One of the many brands sitting under Stellantis’ huge umbrella, DS Automobiles was created in 2009 as Citroën’s luxury sub-brand before evolving to become a standalone marque in 2015. Its lineup currently includes the DS 3 Crossback and DS 7 Crossback SUVs together with the DS 9 premium saloon sitting at the top of the range.
Today, the portfolio is growing to include the DS 4 compact hatchback to fill in the void left after the previous-generation model axed in 2018 when the larger DS 5 was also phased out. Much like many other PSA products launched in the last couple of years, the new high-end compact hatch sits on the EMP2 platform shared with the latest Citroën C4.
Gallery: Nuova DS 4 (2021)
It looks far more sophisticated than its predecessor and has a bold lighting signature as we’ve come to expect from PSA models. There are matrix LEDs at the front, complete with an imposing set of daytime running lights for a grand total of 98 light-emitting diodes. The old DS 4’s “hidden” rear door handles mounted near the C-pillar are gone, replaced by a sleek set of pop-out door handles positioned where you’d expect them to be.
The revamped high-class hatchback is longer and wider than the DS 4 before it, now measuring 4.4 metres (173.2 inches) in length and 1.83 metres (72 inches) in width, while the roofline has been lowered to 1.47 metres (57.8 inches). Customers can have it with wheels as large as 20 inches and these have aero inserts to mimic those of the DS Aero Sport Lounge concept.
There are lots of powertrain options to choose from, including petrol-fuelled PureTech engines with 130, 180, and 225 bhp joined by a BlueHDi diesel with 130 bhp. All of them are exclusively mated to eight-speed automatic transmissions, and the same goes for the plug-in hybrid model. It combines a 180-bhp four-cylinder engine with a 110-bhp electric motor for a total output of 225 bhp. The PHEV version will have a respectable pure electric range of more than 50 kilometres (31 miles) per WLTP.
DS Automobiles has developed the new model in three different flavours as the regular model is joined by an SUV-like DS 4 Crossback and a sporty-looking DS 4 Performance Line. The fancy interior comes in multiple configurations depending on the version, with Alcantara and Nappa leather just about everywhere you look.
The list of goodies is quite extensive, including everything from a 690-watt Focal sound system to a built-in air purifier. There’s even augmented reality for the head-up display measuring a whopping 21 inches, while the level 2 semi-autonomous driving system is inherited from the other models offered by the French luxury brand.
The head honchos at Stellantis haven’t decided whether DS Automobiles will be introduced in North America where Peugeot is still expected to return one day. In the meantime, the DS 4 will go on sale in Europe and the other markets from the fourth quarter of 2021, whilst the UK from November.