CITROEN'S stylish DS4 is so cool it could have been carved out of ice. It is simply one of the best looking cars on the road.
The well defined body, wheel arches and large panoramic windscreen have the look of an ice sculpture and together with its startling light arrays, chrome-finished waistline and dark tinted windows it is one of the most eye-catching motors around.
The interior is much the same, with an ultra modern, styling and practicaliy while the car is powered by any one of a new breed of lean burning, economical petrol and diesel engines, mated to slick shifting and precise gearboxes.
The French firm says the coupe-styled crossover targets customers who are typically successful, image conscious and aspire to a premium lifestyle. They look for desirability, style, ease of use and a refined onboard experience.
That's a tough list to fulfil, but Citroen says its answer to rivals’ crossovers is a car designed as a coupé - it does look like a three-door - with the rear door handles cleverly concealed next to the rear windowframes.
The interior is also a classy and comfortable place to be with five full-sized seats, plenty of head and legroom, and a futuristic looking array dials and controls.
A neat touch allows the the colour of the dials and the instrument cluster can also be changed to suit the mood.
Although it looks like a coupe, it still has hatchback practicality with a 359 litre boot that increases to 385 litres when using the under floor storage and the French firms says that with the ‘Créative Technologie’, the interior is home to arange of clever storage space.
It looks good both outside and in, but what’s under the skin is just as impressive with a a range of five Euro 5 compliant engines - two diesels - HDi 110 and HDi 160 - and three petrol units that were co-developed with BMW - VTi 120, THP 155 and a new THP 200 in the model I drove.
All offer good economy and low CO2 emissions but the performance of the 1.6 litre THP 200 takes you by surprise. Not only is it very rapid - the 0-62mph takes just 8.5 seconds - it also returns excellent economy with a claimed 44.1mpg seeming pretty near the mark.
Add to this CO2 emissions of just 149g/km and you have a real challenger to the diesels, particularly with the price gap between petrol and diesel.
The DS4 is smooth and refined with great torque, particularly when overtaking on the motorway.
The good performance is matched with agile and responsive handling, but still giving the occupants a comfortable ride.
There are few safer cars on the road and the DS4 has been awarded a maximum 5-star Euro NCAP thanks to stability programme with traction Control, ABS with EBD and EBA, six airbags and two Isofix mountings on the rear seatswhile other safety enhancing technology includes programmable cruise control withspeed limiter and Citroën’s new blind-spot monitoring system.
Prices start at just £18,150 for the VTi 120 DSign and the DSport I tried is £23,650.
Citroen DS4 DSport THP 200
Mechanical: 163ps, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 146mph
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Combined mpg: 44.1
Insurance group: 31
CO2 emissions: 149g/km
BIK rating: 19%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles