Sportiness sells. That has long been a given in marketing. It’s why adverts and brochures depict beautiful people engaging in tennis or hiking, not theoretical mathematics. It’s why most BMWs and Mercedes are sold in M Sport or AMG Line trim, why everything has a Sport mode and why the four-spoke steering wheel is a dying breed.

The paradox is that most car buyers have no need for a car that handles in a sporty, dynamic fashion. They have no desire to tackle a challenging B-road with gusto and would be much better served by a car that’s easy to use and quiet and cushions them from the UK’s harsh roads.

Marketing usually still wins and, as a result, recent history contains very few comfort-oriented car brands and models. DS is here to change that.

Citroën’s luxury offshoot has taken a while since its 2016 launch to establish a clear and consistent product strategy and design language. Its very first car, the DS 3 – née Citroën DS3 – was a sporty, Mini-chasing thing, and the old DS 4 Crossback and DS 5 were weird but not overly wonderful.

If the DS 3 Crossback and DS 7 Crossback signalled DS starting to find its way, the DS 9 put it on the right track. The hope is that with today’s road test subject, the new DS 4, it can iron out some of the issues that plague the saloon but transfer that car’s charm and character into a volume-seller.

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