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DS DS 4 1.5 MHEV 136 Pallas 5dr e-DSC

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 54.3 mpg
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 117 g/km CO2
  • 117 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 54.3 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 10.4 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 136 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

The DS 4's ideal engine might just be the 48V Hybrid self charging unit we look at here. This aspirational premium Gallic compact hatch makes a good partner for this clever petrol/electric powerplant.

Background

If you're considering a premium badged aspirational family hatch, you're probably not considering the DS 4. Perhaps that rather stylish Gallic contender's worth a second look now though, because it can now be had with a rather appealing Hybrid engine. This isn't one of those Hybrids you can plug-in; the DS 4 line-up already provides one of those. Instead, it's the same 48V self charging powertrain used across a wide variety of Stellantis Group models, which claims to be able to allow the car to run solely on battery power for a significant amount of time in urban traffic. Sounds promising. Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experience

The DS 4 Hybrid uses the same 136hp version of this 48V Hybrid powertrain as the smaller DS 3 Hybrid. Which, given the heavier bodyshell of this DS 4, might make you expect fairly tepid performance. But this engine drives the seven-seat Peugeot 5008 along very happily and doesn't struggle with this premium Gallic family hatch, thanks to a useful 230Nm of torque. It's coupled with a clever six-speed dual-clutch e-DSC6 automatic gearbox that incorporates a 28hp electric motor. A 0.9kWh NMC lithium-ion battery powers the self-charging electric system. The petrol engine is a major evolution of the existing PureTech 130 unit, with special development for the Hybrid system. Using three-cylinders with 1,199cc, it works on the Miller cycle, which provides higher thermodynamic efficiency and, therefore, a significant reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The engine is also fitted with a special timing chain and a clever variable geometry turbocharger to maximise sustainability and responsiveness at low revs. The permanent magnet synchronous electric motor is integrated into the compact e-DCS6 six-speed dual-clutch transmission and can run on electric power alone at low speeds and under moderate loads. During deceleration, the electric motor acts as a generator to recover kinetic energy and fuel the 0.9kWh battery located under the floor. The system also easily provides power to start the petrol engine. The e-DCS6 gearbox contributes to the comfort and efficiency of this Hybrid model too. Limiting breaks in torque, it gives the feeling of a super smooth ride. The electric motor, inverter and computer are integrated in it to save space and mass. At 10.4 seconds, the zero to 62mph time for this Hybrid DS 4 is 1.2 seconds faster than the existing PureTech 130 model and the 1000-metre standing start time is reduced by 1.3 seconds to 31.7 seconds, compared with the PureTech 130 Automatic engine.

Design and Build

DS hopes that the look of this car will sell it to you - and for sure it'll stand out in the supermarket car park. At first glance, you might be undecided as to whether this is a premium compact hatch or a premium small SUV - and that's entirely intentional. The styling's certainly Gallically avant garde, the front dominated by bold double daytime running lights and trendy matrix LED headlamps. In profile, you'll notice striking creases, door handles that pop out as you approach the car and wheels that can be as large as 20-inches in size. Coupe lines characterise the rear, where the boot lid plunges to mee the slim LED tail lamps. Pavement presence? You get it here. Inside the so-called 'Digital Seamless Cockpit', there's a fully digital cabin made up of no fewer than three displays, There's a 10-inch screen replacing conventional dials in the instrument cluster. And an infotainment display of the same size in the centre of the dash for media and navigation. This is controlled by a third 5-inch screen further down the centre stack known as the 'DS Smart Touch'. If that's not enough screen tech for you, it's also possible to specify the segment's cleverest head-up display, claimed to be closer to augmented reality than any other system. The information viewed doesn't just get projected onto the windscreen; it instead gets projected further out onto your view of the road in a range 4-metres ahead and on an image 21 inches wide. Another interesting touch is the lack of visible air vents; the main ventilation unit has been integrated behind and strip of physical switches that sit just below the main control screen. Out back, rear seat space is reasonable but unremarkable. And in this Hybrid 136 e-DSC6 model, there's a decently-sized 430-litre boot - much better than the 390-litres you get in the PHEV DS 4 variant.

Market and Model

Expect an asking price starting from around £35,000 for this 48V Hybrid model; that's a significant saving on the £41,000 you'd have to find for the E-Tense 225 PHEV version of this DS 4 - though with that variant of course, you'd get much more power and the benefit of a much longer EV drive range, along with the low BiK taxation going along with it. Nevertheless, the full-term ownership costs of this more affordable Hybrid 136 e-DSC6 model will probably make more sense. Two trim levels are available - 'Pallas' and 'Etoile' - each of which gets two distinguishing option packs. The exterior design, identical for both with Gloss Black DS WINGS and exhaust pipes, stands out with special 19-inch wheels. The 'Pallas' version showcases a Diamond Tungsten Fabric interior with Black DS Canvas, featuring a new stitch pattern, on the seat and backrest. Included are acoustic laminated side windows at the front and the DS 'Air Quality System', accompanying dual-zone automatic air conditioning. Standard technology consists of Adaptive Cruise Control Stop & Go, Lane Departure Warning and front and rear parking sensors with a Reversing Camera. With 'Etoile' spec, this DS 4 Hybrid offers two interiors in Black Alcantara with stitching or in Criollo Brown Nappa Leather Watchstrap upholstery with heated seats. Standard equipment includes electric seats, the DS IRIS infotainment set-up with 'DS SMART TOUCH' and the 'DS EXTENDED' head-up display. Kit at this level includes DS MATRIX LED VISION headlamps and tinted rear windows with acoustic laminated side glass, as well as the Rear Traffic Detection Pack.

Cost of Ownership

Compared with a conventional DS 4 PureTech 130 Automatic, the Hybrid system advances translate to a gain of nearly 15% in efficiency terms (0.9 fewer litres of fuel needed to travel 62 miles) and a reduction of 21g/km CO2 (or 19%) to 116g/km CO2. Expect around 60mpg on the combined cycle. In a DS 4 Hybrid, you set off silently using just electric energy, driving without any CO2 emissions and the petrol engine contributing if more power is required. Behind the wheel, as the switch from one motor to the other is imperceptible, the speed indicator turns blue when driving on electric power alone. On the digital instrument display, the energy flow can be shown, along with battery charge level and its operating status, via a power meter. The percentage of distance travelled just on electric energy is shown by the onboard computer and also at the end of the journey. The Hybrid system is designed to operate on its own. The battery charges automatically while driving, thanks to the petrol engine and deceleration phases are controlled automatically to recover energy so the use of the mechanical braking system is also greatly reduced, resulting in a reduction in fine particle emissions. Quiet operation in town benefits the environment and local residents. For pedestrian safety, a slight AVAS noise is emitted when the car passes by at up to 18mph.

Summary

This is a much more sensible and accessible kind of DS 4 Hybrid. In fact, if you're considering a DS 4, it's really the engine we think most customers should be looking at first. This French model will probably continue to get overlooked by customers considering cars like the BMW 1 Series, the Audi A3 Sportback and the Mercedes A-Class. Here at least though, it gets a better engine for real-world use than any of those German contenders can offer. Yes, the engineering here is shared with mainstream-branded volume models - but you could say the same of the Teutonic rivals just mentioned too. And none of those can offer the rather special cabin ambiance you get at the wheel of a DS 4. Before, that wasn't quite enough to move us to recommend this car. But if we were choosing in this segment and prepared to look beyond the obvious contenders, the availability of this 48V petrol/electric powerplant might just be enough to encourage us to give it a chance.

  • Emergency services call system
  • 2 USB-C connectors rear
  • Bluetooth hands free and media streaming
  • DAB Digital radio
  • DS Smart Touch 5inch colour touchscreen
  • Stereo system and 6 speakers
  • Two front USB-C ports
  • Body colour shark fin roof antenna
  • Brilliant black front grille with chrome accents, chrome DS wings and chrome DS emblem
  • Chrome upper window surround
  • Door handles with retractable, flush fitting, chrome finish
  • DS 4 inscription in chrome finish, located on tailgate
  • DS emblem in chrome finish, located on C-pillar x2
  • DS emblem in chrome finish, located on front grille and tailgate
  • DS monogram - front, leading edge of bonnet, chrome finish
  • Gloss black rear light cluster connecting trim
  • Grained black side rocker panel trim with chrome insert
  • LED rear numberplate lights(x2)
  • Rear side wing doors
  • "Clous De Paris" intricate metal work design in platinum on dashboard facia, centre console, steering wheel, DS Smart Touch frame and upper door trim
  • 1.0L bottle storage rear door pockets rear
  • 1.5L bottle storage front door pockets
  • 12V socket in boot
  • 12v socket in front
  • 2x Rear coat hooks
  • Black isabella mistral leather effect centre console facia decor
  • Black mistral leather effect trim with scale effect dashboard and door facia decor
  • Boot strap located in boot area, right hand side
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Cupholders - 2 front centre console,storage lid
  • Door panel upper edge trim in platinum 'Clous De Paris' design with gloss black detail
  • Electric power steering with reach and rake adjustable steering column
  • Flock lining door pockets, front and rear
  • Flock lining glovebox
  • Front central and door panel armest with black isabella mistral leather effect
  • Front centre armrest with storage
  • Front door sills in stainless steel, 'DS' inscription
  • Front seats with rear pocket
  • Glove box with closed lid, handbook storage
  • Horizon light grey headlining
  • Illumination glove box, interior storage, load area
  • Interior grab handles damped (x4)
  • Leather steering wheel with 'Fleur' leather, gloss black and 'Clous De Paris' detailing, silver stitch detail
  • Rear seats - ski hatch, rear armrest with two cupholders
  • Satin chrome gearbox selector, polychromatic lighting
  • Satin chrome interior door handles
  • Smartphone storage with hatch for direct access to USB in armrest
  • Stainless steel boot sill
  • Steering column mounted gearbox paddles
  • Tethering points (x4) - located in boot area
  • Safety pack - DS4
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Active bonnet
  • Adaptive driver and front passenger airbags includes passenger airbag deactivation function
  • Child safety lock
  • Driver and front passenger side airbags, thorax, abdomen and pelvis protection
  • Driver seat left side airbag inflates between two front seats
  • Front and rear curtain airbags, head protection for side impacts
  • Indirect tyre pressure monitoring system (ITPMS)
  • Passenger detection system - seat cushion mounted pressure sensors, illumination in roof control panel if belt unfastening detected
  • Seatbelts front - three point retractable seatbelts with pre tensioners and progressive load limiters
  • Seatbelts rear - three point retractable seatbelts with pre tensioners and load limiters to outer rear seats
  • Two tone horn
  • Alarm covers perimeter,interior of vehicle and tow-away instances
  • Automatic door locking when moving off
  • Electronic key (x2) with keyless operation, 'Clous De Paris' inspired pattern, satin chrome detailing
  • Engine start/stop button - gloss back and chrome with 'Clous De Paris' embossing
  • Fuel filler flap - located offside, lockable remotely, linked to central locking
  • Keyless entry/start with proximity detection, includes two key fobs
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Remote central locking + deadlocks
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 117
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1499
  • Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 75
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 84.8
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 54.3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Badge Power: 136
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: MHEV
  • Coin Series: Pallas
  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 10.4
  • Engine Power - BHP: 136
  • Engine Power - KW: 100
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3750
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 170
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 23.5
  • Engine Torque - NM: 230
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750
  • Top Speed: 129
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/55 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/55 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: SAPPORO
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Height: 1470
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4400
  • Wheelbase: 2675
  • Width: 1830
  • Width (including mirrors): 2061
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 52
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1990
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1240
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 430
  • Max. Loading Weight: 536
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1454
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.8