, it is better to be attentive to it, otherwise you risk wasting your autonomy in zero-emission mode. In terms of pleasure, the hybrid system (combined power and torque of 225 hp and 360 Nm) seduces with its smooth operation, a pity that the gear changes of the automatic transmission are sometimes too noticeable and as a rule, terribly slow compared to what is done today.
If the light and natural steering is pleasant in all circumstances, the piloted damping Active Scan Suspension frankly disappointed us.
Still passes in the vertical movements, where its progressivity is rather pleasant, but the vibration balance, it, really did not meet our expectations with an obvious lack of “smoothness” and a clearly insufficient wheel control, going so far as to cause slight deviations from the rear axle! A rather disastrous balance sheet which, we are sure, is to be blamed on the 20-inch wheels that purely and simply undermine the work of the tune-ups. An option (1,000 €) to flee therefore.
DS4 E-Tense Budget
The DS 4 E-Tense is available in 3 trim levels: Bastille + (€38,800), Trocadero (€44,000) and Rivoli (€47,500). The standard equipment of the entry-level version is already quite complete with, among other things, flush door handles, diode projectors, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, wireless Mirror Screen connectivity, etc.
At the end of this test, without having been able to recharge as often as we would have liked given some rather long journeys on the motorway, our average consumption was 4.6 l/100 km.
The DS 4 had excited us with its design, but in use, it rather disappointed us. In addition to a digital presentation unworthy of its rank and a lack of space at the rear, we will especially point to a very disappointing cushioning comfort. A false note fortunately to put on the account of the optional wheels of 20 inches. You have been warned.