The PSA Group's DS brand has yet to gain much traction in the UK. Here's where that has to change. A quick history. The brand launched in stand-alone form in 2015, mostly re-badging sportier Citroens until it could launch its own design, the DS 7 Crossback SUV, in 2017. Since then, we've had the small but rather curious-looking DS 3 Crossback. And the DS 8 upper mid-sized saloon. Nothing though, to really get people talking. But this car, the second generation DS 4, just might.
The company's first DS 4 sold between 2015 and 2019 and was one of those re-badged Citroens just mentioned, though in that case, the donor car wasn't a sporty one. The design instead was essentially almost entirely borrowed from the rather mediocre underpinnings of a second generation Citroen C4. Back then, the market didn't much want a C4 - and it didn't want a pricier C4 in a tux either. But forget all that because second time around, this DS 4 is a very different proposition.
Surprisingly, for the time being anyway, DS isn't making a slightly larger compact SUV than the DS 3 Crossback. Which means that this DS 4, though really a compact premium hatch taking on the Audi A3 Sportback, the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes A-Class, must also try and appeal to people who might want an Audi Q3, a BMW X1 and a Mercedes GLA. That's a lot to ask - from a car with a lot to prove. Can it deliver? Let's find out.