The first examples of DS Automobiles’ new hatchback, the DS 4, are now available to pre-order in the UK. The La Premiere model is the top specification in the hatchback range, with prices starting at just under £40,000 and offering customers a choice of petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

The new model is designed to rival premium hatches such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, offering a French take on luxury compact vehicles. As such, it takes over from its much-maligned predecessor, but it comes with a much more sophisticated image, including a rakish rear window and a pronounced front grille.

Externally, the high-end La Premiere variant is marked out by black grille and gloss black trim accents, along with a ‘1’ badge on the bonnet. The car also gets black trim between the rear lights and the lower areas of the bodywork, while the whole thing sits on 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels.

2021 DS 4

Inside, the La Premiere comes with the ‘Opera’ interior, giving it ‘watch-strap’ Nappa leather, cooled, heated and massaging seats, and leather trim on the doors and dashboard. Standard equipment also includes DS’s latest-generation touchscreen infotainment system with gesture control, as well as the extended head-up display.

There are LED headlights with matrix technology, too, allowing the lights to dip in the direction of other vehicles while leaving the full beam elsewhere. Other high-tech additions include the DS Active Scan suspension, which scans the road ahead for imperfections, then tunes the dampers to suit the upcoming bumps.

DS 4 lateral

Up front, customers can choose between the PureTech 225 petrol engine and the E-Tense 225 plug-in hybrid. Both boast 222 bhp and use a 1.6-litre petrol engine, but the latter adds an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, offering a 30-mile all-electric range.

Customers can pre-order their La Premiere model until the end of July, but the first cars won’t arrive in the UK until later this year. They’ll be followed by the remainder of the DS 4 range, which will include petrol-powered versions with 129 bhp and 178 bhp, as well as a 128 bhp 1.5-litre diesel.

The DS 4 will also be offered with a choice of trim levels, including a sporty Performance Line model and an SUV-like Crossback version. Optional extras include a Focal Electra hi-fi system, which is also offered alongside the La Premiere versions.

The La Premiere is available to pre-order now with prices starting at £39,950.

Gallery: Nuova DS 4 (2021)