CROSS PURPOSES (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 77
With Crossover models now accounting for over 30% of the premium compact hatchback market, it's long been important for aspiring brands like DS to offer buyers something targeted towards this segment. In 2015, this Crossback variant of the DS4 hatch aimed to meet this need, with its higher ride height and SUV styling cues. It was targeted at Surbiton rather than the Serengeti, but offered the required lifestyle vibe. Does it make sense as a used buy?
Modelsword count: 8
5dr hatchback (1.2, 1.6 petrol, 1.6, 2.0 diesel)
Historyword count: 232
Qashqai-style Crossovers now fill our roads, family hatchbacks with a touch of the Outback about them. But is it really necessary for a car maker to design a product from scratch in order to compete in this growing market niche? Back in 2015, the French DS brand reckoned not, bringing us this car, the DS4 Crossback. If the ordinary DS4 model didn't exist, you might see this as a very credible kind of compact Crossover from the 2015-2019 period during which it was produced. As it is, we know that this was merely a DS4 in a pair of hiking boots - though unlike some supposedly 'proper' Qashqai-class models, it did at least have an effective traction aid to help in slippery winter conditions. From the DS marque's perspective, there's everything here that you need in a compact Qashqai-class Crossover - and nothing you don't. And the 'everything you need' bit includes PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines that were class-leadingly efficient in their period. Plus this Crossback variant got a strong standard of media connectivity for its time, thanks to DS4 series embellishments like a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Mirror Link media connectivity. So, an intriguing package? If you think so, you'll want to know that this car sold until 2019 and wasn't replaced. And can be had at affordable prices - though it's a rare find.
What You Getword count: 414
This Crossback version sits 30mm higher than its standard-model counterpart, but you'll otherwise find the other alterations relatively difficult to spot. Brownie points for you if you clock this more adventurous variant's silver roof rails and its gloss black finishing for the wheels, the front fog lamps and the front bumper trim. Like the ordinary DS 4 model, this one features brand-specific styling at the front, where the vertical grille proudly incorporates the 'DS Wings' brand logo and extends smoothly into headlights that feature 'LED Vision' Xenon technology on plusher variants. Inside up-front, perhaps the most distinctive feature is the panoramic windscreen. Push back the roof panels where sun visors would usually be and you're given an almost unique 45-degree view upwards. Sticking with the individualistic theme, you can change both the instrument background colour and the style of the read-outs to suit your personal preference. The central speedo dial doubles as an information centre, offering speed, trip computer, audio and compass settings. Anything this can't tell you will probably be covered on the central fascia infotainment screen, this feature re-designed in this later 'DS'-badge version of this car to suit this model's more exalted DS brand status. It's a 7-inch colour touch-sensitive display with standard navigation, plus the usual audio, Bluetooth 'phone and trip computer options. At the rear, there's a dark, rather restricted feel not helped by limited legroom and the narrow, tinted side windows, while the pared-back roofline will leave headroom at a premium for taller folk. Better, we think, to consider this car as the coupe the DS brand was determined it ought to be, making comparisons with something like a Volkswagen Scirocco more valid than those with, say, a Volkswagen Golf. Viewed in that light, it's all pretty practical at the back - and quite OK for two adults or three children, as long as the journey isn't too long. Indeed, if you're in that frame of mind, you might even be quite happy to forgive the fact that the rear windows don't open. And out back? Well the boot has a high lip and a relatively narrow opening. Get your stuff inside and you'll find that it's 23-litres smaller than this model's Citroen C4 stablemate, but at 385-litres, is still slightly larger than the trunk provided in Alfa Romeo's Giulietta - or even in Volkswagen's Golf, plus there's much more space than you get in a Ford Focus or a proper coupe like that Scirocco model we mentioned.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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