Citroen DS4 VTi120 (2014) Review

Citroen DS4 1

In an effort to counter ever-increasing car prices, Citroen launched a base model version of its stylish DS4. We got behind the wheel of the Citroen DS4 VTi120 to see if the entry-level model can still offer the same levels of flair and funkiness as its higher-specced siblings.

Wow factor looks

Visually, the Citroen DS4 VTi120 is outstanding. With a magnificent Babylon Red pearlescent colour scheme, the DS4 is a striking car and many onlookers gaped at this example of outrageous French styling. It's a beautifully proportioned car too, and should be a benchmark for hatchback design. Few cars make other traffic look positively bland in comparison.

Cabin of the Citroen DS4 VTi120

The funky design theme carries on when you open the door and climb in. There's a reason the Citroen DS4 VTi120 has won numerous awards for both exterior and interior. If there was a word to describe the cabin, it's 'quirky'. That's not to say it's flawed, as ergonomically it's sound as everything falls to hand.

There may not be leather, but the fabric seats offer plenty of comfort. The dials look like they're from the movie Tron and you can even change the colour scheme from white to varying shades of blue. If individualism is your thing, you're going to adore this car.

Features

Despite this being the entry-level model, the Citroen DS4 VTi120 comes with a reasonable amount of specification. The car comes standard with daytime-running lights, rear parking sensors, cornering headlamps, automatic windscreen wipers, panoramic windscreen, an Arctic-strength air conditioner, USB/Bluetooth compatible audio system as well as cruise control.

Being a French car, safety is not skimped on either. The Citroen DS4 VTi120 comes standard with ABS with EBD, Emergency Brake Assist, Intelligent Traction Control, Hill-Start assist as well as six airbags. Some attractive 16-inch Darwin alloy wheels round off the package.

Engine and economy

The higher-specced DS4 models come with the lovely 1.6-litre petrol turbo engines as well as the efficient HDi diesels. The base-model has to do with a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre four-pot offering 88 kW and 160 Nm. It doesn't have the get up and go of the turbo models, but there's just enough power to offer a mildly entertaining drive.

The massive plus from the smaller engine is the gains in fuel economy. Let's be honest, the Citroen DS4 VTi120 is not a small vehicle, nor is it a featherweight. Despite the 1.2 ton licencing mass, the DS4 consumed just 7.5 l/100km and this was in mostly urban traffic scenarios. Pleasantly surprised is an understatement...

The drive

It's a pleasant drive too, and the  five-speed gearbox shifts with a satisfying action. The road holding is firm and stable, despite the best of the Cape winter winds. The ride is a touch on the sporty side, but imperfections in the road are mostly soaked up by the high-profile rubber of the 16-inch alloy wheels. The cabin is spacious with the only gripe being the inability to open the rear windows. Seeing as I'm a male without children or Labradors, I don't see this as a major problem.

Summary and conclusion

If you're after a car which is spacious, comfortable and vastly different from anything out there, then the Citroen DS4 VTi120 is well worth considering. It may be too loud and ostentatious for some, but I think creative types will be smitten. Looks aside, as far as a budget offering goes, the Citroen DS4 VTi120 offers terrific value for money at R284 900.

Citroen DS4 VTi120 Price in South Africa

The Citroen DS4 VTi120 retails for R284 900 and this includes a 3-yr/100 000 km full manufacturer warranty, 5-yr/100 000km Service plan as well as  3-yr 24-hour roadside assistance. If you're not happy with those, you can further extend the warranty and service plan at extra cost.

Citroen DS4 VTi120 Design (2014) Quick Specs

Engine  1.6-litre four cylinder petrol
Power  88 kW
Torque  160 Nm
Transmission  Five-speed manual
Wheels  16-inch alloys
0-100km/h  10.8 seconds (claimed)
Fuel economy  6.2 l/100km (claimed)

We like: . Outrageous styling . Generous specification for an entry-level model . All-round interesting car

We dislike: . May be too vibrant for some . Rear windows don't go down

Also consider:

Audi A3 BMW 1-Series Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Citroen DS4 VTi120 gallery

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