The DS4’s cabin is also nicely hushed on the motorway and the materials feel at least up to par with the Germans. The design and lay-out make the DS4 a more special place to be than the sometimes-austere Germans, though it could do with a dash of colour, as most trims are very dark.

The problem with the DS4 is that in some ways it feels like a late development prototype with a few kinks still to be worked out. But when you’re asking the same money as the Germans, that attention to detail really matters.

The seats themselves are relatively comfortable, but the base is a bit too flat and can’t be tilted, which makes for a very poor driving position for the longer of leg.

The infotainment has its own style, can be customised to your own taste, and works relatively logically once you get used to it, but it’s not the quickest and when you step into a BMW with iDrive, the DS’s affectations all seem a bit silly and contrived.

The little annoyances continue to stack up: the brake pedal on the plug-in hybrid is soft and inconsistent, the adaptive cruise control is dim-witted, there are a few fittings in the interior that don’t quite feel built for the ages, and the car treats presses on the shift paddles as suggestions rather than commands, rendering them all but redundant.


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