DS are coming of age with a new premium hatchback that rivals some of the best

The one-time Citroen partner have been known for their quirky designs over the years, but the DS 4 could be a landmark model for the French manufacturer.

At its core, the DS 4 E-Tense Cross Plug-in Hybrid is an aspirational, premium hatchback, that comes with additional family crossover traits.

Entering a new dawn for DS, it is a signal of intent, aiming to rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the BMW 1 Series.

With a brave design, improved technology and a smooth drive, can it match, or even better, the German heavyweights?

What did we drive?

Model: DS 4 E-Tense Cross 225

Transmission: Automatic

Power: Petrol Hybrid

Colour: Copper Gold

Wheels: 19-inch 'LIMA' diamond-cut alloy wheels

OTR: £31,310

Price of model driven: £42,550

*Prices correct at the time of publication

DS 4 E-Tense Cross Hybrid


The DS 4 E-Tense Cross model sits towards the top end of the entire range. Prices start from £31,310 for the Cross Trocadero edition and rise to £42,550 for the E-Tense 225 edition that we’re reviewing.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is often the go-to choice if you’re after a premium plug-in hybrid hatchback and it is easy to see why. The DS 4 is marginally more expensive than a top-spec A-Class, which is just under £41,000.

A DS 4 lease deal will cost around £392 per month (ex VAT)* if you prefer a monthly cost, with Carparison’s car lease deals available with flexible terms and cost-effective rentals.

2022 DS 4 E-Tense Cross driving


DS products have always been renowned for their comfort levels, but this DS 4 Cross E-Tense takes things to a new level.

During our review, the drive was described to me like, ‘driving an armchair’. The driver is offered so much support through the front seats, which feel premium and cushioned, but also hugs you in tightly behind the wheel.

All models come with an Active Scan Suspension, so it uses cameras and sensors to scan the road ahead as you drive, preparing the vehicle for any upcoming bumps or uneven surfaces. The results are an incredibly smooth drive.

You hear very little external noise once you get going, even at motorway speeds, DS have done a fantastic job of keeping the outside world out.

It can lure you into a false sense that this is a fully electric car at times. It is almost silent to start up and thanks to the additional 110hp provided by the electric motor, it pulls as smoothly and as punchy as an electric car does.

Unlike some of its German competitors, the DS 4 is not what you would call a dynamic drive. It prioritises comfort and efficiency over any great performance.

It’s by no means a slouch, far from it. But you’re going to prefer tackling those longer journeys in an effortlessly comfortable cabin.

With electric, hybrid, comfort and sport driving modes, you have plenty of choice when it comes to picking your desired driving mode.

The drive selector button is positioned on the left of the centre console – all but facing the passenger seat, which felt a little odd in a right-hand drive car, but that’s a very small complaint in what was otherwise a very enjoyable drive.

DS 4 E-Tense Cross Electric Charging Port

Engine Options & Electric Range

Throughout the DS 4 range, there are a wealth of different models and variants, but each come with a choice of three engines.

If you’re a fan of a manual gearbox, you’ll have to look elsewhere, as all three come fitted with an automatic transmission.

Details of each engine and its performance figures are below

PureTech 180

  • Petrol
  • Automatic
  • 181HP
  • 42.8MPG (comb)
  • 0-62mph: 8s
  • Max speed: 143mph
  • CO2 Emissions (comb): 148 g/km

PureTech 225

  • Petrol
  • Automatic
  • 224HP
  • 42.8MPG (comb)
  • 0-62mph: 7.9s
  • Max speed: 146mph
  • CO2 Emissions (comb): 149 g/km

E-Tense 225

  • Petrol-Hybrid
  • Automatic
  • 225Hp
  • 217.29 MPG (comb)
  • 33.48 miles of electric range
  • 0-62mph: 7.7s
  • CO2 emissions (comb): 30 g/km

The E-Tense 225 combines a 1.6L petrol engine with an electric motor, meaning it can pack a punch. The combined 225 horsepower is complimented by that injection of the electric motor, helping it feel nimble to start.

With just over 30 miles of claimed electric range, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to take on the everyday commute in full electric mode too for further everyday savings. This is fewer than the Mercedes A250e hatchback, which has a claimed range of 44 miles.

It will take around two hours to fully charge the DS4 using a 7kW home charger, or up to 7 hours from a three-pin plug. 

Rapid charging is not currently available for the DS4 E-Tense, something to be aware of if you plan on charging away from home.

DS4 E-Tense Cross Interior and Exterior Design

Design & Interior

Eye-catching it most certainly is. But unlike DS models of old, all the design features complement one another. It looks well designed and well thought out.

It looks premium and comes with a devilish road stance, thanks to the large front grille, fang headlights and clever use of curves and angles.

Our Copper Gold colour scheme comes as standard, but there are several other options available.

From the front, it is reminiscent of a smaller Lexus UX, a nod to DS’ premium aspirations.

For all its premium traits, it also has a rugged element to it. The roof rails and black body finishes (exclusive to the Cross spec) push it closer to that of the family crossover style.

Flush door handles offer a sense of calm to the side of the car but are easy to pop out and open unlike some of its fiddly rivals.

Inside the cabin, the interior is somewhat more refined than previous models but still feels very on brand for DS.  There’s an element of finesse and luxury to the design. Some may consider it too much, but you cannot deny DS’ confidence.

They should be commended for not simply confining to the norm. It stands out and offers far more character than some of its rivals can offer.

The quality of the interior is right up there in the premium hatchback sector. There are endless soft-touch leathers in the right places and a nice mixture of materials used throughout.

It’s an incredibly comfortable and relaxing place to be. DS have nailed the ergonomics of the car.

DS 4 E-Tense Cross Boot Space

Space & Practicality

The sloping rear roofline does compromise head and legroom in the back. For a family car, you’re going to get by with children in the back just fine. Taller adult passengers may feel the squeeze over longer journeys though.

Boot space is competitive, without being class-leading at 390L. This is a small drop from 430L on the petrol variants due to the added batteries. However, the limited underfloor space means there isn’t an obvious space to hideaway your cables, so they do eat into that capacity, even when tidied away into a neat Velcro bag.

Despite the drop from its combustion engine sibling, it still narrowly has the edge on A-Class hybrid, which can store up to 375 litres. 

DS 4 E-Tense Cross Touchscreen


Don’t let previous DS technology sway you, the new and improved 10inch touchscreen feels crisp and very modern.

The infotainment system is responsive and informative and the boxy nature of the menus make it clear and easy to use on the move. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also both available as standard.

There is a small trackpad that you can use to set up some handy shortcuts. It was a nice feature to have, but it often didn’t have the same responsiveness and felt too small.

The driver’s display was also on the smaller side and depending on your seating position, could sometimes be blocked partially by the steering wheel.

However, the heads-up display was a worthwhile addition and was far more in keeping with the rest of the car's technology.

What stole the show was the reversing camera. I would go as far as saying class-leading for the hatchback sector. The definition of the picture is incredible and while not necessarily a big car to park, it does make it ever so easy in the narrower spaces.

DS 4 E-Tense Cross Hybrid Driving


The DS 4 scored four stars during its 2022 Euro NCAP safety tests, with an 85% safety rating for adult occupants.

As standard, all DS 4 models are packed with helpful safety and driver assistance technologies, including; rear parking sensors, emergency braking system, speed limit recognition, driver attention alert, cruise control with speed limiter and lane keeping assist.

In addition to some of the lower trim levels, the Cross also has DS Drive Assist, which includes semi-autonomous driving.

DS 4 E-Tense Cross Profile

Model Lines & Equipment

The DS 4 range can be a little confusing at times, so allow us to break it down as best we can. There are three versions; the DS 4, the Performance Line and the Cross.

Each have their own individual model variants within themselves. The DS 4 Cross includes the Cross Trocadero and the Cross Rivoli which we were testing, with the E-Tense hybrid engine. The key features of both options are listed below.

Cross Trocadero – from £31,310

  • 19-inch 'SAPPORO' Alloy Wheels
  • DS Iris System + DS Smart Touch
  • DS Extended Head-Up Display
  • Proximity Keyless Entry & Start
  • Cross Pack

Cross Rivoli – from £37,610

  • DS Matrix Led Vision
  • 19-inch 'Lima' Diamond-Cut Alloy Wheels
  • DS Iris System + DS Smart Touch
  • DS Extended Head-Up Display
  • Proximity Keyless Entry & Start
  • DS Drive Assist
  • Dark Tinted Rear Windows
DS 4 E-Tense Cross Plug-In Hybrid


The E-Tense Cross is a real statement of intent from DS. They’ve set their sights on their premium rivals and produced a family-friendly hatchback that delivers on quality and performance.

Its interior design is inviting, with an element of elegance, while the drive is assured, controlled and supremely comfortable.  

The DS 4 presents a viable alternative to the big German heavyweights, without comprising on style, efficiency, or performance. 

Show me the best prices on a DS 4 E-Tense lease!

Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan takes the lead on all things 'wordy'. With a sports media background, a true passion for cars, and a LOT of driving experience under his belt, he'll make sure you have all the information you need, when you need it.