Living with a DS 4 Crossback: Fourth report

With one week's holiday booked for early November and nowhere to go, my girlfriend and I decided to look at last-minute deals for a short winter getaway. By some luck, we found a brilliant deal at a hotel in the very centre of the historic town of Bruges.

The only catch? We'd have to drive. Not a problem, I thought. I love a road trip, and heading into Europe by road is one of my favourite things to do – I've driven through Belgium many times on my way to the Nurburgring so knew it wouldn't take too long.

The only downside was the fact that I'd be taking the DS4 Crossback. After a few months I've learnt to just accept its foibles, but I'll admit I wasn't too excited at the prospect of covering so many miles with the quirky hatchback.

However, after a good few hours behind the wheel and conversation drying up as my girlfriend caught flies beside me on account of the 5am wake-up call, my mind began to wander.

That's when it hit me. I've described the pedal position as van-like, which would be fine if the seat was too but because it's down low like a normal car seat, it's impossible to get my legs in a comfortable position where I can actually reach the steering wheel.

But what if it was van-like? I grabbed the lever beside the seat that controls its height and pulled it until the seat was in its highest position. My head was nearly touching the roof, but do you know what? The driving position was much more bearable. Praise be!

It's not perfect, though. Being up near the headliner takes some getting used to and since your passenger has no reason to perch themselves so high they appear hilariously low beside you. Then there's the fact the rear-view mirror is now at eye level, so when you look left through a corner it obscures your vision.

The only other issue I encountered over three days on the continent was the infotainment system freezing up. Turning it off and on again didn't work, but luckily it eventually decided to reset itself – annoying when stranded in a foreign country without mobile data, but fortunately the gremlin only wasted about five minutes.

Still, it's an improvement, and when I got home having used less than half a tank of the black stuff I was even happier. Sure, there are a lot of issues a supposed premium car shouldn't have, but see past them and there are some reasons to be cheerful.

Model: DS 4Crossback BlueHDi 120 Price: £24,045
Engine: 1.5-litre turbodiesel Power: 118bhp, 300Nm
Max speed: 117mph
0-60mph: 10.9 seconds
Emissions: 103g/km
Mpg: 72.4 (combined)
Mileage this month: 689