Nissan Juke or Honda Civic

Citroën is launching two key production models here today: the volume selling C4 and its upmarket DS4 variant. Previewed as the DS High Rider concept at Geneva, the basic surfaces have remained unchanged but the production version gets four doors rather than two. The rear door handles are hidden in the DLO and the way the door aperture follows the full DLO rather than adding another cutline through it (as on the Nissan Juke or Honda Civic) is a nice detail.

Seeing the DS4 alongside its C4 sister, it's clear the car follows the same formula as the smaller DS3 and C3. The two cars share the same basic front structure including hood, windscreen, headlamps and wheelbase, but the DS4 is positioned as a crossover personal coupe derivative, with a higher price tag to suit. While the basic surface of the front door skin appears similar, the front and rear fenders on the DS4 feature distinctive creases and, seeing the car up close, one notices the mild SUV look to the DS4, although it doesn't have any 4x4 capability. The styling is just that bit tougher all around, with a higher ride height to give some robustness to it, allied to a more premium format with those small coupe-like rear doors and lots of brightwork on the exterior.

Inside the car, we noticed it the same IP and center console as the mainstream C4, but with more expensive detailing and materials applied. There's a nice watchstrap pattern on the seats that was used on the C-Airscape concept a few years back with five different types of leather available. Overall, it's an interesting development we're seeing here, that of manufacturers offering slightly different tastes on essentially the same car. The nearest equivalent to date is probably the Audi A4 Avant and A5 Sportback – on the face of it the package and componentry are near-identical but the image and positioning appeal to totally different customers.


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