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DS 4 Hatchback engines, drive and performance

2015 - 2018 (change model)
Performance rating: 3 out of 53.0

Written by Debbie Wood Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

  • Good range of engines available
  • Diesels offer impressive fuel economy
  • Flagship petrol can complete 0-62mph sprint in 7.8 seconds

There’s plenty of choice when it comes to DS4 hatchback performance; car buyers have a total of six engines to choose from with power ranging from 118bhp to 207bhp.

DS 4 hatchback petrol engines

The range starts with a three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech petrol which offers some compelling running costs, plus its 128bhp and 230Nm of torque manages to produce a sub-10 second 0-62mph time.

Although we didn’t get a chance to test this engine option in the new DS 4, we have driven the recently revised Citroen C4 hatchback fitted with the same engine and were impressed with its smooth delivery and punchy speed away from the lights. Likely to be a popular choice for many retail buyers, the engine is mated to a six-speed manual only.

Next in the petrol line-up is the familiar turbocharged 1.6-litre powertrain paired with a revised version of the six-speed automatic gearbox. This is now 40 percent quicker than the previous six-speed box and it’s a distinct improvement on the road. Gearchanges are less jerky than before and feel more in-tune with the engine.

It’s quicker from 0-62mph than the 1.2-litre option too, the 163bhp and 240Nm of torque enabling the car to complete the sprint in 8.7 seconds. Despite the added performance, running costs don’t suffer badly as a result, and combined fuel economy is claimed to be 50.4mpg with CO2 emissions of 130g/km.

Completing the petrol line-up is the 207bhp 1.6-litre option which DS believes will account for just 1.5 percent of total sales. Mated to a six-speed manual, this high-powered petrol offers 285Nm of torque and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds making it the quickest DS 4 you can buy.

The engine is smooth, refined and accelerates with ease. Only when you reach motorway speeds does it lose its quiet decorum.

DS 4 hatchback diesel engines

As the DS 4 hatchback is predicted to be a big seller with fleet drivers, the firm is predicting that around 80 percent of sales will be for diesel engines. All are four-cylinder units previously seen in the DS 5 and revised Citroen C4 hatchback ranges.

First in the line-up is the 118bhp 1.6-litre which you can choose with either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. This engine will particularly appeal to company car drivers thanks to its low CO2 emissions and high fuel economy. Performance suffers as a result though, with a 10.9 second 0-62mph time for the manual car and 11.4 seconds for the automatic. That said, it feels quicker than the figures suggest, especially below 30mph.

The higher-powered 2-litre diesels offer either 148bhp or 177bhp, but despite the latter’s extra 29bhp, it is only 0.2 seconds quicker than the 148bhp option from 0-62mph, completing the sprint in 8.6 seconds.

The top-of-the-range diesel is also only available with the auto gearbox.

  • Comfort the focus rather than sporty credentials
  • Lack of feel offered through the steering

Sporty handling is not one of the DS 4 hatchback’s strong points, the firm instead chose to focus on comfort and refinement.

That’s not to say that the handling is bad, it’s just not geared towards driving enthusiasts.

Stable and secure on the road, the car is easy to drive and only loses a little of its composure when tackling corners at high speed. It’s not as exciting or characterful to drive as rivals like the Audi A3 or BMW 1 Series, and the Ford Focus is more polished to drive than the DS 4. It is however impressively comfortable, the suspension does a good job of soaking up potholes and bumps in the road.

The steering is well weighted but feels rather detached and unengaging, especially when you tackle windier B roads.