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New 2021 DS 4 crossover breaks cover

Next-generation DS 4 launched with hi-tech interior and a PHEV version with 30-mile electric range

  • Only available with an automatic gearbox
  • Lots of driver assistance tech
  • Due on sale in late 2021

The new DS 4 crossover has been revealed. It’s the fourth model to be launched under the offshoot DS brand name, and boasts stylish looks, a luxurious interior and a powerful plug-in hybrid powertrain. You’ll be able to order the new car in winter 2021, with prices likely to start from over £30,000.

Sitting between the DS 3 and DS 7 Crossback SUVs, the DS 4 will set its sights on premium small crossovers like the Mercedes GLA, Cupra Formentor and Volvo XC40.

2021 DS 4 crossover styling

Unlike the old DS 4 hatchback, which was based on the last Citroen C4, the new car has a distinctive looking crossover design. The styling is bold and attractive, with eye-catching touches including sharp body creases, chrome roofline trim and deep LED slashes beneath the slim headlights. Besides the new LED elements, the front end looks quite similar to the flagship DS 7 model, while the rear end gets two rectangular exhaust exits and intricate brake light clusters. We have to wonder what the rear visibility will be like with such a narrow rear windscreen, though.

Other styling touches include pop out door handles, which automatically retract to fit flush with the bodywork when the car is moving, and large alloy wheels measuring 19 or 20 inches along with Matrix LED headlights.

Three versions of the DS 4 are available, with the standard car focusing on luxury. There is also a DS 4 Performance Line model that features sporty looking black exterior trim, and the DS 4 Cross model, which gets scuff plates, matt black inserts on the bumpers and side skirts and roof rails. The Cross trim also gets an advanced traction control system with snow, mud and sand driving modes. Seven colours are available, with Copper Gold and Lacquered Grey being new shades.

There are some similarities between the DS 4 and the new Vauxhall Mokka, but the DS 4 is a slightly larger than the Corsa-based Mokka and sits on a different platform, namely the EMP2 platform that underpins the latest Citroen C4.

Interior

DS has produced some fantastic interiors in recent years, and the new DS 4 continues this design theme with plush materials and lots of tech. In the standard model, leather trim features throughout, plus contrasting wood trim. Sporty Performance Line models feature swathes of Alcantara suede and contrasting carbon-fibre trim pieces.

There seems to be very few air vents dotted around the cabin, but there are super-slim ones almost hidden within the silver slash across the dashboard. Rather than simple buttons and dials, it seems all air-con functions are controlled by a small secondary touchscreen mounted just above the gear selector in the centre console. It features a pad to rest your wrist, which may slightly improve its usability. Elsewhere, the window switches are mounted high in the door panels with a wooden trim surround, and we’re told that all seams are hidden on the upholstery.

DS says the front seats are inspired by shells, with a single curved backrest to improve comfort. The seats are made from high-density foam which makes them more comfortable, and offer heating, cooling and massage functions. As with other DS models, you can choose a watchstrap seat design with upgraded Nappa leather.

The boot measures 430 litres - 50 litres larger than a Volkswagen Golf - and a powered tailgate with hands-free opening is also available.

Technology

The new DS 4 is fitted with an array of the latest driver assistance technology as well, some of which is “yet to be seen” in rivals. One such innovation is an ‘extended’ head-up display, which makes it look like information is projected onto the road surface, four metres ahead of the car. The DS ‘Iris System’ allows configurable driver profiles to be loaded as soon as someone gets into the driver’s seat, while the touchscreen responds to handwriting, gesture control and natural voice commands. System updates happen over-the-air.

Driver assistance tech is also a big focus; you’ll be able to specify Level 2 semi-autonomous driving ability, plus active suspension that uses cameras to scan for imperfections in the road ahead. An infrared camera in the grille enables ‘night vision’, as it can recognise pedestrians and animals up to 200m in front of the car. Matrix LED headlights, which offer full-beam brightness without blinding other drivers, are available too. These have a light range of up to 300m and specific modes for town, country and motorway driving, plus poor weather and fog.

DS 4 plug-in hybrid, petrol and diesel engines

The new DS 4 will be available with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain from launch. It’ll use the 222bhp powertrain currently fitted to the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense and Peugeot 3008 Hybrid, which comes with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and front-wheel drive. A 30-mile electric range is promised, and the brand says the powertrain doesn’t compromise usability or boot space. Given that cars with this powertrain are considerably costlier than petrol equivalents, the DS 4 PHEV is likely to start at over £40,000.

Petrol and diesel engines will join the plug-in hybrid variant. The 1.2 and 1.6-litre petrol engines used extensively in Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen models, with 128bhp, 178bhp and 222bhp, will probably make up the bulk of sales, while a 128bhp diesel will also be available. A fully electric version may appear, given the availability of an electric Citroen e-C4, and it would compete against the BMW iX1 and Volkswagen ID.4.

A DS 9 luxury saloon is also in the pipeline, and this will go on sale before the new DS 4.

Read our review of the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense or check out the best electric SUVs.

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