or Login >>         
C4 - DS4 Owners :: Forums :: C4 2011 (B7) DS4 and DS4 CROSSBACK :: Road Tests and Reports

FB's DS4 1.6HDi 115 DStyle

Home   Forum Rules    Forum Help  Conversion Tools
Please Register to enjoy additional Member Benefits
Top Thanked Forum Posts: Today | Week | Month | Year | All time | Most Thanks Given: To member | By user
Author Post
Sun Mar 30 2014, 03:20pm

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
I've mentioned quite a few times that the mind has been wandering towards Pablo's replacement. Mrs FB, FB junior and I have been looking at various cars new and used but nothing really convinced us enough to spend our hard- earned on it.

FB Junior and I were in a Citroen Birmingham the other week and we had a scurry around the DS4 - we'd already discounted this previously due to a lack of space but on second look it probably was big enough.  So mrs FB was dragged in to have a butchers after I remembered she had one as a courtesy car a few years ago and declared it was 'the one' to replace Pablo one day, and to my surprise she was very keen looking for reasons to like rather than not to like.  So I did my research and had a look around the uk to see what was available; Citroen dealers seemed to have 18 month old cars at £12k with about 15-25k on the clock, so after making contact with a few and putting a deposit down on one (which was not as described) I thought I'd give motorpoint a try.

Never really done the car supermarket thing and been slightly sceptical but a part-ex price was given (more than anyone apart from one dealer, £600 more than peugeot would go to on the 2008, a car we both like also) and a deal done over the phone without seeing the car which was similar price to those above but 9 months old with 9k on the clock - a £300 fully refundable deposit is paid and the car is already prepped and taxed so can be driven from the showroom immediately; as I had my last day of leave booked for Friday I popped up to Derby to pick the car up.  The handover process is all a bit clinical but it is simple and efficient and after a quick test drive we completed the deal.  

Now yes, I wanted a petrol car but the DS4 either comes in rocking horse poop 200THP DSport flavour or anaemic 1.6VTi (same engine as the 2008 with another 150kg+ to haul around, that car was a bit slow for us...) so we decided to go for a 1.6HDi DStyle - it s, of course, a similar engine to Pablo but the newer 8v model with more torque - it also has the 6 speed gearbox and 115bhp, CO2 is 122g so it just slips above the lowest tax bands, but I care not.

How does it drive? Lovely is the honest answer - despite 18" wheels it rides incredibly well and quietly, only really poor sections of motorway made some obtrusive noises in the cabin, I can't think of any part of the trip home that wasn't done in complete comfort.  It's not an incisive tool, whilst sharp enough the electric steering lacks a little feel although it grips well; don't confuse it for an Audi from the last decade though, it's a charming car that doesn't have a confusing brief, it's comfort and refinement with the ability to hold it's own.  

The engine is really good, you can't tell it's related to the old 16v unit, it seems to be very tractible from low revs and pulls quite happily through the rev range with no sign of lag or issues below the threshold; cruising at 70mph it's doing just under 2000rpm and economy home was in the mid 50's on the trip, so probably low 50's in reality; I'll take that.  I've seen a few comments that the 6-speed gearbox in PSA products is a world away from the 5-speeder and so it is, very positive and with a clean shift action not at all feeling like every Parisian has ground it to bits before you put the first mile on it.

The comfort is excellent, in part thanks to the massage seats (gimmick? Perhaps, but I don't care  :wink: ) and refinement from wind, road and engine noise is exceptional for the class - the driving position is spot on for me and mrs FB can go behind me if I lift the seat a little which is still no harm.  The interior is an interesting quality mix; the dash top and most of the dashboard is excellent, the black headlining and LED lights have clearly been nicked from Audi and the steering wheel and dials are also lovely but the centre console and the buttons for the audio aren't as clever; it doesn't upset me but you can see where the budget for surprise and delight ran out.  As you will be aware the rear windows don't open but that's no issue as FB junior never had the ones in Pablo open except to shout goodbye to people; interior space is decent, with a scallop out of the passengers side of the dashboard meaning I can sit further forward and there's loads of space for the little fella behind me, the seats are part cloth and part leather, appearing to be 'sports' seats but the bolsters on the base don't have that much strength, they are nice and comfy though.

The boot is a good size and well proportioned, one of the first jobs is to sort a spare wheel out - visibility is limited at the rear with a poodles tail for a wiper but it has sensors so we should be fine.  Te Bluetooth connects simply to my iPhone 5 and music is streamed with ease, on the equipment front it's almost the full kitchen sink - dual climate, iPod connection, massage seats, electric lumbar adjustment, auto lights and wipers, auto dip mirror, folding wing mirrors, DAB (which surprised me) etc.

As you can see, we've gone for a colour that most people would find boring but both mrs FB and I really like and I think it suits the DS4 very nicely. I was purposefully looking for a car that had not yet been serviced as I wanted a full Citroen history and only this one plus another that was due a service imminently was available without who-knows-what-oil sloshing around in the sump so it really was the only car to go for, lots of the 'Approved' Citroen cars had been serviced at 12,500 miles by dodgy dicks motors so that put me right off.  The tyres are all good, the wheels excellent and I can't find a mark on the thing.

To say I'm delighted is not an understatement - we've been putting it into people carrier duties this weekend and it's perfectly capable for five, only accessing the buckles for the side seats under FB juniors centre seat causes some struggle, but it's all manageable. Biffing about, it really is a lovely drive and it's definitely a 'look back' car when you walk away.

Oh, and of course we can stay in this great club!

Ah, lovely

Out with the old...

4 User said Thank You to FrankBullitt for this Post :
 barrie (31 Mar 2014 : 01:00) , Dave_Retired. (31 Mar 2014 : 02:48) , BigJohnD (31 Mar 2014 : 04:39) , C4JJK (03 Apr 2014 : 16:16)
Thu Apr 03 2014, 04:07pm
Member No: #13613
Joined: May 08 2010
Location: Deepest Wiltshire
Nice looking car there, FB!

[Bought in Derby, eh? Mrs PC4's C3 Picasso came from the Peugeot garage around the corner]
1 User said Thank You to PentlandC4 for this Post :
 FrankBullitt (07 Apr 2014 : 08:29)
Fri Apr 04 2014, 01:25am
Member No: #18905
Joined: Mar 23 2011
Location: Widnes, Cheshire
Your right Pentland, that is a very nice looking car. Nice wheels as well.
1 User said Thank You to riven1962 for this Post :
 FrankBullitt (07 Apr 2014 : 08:29)
Fri Apr 04 2014, 09:04am

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
Thanks both, it's a lovely car - only issue I can find this far is the LHD wipers haven't been switched over so the pillar is quite big when it is dirty, other than that it is simply wonderful.

I noticed the Peugeot garage at the entrance to the estate, it's a small world! Peterborough is closest but they wouldn't commit to deliver by the weekend and it was £99 to transfer - as I had the day off it was can early doors jobbie
Mon Apr 07 2014, 08:21am

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
Cleaned the DS4 on Saturday to de-Sahara it and was pleased to discover that apart from a small number of stone chips on the front the only other things to note were a tiny amount of kerb rash on the near side front (which I only just spotted, it's barely visible) and the leading edge of the rear spoiler appears to have been marked by something but as it's plastic and won't rust along with being barely visible I'll take that as a good sign of it's condition! The tyres had been oversprayed with black gunk so the wheels took a whole bucket of water to clean down but my word, the look amazing - the rest of the car was a joy to clean too.

I've also ordered the spare wheel from Duxford; the wheel, jack, cap removal tool come to £170 all together - I did debate a full size 16" spare but it would have meant a new insert and as I'm only planning to use this in an emergency (obviously!) then a space saver is fine, so that lot along with the 'comfort' mats arrives Thursday.

I'll also be getting a set of Thule Aero roof bars and a Kamei Dolphin roof box - it'll be empty on the way to France but full of the contents of the boot going in order to bring plenty of wine back; the £400 bill will pay for itself before we start using the combo for camping! Can't decide whether to go for a narrower longer box which will allow 2 bikes on the roof or shorter fatter one and accept we will need to get a tow bar at some point.

Also booked in the first service which in mid May will be at about 10,500 miles and 11 months in preparation for half term. Can't wait to schlep through France in it!

One minor annoyance that I've hoped to have solved - there has been a funny squeak coming from the passengers side of the cabin that I've struggled to nail - in delving around yesterday it seems the little storage tray under the passengers seat needs to be pressed down to locate itself firmly; I think it was this giving a slight 'chirk' over bigger bumps. I also sat in the back yesterday with FB junior whilst mrs FB and her mate gassed up-front; it's really comfortable in there, excellent visibility for both he and I too.
Mon Apr 07 2014, 08:40am

Member No: #82
Joined: Jan 22 2007
Location: Hoylake
I'm enjoying your comments, Chris.

The interior looks familiar with only a few differences from the C4. DAB as standard is good.

What's the rear headrooom like? The roof looks low, but that could be deceptive.

I've got 16" wheels which are softer than the 17" of my previous C4. It must be a bit harsh with the 18". I did a full size 16" steel spare which I had to fit while abroad in the evening. It was very reassuring to be able continue the journey at full speed until the following day when we could buy a new tyre.

And finally, how's mpg of 115 engine? I get good figures from my 92 but there are times when I seem to have to hammer it when with another 20 or so HP it'd be more relaxed and economical.
Mon Apr 07 2014, 09:00am

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
The rear headroom is excellent John - I'm 6'4" and there was an inch or so left, I think the rising window line gives the visual deception that the roofline is dropping where as I suspect it's not much lower, if at all, than the C4. Rear visibility is compromised over the C4 but it's decent enough and the parking sensors seem to be very reliable, I also only realised the other day that the sensor 'noise' comes from the speaker on the side of the obstruction which is very clever.

The ride is astounding to be honest - I'd say it is more composed than the Picasso and feels just as capable at dealing with imperfections too, it's way better than a myriad of Audi S-Lone courtesy cars I have had over the years; clearly it's not 'floaty' but to say I'm impressed is not an understatement - the tyres are 225/45 I think, the DSign on 17" wheels must be fantastic. I'm not too worried about the space saver, my A2 has one as did my two previous Fiat's, I'd prefer a full size spare but for the occasions I need it (hopefully) a space saver will be fine, I'd also assume getting a new Michelin in France won't cause an issue! The biggest problem will be where to put the 18" wheel that comes off...

Economy is difficult to say - I had mid 50's showing on the trip home from collecting it (72mph indicated on the cruise) but since the the car has done a combination of mrs FB commuting (2 miles...) and some trip out, I think it's showing 43.4mpg at the moment 170 miles into a tank (filled it up when I got home with it) so it feels a little better than the 16v engine in the Picasso on this front, but it might improve even further when Mrs FB no longer needs reminding she has another gear to go... It is pulling 1800rpm at 70 in top but will quite happily tool down to mid 50's without a change down to 5th, this new engine is a peach, Mrs FB drove a 2008 with the 92bhp HDi engine in it and she said it felt like the Picasso minus a bit of grunt when approaching the A1 slip road; this feels a world away, muscular and relaxed. I hope we get over 50mpg on a run which will suit me.
Mon Apr 07 2014, 09:23am

Member No: #82
Joined: Jan 22 2007
Location: Hoylake
Looking good!

I've had two punctures in France. The first was over 30 years ago in my 2CV, and a new tyre was fitted easily and quickly. The fitters did it manually of course, but then 2CVs were everywhere in those days.

The second one also occurred in France, but with a full size spare we were more relaxed about getting it replaced. We actually got it replaced in Spain the next day. Despite the Michelin signs outside the Spanish workshop, they only had Continentals in our size. It seems Spanish tyres regs don't permit tyres of different brands on the the same axle, so the Continental was put on the spare and the Michelin from the spare put on the alloy.

So our 3+ year old spare still has a brand new tyre on it!
Mon Apr 07 2014, 03:09pm

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
A trip to France in a 2CV - now that has appeal! They have a 2CV on wheeler dealers tonight.

I know the law of [%*^#@!] means we are bound to get a flat but at least with a space saver we can limp on; I know where the local Citroen dealer is where we are staying which should help! My colleague got a flat in his E90 320d on his way back to the channel tunnel on a Saturday afternoon in 2005; as it was shod with run flats the first he knew was the tyre pressure sensor going off, by the time he stopped the tyre was red hot - BMW offered to fly him and his wife home and have the car delivered but for medical reasons his wife can't fly so they paid for them to stay in a hotel until a tyre arrived on Monday morning and they could complete the journey - the only charge was the tyre.

I wouldn't be so lucky!

Tue Apr 08 2014, 04:15pm
Member No: #35056
Joined: Apr 08 2014
Location: Poland
Really nice:-)
Mon Apr 14 2014, 06:28am

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
Thanks twincam!

Space saver spare wheel has now been fitted as have the 'comfort' mats which are of decent quality but don't really follow all the contours of the floor terribly well.

Feels much better having a spare wheel now, and the next purchase is the roof bars and roof box. Just spent the weekend travelling up to Lincoln and spending some time there - seems that at normal cursing speed we will get low 50's mpg which is perfect for us, FB junior loves sitting in the back behind his mum and the tinted windows along with sunglasses mean he gets a decent view out too.

Quite liking the massage seats - I thought they'd be a gimmick but they are really rather nice.

Feels lovely having a proper car again as opposed to a bus - the Picasso was great for that need but this is just...wonderful...
Thu May 01 2014, 07:53am

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
A minor update:

I've discovered a fault but it seems this isn't just our car that's a problem - we have DAB (good news) but it seems the module for it is too close to the bluetooth module so the latter works a treat in the car but the person on the other end of the phone thinks you're ringing to tell them to send help as you're drowning in the bottom of a toiler; this fault only affects non My_way cars with factory DAB apparently. It still streams my music well and, to be honest, I'm not a fan of using the phone in the car so it's no hardship to me and I prefer DAB.

I've booked the car in with Duxford Citroen for it's first service just before the May half term schlep to French-France, it'll be 11 months and just under 11,000 miles so I'm happy with that as this will be an annual service from now-on; the cost of £180 isn't too bad and is a nice gentle price to take me away from the value servicing we've had for the past few years on the Picasso - the 2nd service is about £260 and the third one £220 so I can live with that; the dealership were, as always, great and pleased that we'd bought another Citroen and were still using them. I'll ask them to log the Bluetooth issue even if they can't sort it.

I discovered, on my own private runway, that at 130km/h we will just click into 2200rpm on the rev counter and economy seems to not drop beyond driving at an indicated 72mph although the roof box will have an effect. I've also discovered that there's no oil-level warning when you start the car, it seems this was removed from a number of PSA products in 2013 sometime, a pain but it does no harm to check under the bonnet regularly.

The roofbars and roofbox were a combined purchase from The Roof Box Company, Thule Aero Bars and a Kamei Delphin 380 - the Aero bars are a great piece of kit but Thule really do need to give you a single instruction manual (the bars, feet and conversion kit all have different instructions), it's easy to make a mistake when putting it altogether although, thankfully, it only wasted time rather than caused a problem. Anyway, they are good to go and I'll fit the whole pantecnican fully before going away.

Thankfully, we will not be too embarrased by having an empty roofbox on the way out as all our clobber will be in there so that we can protect the two wreaths we are laying in Normandy - with a huge sense of pride I'll be laying an RAF wreath at the memorial to 124 Wing which my Grandad was in on his (and our) behalf and also my Brother-in-Law is a Royal Engineer and a member of the D-Day and Normandy Fellowship and we'll be laying a wreath for them too at the British Graves in Bayeux.

I washed and gave the car a good polish the other day; it's a great shape and I'll never get tired of it; Mrs FB has managed to graze a kerb but it was right next to the small section already on there so it's not the end of the world but now she parks in a manner that means she eeds to get a taxi to the kerb. I don't care if people think silver is boring, I love it and the lines are really crisp - the front seems to be a fly-catcher like no other, there must have been a suicide pact on our way back from Lincolnshire the other week. One thing that does annoy me is I can't lift the wipers as the bonnet fouls them - yes there is a 'park' option but what's the point of cleaning your windscreen only for a pair of wipers to drag themselves down it, leaving rubber traces, instead I have to put a cloth on the wiper arms, push them against the bonnet and make the best of it.

Still love it though, a real pleasure to own and drive.
Mon Jun 09 2014, 02:55pm

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
Time for an update a couple of months in.

The service intervals on the 1.6HDi are 12 months or 12,500 miles but we decided to get this first service done before the annual schlep to French France; booked in and carried out efficiently as always by Duxford Citroen for £180 which I don't think is too bad at all to be honest - I also got a spare litre of oil provided which was £7 (Total Ineo), in-line with online retailers. Service at Duxford is excellent and they tried to get a random piece of external trim that has broken (near side at the bottom of the a-pillar) replaced under warranty as I can't see how we have damaged it but likewise it has clearly snapped, sadly nothing doing but I didn't expect it to be. Car was cleaned and ready by 1pm as requested (I dropped it off and collected as part of a meeting arranged in Bury St Edmunds). The service was done at 11 months and 10,700 miles.

So, just spent half term in Normandy, France - we bought a roofbox and roof bars combo for camping from the roof box company, the whole lot came to £400 which included a black Kamei Delphin box, Thule aero bars and the barely fathomnable instructions to put the Thule kit together - we didn't need the box for France but figured we'd put it on for bringing wine back.  We drove a total of 970 miles door to door including 9 days biffing around and averaged 42.7mpg; not bad with the roofbox on and I did notice on the way down dropping from a genuine 130km/h to an indicated 130km/h radically improved the mpg which would have been late 30's if I'd kept going as fast as legally possible. On the way back the car was notably heavier too.

It's a great cruiser doing 2000rpm at the French limit and perfectly happy to go up the Pont du Normandy's little sister bridge at 90km/h in 6th fully loaded, the engine isn't a 'great' but it is great, if you see what I mean. There is a clunking coming from the back near side which I've established is the seat back slightly loose in the stays so I might have a fiddle and, commonly with all DS4's that have Bluetooth and DAB fitted from the factory and a normal stereo people can't hear you talk but it streams music well. The dials are fantastic and I do like the ability to click from metric to imperial in a few taps. I love the auto lights and dipping mirror but the wipers seem to be controlled by a lashed-up elf somewhere, either coming on for no obvious reason or not sweeping quick enough when needed (then staying on a quick sweep when the rain eases).

The massage seats are hugely comfortable with no discomfort after extensive driving or sitting in the passengers seat; FB junior was as happy as they come in the back.  As always, enjoyed mixing it with the coaches and motor homes in the higher section of Le Tunnel on both trips doing it door to door in 7.5 hours (140 miles including Dartford on the uk, 230 miles in France). Dartford was great both times (for once).

We saw loads of them in Normandy, certainly more than current C4's, and loads of DS5's too.

The only one that mattered though;

Full to the brim

Old and new - for sale too, very tempting

Very much enjoying the car. Needed a wash when we got back, as the front is an epic fly catcher and having been washed at service they'd spread the tyre blackening stuff on with an elephant gun, the wheels were minging. The trim was posted to me (£18 inc. post, ouch).

In a few years we will be moving home - no bigger but outside space is a key requirement because I'm going to have a DS and 2CV to house!
Mon Jun 09 2014, 03:16pm
Member No: #574
Joined: Jul 08 2007
Location: Dorset
FrankBullitt wrote ...

A trip to France in a 2CV - now that has appeal! They have a 2CV on wheeler dealers tonight.

On our way home from the Jura a couple of weeks ago we saw a dozens of 2CVs of all types and conditions and nationalities in the St Dizier area. Must have been some huge meet, and looked great fun!
Mon Jun 09 2014, 03:30pm
Member No: #19835
Joined: May 18 2011
Location: Manchester
Enjoyed reading about the DS4. I do like the colour by the way!

I have a C4, about which I am trying to decide how much longer to run it for and what I'll replace it with. Wasn't sure about the DS as it's so similar inside, but I do like the look of them. It's just a bit tight on legroom and I assume yours is the same, as I'm 6'2" and my teenage lads are both 6' also!

I run 18's and find the ride is great, and I have averaged around 54 mpg over the time I've had the car, with 58 my best tankful. Mine is also 6 speed and I think it was easily worth the extra.
Go to page       >>   

Jump:     Back to top

User Colour Key:
Head Administrator, Administrator, Forum Moderator, Forum Moderator, Premier Member, Technical Expert, New C4 and DS4 Forum Moderators, Member