Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy one?

At last DS has come up with a convincing and distinctive alternative to premium-badged rivals, such as the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. We love the interior and our preferred plug-in E-Tense has competitive CO2 emissions to keep company car tax down and is refined, too.

This new 4 is a much more distinctive car, with more upmarket ambitions. It signals a newly confident look and will form part of a DS line-up that will eventually stretch to six models. The 3 and 7 are both familiar, the range-topping 9 saloon will go on sale in Europe later this year, and two more DSs have yet to be unveiled.

The 4 is a calm, comfortable, compact family vehicle, where the passengers are taken as seriously as the driver. The approach seems closer to Volvo’s than to the German premium manufacturers, and DS has gone to a lot of trouble to bring some extra flair and charm of its own.

It’s by no means perfect, with the slight fidget to the ride frustrating slightly and versions with the plushest interiors get very pricey. However, if you’re bored of the usual rivals and aren’t too fussed by cornering thrills, the DS 4 should be on your shopping list.

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