Road Test Review: DS 4 E-TENSE Performance Line

Independent review by Bill McCarthy

5-minute read

DS4 E-TENSE Performance Line Front

Road Test: DS 4 E-TENSE Performance Line

Explore the key features of the DS 4 E-TENSE Performance Line in our expert road test review

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The DS 4 E-TENSE is a stylish electric vehicle packed with charisma and character, as well as top-of-the-range features.


  • Good handling
  • High levels of equipment
  • Comfortable interior
  • Efficient
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It’s a bit of a juggling act when you have two very similar brands. In this case, DS and Citroën. How do you share much of the technology but give each a distinct and separate identity?

By making sure your audience knows yours is a premium product by backing that up with style and panache.

The DS 4 E-TENSE does just that and in the sporty Performance Line trim that we drove, you know you're getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Powertrain and Performance

On the road, performance is impressive, with the hybrid combination powering the car to 62mph in just 7.7 seconds. Economy is pretty good, with the MPG figure around the mid-50s mark. Otherwise, the car can run on electric only for around 40 miles.

Mated with an 8-speed auto transmission, it moves sweetly through the gears with little hesitation.

The handling is decent, it feels well-planted on bends with responsive steering. It provides a comfortable yet sporty ride with this range-topping model featuring Active Scan, which uses a camera to map the road head and alter the damping to the prevailing conditions, smoothing out the ride substantially.

Design and Practicality

This smart DS 4, to my mind, is the best I have driven, offering sleek aerodynamic styling with slim LED matrix headlights flanking a deep, black grille. To the rear, slim light clusters incorporate a clever diamond design.

What can come as a surprise to passengers for the first time are the flush door handles, which pop out when the door is unlocked via keyless entry and settle back into place when the door is closed.

The E-TENSE plug-in hybrid badging is prominent at the front and rear, and dark tinted rear windows add that extra bit of class.

Space for the front occupants is good, but can feel a bit cramped to the rear because of the sloping roof.

In practical terms, boot space is good with 390 litres expanding to 1,190 litres with the seats folded, giving really usable stowage space, with plenty of other storage areas throughout.

The interior is a masterclass of clever design and comfort and features the running jewel-like theme, with diamond-shaped controls on the dash.
Bill McCarthy

Other nice touches include stitched upholstery, aluminium pedals and ambient lighting.

Equipment and Technology

A 7-inch centre console controls the infotainment, with connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and navigation.

Below the touchscreen is a slim panel of controls with a starter button set in the centre and below that is another touchscreen next to the gear selector where you can swipe to access six programmable favourites on the main screen.

Goodies on this model include an 8-speaker sound system, Bluetooth® handsfree and media streaming with USB socket and 3D navigation system, plus a host of safety kit including head-up display and assisted parking.

It is packed with safety equipment with a host of active and passive aids which includes a full set of airbags, stability control and all sorts of traffic, pedestrian, and driver alerts.


It may not be cheap, but what premium model is? It's a whole lot of car for the money though, and it looks brilliant too.

The Performance Line trim offers a great blend of elegant DS design and sportier performance, whilst also coming packed with standard levels of equipment for you to enjoy.