(Pocket-lint) - DS Automobiles has fully unveiled the DS 4, a new C-segment car that takes a huge step up over the previous model with the same name. DS Automobiles has moved this car in the crossover space, with massive 20-inch wheels for that popular baby SUV look.
The new model reflects the recently-announced Citroën C4 and there's plenty of similarity in the segment of the market that these cars are attacking. The previous DS 4 was a sort-of bigger hatchback and the new DS 4 is a sort-of even bigger coupé-ish hatchback - but a lot better looking.
At first glance it looks more interesting than the existing DS 7 Crossback, and just like that previous model, there's no shortage of character to set tongues wagging. From the exterior you have those signature lights and angular details, with pop-out door handles reminding you that this is a cut above.
Slip inside and you're hit with the busy interior, littered with DS's signature Clous de Paris embossing and stitching across the expanses of leather. DS points out that there's a two-tone effect here, with light areas for comfort - the centre tunnel and seats - while the darker areas are more functional - across the dash.
There are plentiful displays, not only in the centre of the car and for the driver, but with an additional display designed for gestures on the centre console. Called DS Smart Touch, the idea is that you'll be able to rest your hand naturally in the centre of the car and interact with this display while keeping your eyes on the road - and avoid too much jabbing at the main display.
There's a new DS Iris System running things, addressing some of the criticisms that we had of DS user interfaces in the past. There now appears to be more functionality and slightly less design, which is very welcomed.
What's perhaps surprising about the new DS 4 is that it's launching without an electric version. There's a plug-in hybrid, offering a 180hp petrol engine with a 110hp motor, offering 30 miles of pure electric motoring, but given the growth of battery electric vehicles in the recent years, it's a surprise that this premium model misses out.
There will be a full range of petrol engines - PureTech 130, 180, 225 - while diesel comes in at 130hp. There will be a full range of colours and trim levels to let you choose just how exquisite you want your DS 4 to look.
There's principally two versions too, with a regular DS 4 joined by the DS 4 Cross, the latter getting some exterior detailing to give it slightly more rugged looks, including roof rails. While the Cross doesn't get four-wheel drive, it will have the Advanced Traction Control system and descent control.
The DS 4 will be arriving in Q4 2021 and we'd expect the plug-in model to be pretty popular. DS Automobiles overtook Lexus in European market share in 2020 and while that might not be reflected on the roads in the UK, it’s likely that this will be a strong performer for the brand.