Citroen DS4 DSport HDi 160 6-speed Auto pictures and hands-on

Citroën has introduced a new option for the DS4 and that's a 6-speed automatic paired with the 160bhp turbo diesel. Here it's residing in the DSport version of this hulking hatchback, which we had the chance to take for a test drive.

When we reviewed the Citroën DS4 shortly after launch, we described it as "a Superdry hoodie to the regular C4's beige cardigan". We still feel the same way, admiring the DS4's good looks and design, with its aggressive, exuberant, stance on the road.

The DS4 has a surprisingly high ride, something that we appreciate once ensconced within: it feels spacious inside, accentuated by the larger than average windscreen. It's common to many of Citroën's models, and pushing back the visor gives you a panorama you won't find in many cars of this class.

That said, the rear window is on the small side to accommodate the dropping coupé-style design at the back.

We weren't too taken by the Habana Club leather seats, the brown looking slightly out of place, but they're an option, so easily avoided. They were, however, comfortable and supportive.

The same is true of the ride of this hatch. Although it's slightly bumped up and rolling on 19-inch Cairns alloy wheels in this configuration, it's a respectably planted ride. It doesn't wallow in the corners and it handles very nicely.

But the big change here is the gearbox. The new 6-speed gearbox felt nice and responsive, quick to react to those situations where you want power, like coming out of a corner or roundabout, with the power on offer to make overtaking a breeze.

The automatic gearbox is nice and smooth, but also gives you the option of taking control of the changes manually. Flip the gear lever over to the left and out of the drive position and you can then click up and down gears at your leisure.

Admittedly, we did find ourselves shifting the wrong direction (down instead of up), but we think that's from being spoilt by the now not uncommon paddle changers attached to the steering wheels of recent cars we've been testing.

Elsewhere, the technology package in the DS4 DSport is impressive, although the satnav seemed to lack the option to plug in a postcode, it was clear in giving directions and hooking up our Nexus 4 via Bluetooth had us streaming music through car's sound system with very little hassle.

There are lots of controls, however, with the steering wheel liberally covered with buttons and the system doesn't offer the convenience of a touch display, so there's degree of back and forth on those dials and buttons to get everything set just so.

The Citroën DS4 DSport HDi 6-speed Auto will cost you from £24,785. Yes, Citroën is still calling it a coupé, but it's really a larger-than-life hatchback, and once you're in the driving seat, you can't help but smile.