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Big Blue

DS4 160THP Sport Chic

This is, I believe, a model designation not available in the UK but it is in France and here is my mother's:



I'm afraid to advise Frank Bullitt that IMHO this is the ONLY colour to have one in as it shows the lines off in some light yet retains some reservedness as well. Colours are, however, a matter of taste. Like 2 tone seats:



I specced this car with my ma last summer and it has a suitable amount of FG, like the factory sat-nav:



and those shiny mirrors:



and what I assume is some kind of self parking? (didn't dare try it....)



As a family car the boot swallowed our 2 hardshell Samsonite suitcases and a smaller hardshell Samsonite cabin-case and there was space for the ubiquitous Trunki and a trendy-Soho canvas rucksack in the cabin. Plenty of space for the car seat, although that rear door shape is a bit awkward to get it through the gap:



Someone looked not-too impressed!



The dash is very nice but you can feel that the cost cutting started from the sat-nav surround downwards, with hard brittle plastic taking over from soft touch spongey "stuff".



Perhaps my favourite bit is the sunvisor trick of giving you more or less "sky", but I think Vauxhall/Opel have a similar trick.

To drive on the autoroute it is very relaxed and the cruise display on the dashboard is nice and clear. It also has massaging seats which feel a bit weird but on a long journey I can see the sense in having your lower back pummelled as you are slumped in your chair with the cruise set at 140kph.

This one has the newest 160 engine and an auto box with winter and sport modes. The sport mode actually makes it behave like the Schriebmaschine 'box, hanging on to gears and changing down as you brake into a corner on the D roads. It also roars a little, a nice kind of roar as opposed to a "please stop thrashing me!!!" that can accompany petrol engined four-pots.

I was fortunate enough to get to drive it up to the Gorges du Verdon on roads I know well and they are the roads that feature often in Top Gear when they "race" across various parts of France (the best known being when the RS4 raced that free-climber-base-jumping nut-job up a mountain). I had W2.0, the Mater and Bublinka on board so full-on apex charging was not really possible but the gearbox and engine combo are well matched and the PETROL turbo had plenty enough oomph to see off an opponent in a 156 sportwagon.

It sits nice and high, which even my mum agrees is a good thing at her age (73) but the stance front and rear doesn't look awkward or 4x4 esque





The rear cabin is a bit sombre with that falling roof-line and tiny windows that don't open and I've just remembered that I left the child lock on one door which my mum will never work out so I guess I need to remember that one in the summer!

I said last summer that the Nissan QashQai is probably an ideal family motor if FG'd well and I'll stick with that. However the DS4 is in a similar position and I'd have one as a family car if I were not insane and running a 13 year old Alpina as the family transport. It's quirky and has all kinds of nice toys but I'd only have one for the length of the warranty, simply because some of that cabin plastic feels like it won't make it to 5 or 7 years of owner-abuse. That said my mum's will look like new in 10 years time: October - April, 2100kms - 350 of which I did in a 5 day stay.

In it's natural Provençal habitat in this colour, however, it makes the QashQai look dull.






Humphrey The Pug

I love those and I love the colour too.

Steering wheel looks a tad on the busy side though.
BeN

Nice!

Proper auto too.
Frank Bullitt

Hickory Brown is the name of the colour - it can look nice in some light as it has a slight 'copperiness' to it and in French-France that propbably comes through but in the UK it's best referred to as Hippo-shit Brown; I'd not been tempted to search one out in the colour, we'll put it that way...

Agreed on the dashboard, I think the lower section is definately the weakest link on the car and that's because it is shared with the stock C4, a car that retails for less - the sat nav does lift it though and if our old C4 Picasso is anything to go by it will take years of being kicked (unlike my sisters Almera Tino which looked like a scrapper inside after 18 months of family ownership), so whilst it's not the most pleasent to touch it doesn't bother me at all.

The interior colour I do like - you can get the multi-colour combo in the UK but it's white or red where your mum's car is brown, neither look especially appealing so the stock black or ubgraded Habana ribbed leather is the way forward.

The lack of opening rear windows doesn't concern us at all - we only used them a few times in the Picasso and FB Junior, being four and a half, can comfortably see out of the side of the car - he likes riding in it, but Bublinka might me a bit short at the moment.  Also, as you say the leading edge of the rear door where the handle is comes out quite markedly so opening it in confined spaces can limit the door opening, but then it's a sort-of replacement for the C4 Coupe (3dr...) so it's not supposed to major on practicality.  The massage seats are really quite nice and just help relax away the miles.

Your mum's car doesn't have automatic parking but the spec appears to have the the Security Signature fitted - this has parking space measurement, so the front sensors and rear sensors check the size of the space for you (the pack also includes auto-dip wing mirrors and blind spot monitoring).

I think it drives very well to be honest, the ride is very good and whilst it's no wheelsmith machine the drive is very fluid.  However, it's a shame they don't do the lightly blown 1.6THP with a manual box I'd have searched one out but the boat-fueller in ours is very impressive indeed.  It's especially impressive as on my own private runway it seems that I've discovered it will be tickling 2200rpm at the French legal limit and economy seems to be the same as at the UK legal limit.

We don't regret buying ours at all, it's a really pleasurable car to own and fits our family of three to a tee.
Big Blue

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Hickory Brown is the name of the colour - it can look nice in some light as it has a slight 'copperiness' to it and in French-France that probably comes through


Yes: it helps that the sun shines for about 300 days per year.

Quote:
Your mum's car doesn't have automatic parking but the spec appears to have the the Security Signature fitted - this has parking space measurement, so the front sensors and rear sensors check the size of the space for you (the pack also includes auto-dip wing mirrors and blind spot monitoring).


Ah, that explains it. I specced the folding mirrors as mum's town is known for desperately bad driving so I hope to protect them a bit. The other stuff came with.

Quote:
 However, it's a shame they don't do the lightly blown 1.6THP with a manual box


You're young, still. Soon you'll enjoy the benefits of an auto
Martin

If you chose the colour / trim, then you're much better off buying cars that someone else has specified!    

Seriously....the colour does look interesting in the sunshine, but I don't like it at all in the bottom pictures and I'm not keen in the upholstery either (the brown is too light), Habana is much nicer.

I thought that one of the biggest benefits of a car of this type is carrying kids and them being able to get a nice open view out, but the windows are very small, as is the door opening?

The main thing is that your mum likes it and it does sound like a decent car, ideally suited to the job.
Big Blue

Martin wrote:
If you chose the colour / trim, then you're much better off buying cars that someone else has specified!    


Hard to swallow from a man with yet another blue BMW and a car with black wheels....

Quote:
The main thing is that your mum likes it and it does sound like a decent car, ideally suited to the job.


She thinks it's fab and as a car for someone of her age the ride height is perfect. Also don't forget she lives in the South of France: what looks good there wouldn't work here at all.
Frank Bullitt

Martin wrote:
I thought that one of the biggest benefits of a car of this type is carrying kids and them being able to get a nice open view out, but the windows are very small, as is the door opening?.


It's not really designed as a family car per-se, Citroen already have that covered in this size and around it with the C3 Picasso, C4 hatch and C4 Picasso - without getting all fluffy and marketing-like it's supposed to be a practical coupe crossover (what's more than one oxymoron called?) - in our case it works for three of us but there is a lack if foot room underneath the front seats which means I need to pull the drivers seat forward for mrs FB to sit behind me in a way it don't in my (smaller) A2 and didn't in the (road space wise smaller) C3 Picasso we looked at either. But we didn't care about that as it's a small price to pay. The roof box arrives shortly, required for camping (and we are taking it to France, empty on the way out so we can fill the boot up with booze on the way home) there will be a gypsy hook put on it for a bike rack too so it will cover all our needs when required but fundamentally all of our 'wants' all the time.

I think the DS4 was designed, in marketing terms, for a 40-something single male.  If I needed another family car that could seat more than the three of us regularly, I'd have gone for another C4 Picasso (or kept the one we had!)
Martin

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Martin wrote:
I thought that one of the biggest benefits of a car of this type is carrying kids and them being able to get a nice open view out, but the windows are very small, as is the door opening?.


It's not really designed as a family car per-se, Citroen already have that covered in this size and around it with the C3 Picasso, C4 hatch and C4 Picasso - without getting all fluffy and marketing-like it's supposed to be a practical coupe crossover (what's more than one oxymoron called?) - in our case it works for three of us but there is a lack if foot room underneath the front seats which means I need to pull the drivers seat forward for mrs FB to sit behind me in a way it don't in my (smaller) A2 and didn't in the (road space wise smaller) C3 Picasso we looked at either. But we didn't care about that as it's a small price to pay. The roof box arrives shortly, required for camping (and we are taking it to France, empty on the way out so we can fill the boot up with booze on the way home) there will be a gypsy hook put on it for a bike rack too so it will cover all our needs when required but fundamentally all of our 'wants' all the time.

I think the DS4 was designed, in marketing terms, for a 40-something single male.  If I needed another family car that could seat more than the three of us regularly, I'd have gone for another C4 Picasso (or kept the one we had!)


I'm not sure about the 40 something single man part, but I understand the rest!

Big Blue wrote:
Martin wrote:
If you chose the colour / trim, then you're much better off buying cars that someone else has specified!    


Hard to swallow from a man with yet another blue BMW and a car with black wheels....


 

Good taste is so subjective!   I hadn't realised that black spoked wheels was a traditional Porsche thing, but it is, so it must be OK!
Nice Guy Eddie

Nice colour, nice interior and looks jolly chic in a way a Golf/Astra/Focus etc just doesn't.
Racing Teatray

Frank Bullitt wrote:
...but in the UK it's best referred to as Hippo-shit Brown; I'd not been tempted to search one out in the colour, we'll put it that way.....


How very specific...

Not sure I've ever registered the colour of hippo droppings! But I like the simile!

Back directly O/T, car sounds like it was chosen wisely. As noted previously, we quite liked the one we had in Le Marche last June and that actually directly lead to a sales win for Citroen because one uncle has just bought a C4 off the strength of having been driven around in the DS4.
Roadsterstu

It looks good in that colour, in it's "natural habitat". In London, in the rain, it would look awful. The French plates help. Dunno why, but cars just look "right" in their home markets.

The only criticism from me is that, from a rear 3/4 view, it looks to have piled on the pounds, with the weight gain all being on it's arse.

Fair dos to your mum for choosing it, though. My folks think their 58 reg Fiesta is a bit on the trendy side.

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