Living with a DS 4 Crossback: Seventh report


Unlike Scooby Doo and Shaggy, the DS 4 Crossback is the closest I've ever come to a mystery machine.

I say that because it's a complete mystery why DS ever put this car into production and a complete mystery who's expected to buy it.

Things start well enough. From the outside, although not pretty, the DS4 Crossback looks a decent enough prospect. It's well proportioned, looks like it offers a nice ride height and is different enough to pique one's interest.

But when you begin to live with this car, its many foibles and inadequacies come to the fore and it leaves you totally baffled.

And when you consider prices start just shy of 23 grand – enough for a very well equipped Qashqai – baffled ain't good.

At a glance the Crossback gives the impression of being a crossover and I suspect that's what DS would have us believe it is. But it can't be.

A crossover would be big enough and versatile enough for family life but anyone who's ever tried to squeeze into the back of this car will know that's not the case.

The rear door apertures are so ridiculously small only a contortionist can crawl inside, the seats are so overpadded it's nigh-on impossible to fit an ISOFIX child seat, and the fact the rear windows don't open (either manually or electrically) means many rear passengers end up having mild panic attacks.

Things are better in the front – the windows open at least – but not much.

All black and featuring some quality materials, the cabin looks appealing. And the electronic leather seats with massaging function are certainly a draw.

In reality though, despite the electronic controls, it's virtually impossible to find a comfortable driving position and the first time the seat massager came on I thought I was experiencing kidney failure.

In terms of drive, performance and economy everything's just very, very average. There's nothing whatsoever to make the Crossback stand out, which is a real disappointment from a brand that likes to do things a little differently.

By Malcolm Hay

Model: DS 4 Crossback 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: 1,100

Highlight this month: Finding out the Crossback's interesting quirks