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Citroen DS4 to open at $36k

DS-fwoar: Sleek new DS4 is the first of three all-new Citroen models to arrive this year.

DS4 now on sale, but new small premium crossover will be Citroen's slowest seller

20 Feb 2012

CITROEN will release three versions of its all-new DS4 on March 1, priced from $35,990 plus on-road costs, but expects to sell just 200 examples in Australia this year.

That will make the small premium crossover Citroen’s slowest-selling model in 2012, a year in which it will launch the larger DS5 by mid-year, the Mitsubishi ASX-based C4 Aircross in the third quarter and hybrid version of the DS5 around year’s end.

Naturally, Citroen’s second DS model - essentially a high-riding crossover version of Citroen’s redesigned C4 small hatchback - will play a more important role as an ambassador for the French brand rather than boosting total sales.

Launched here last October and expected to be the brand’s top-selling model with 790 sales this year, the new C4 will attract the lion’s share of an expected 2500 Citroen sales in Australia this year – well down on the 3000 sales forecast for 2011, when just 1415 cars were sold (down 11.7 per cent from the 1603 sold in 2010).

Australian Citroen distributor Ateco Automotive expects the C4 to be followed in terms of popularity by the mid-size C5 (425 sales) - entry pricing for which was slashed to the same $35,990 courtesy of a new 1.6-litre turbo-petrol variant earlier this month - and the smaller DS3 three-door (325 sales), the starting price of which was axed by $6000 to $26,990 earlier this month.

Ateco also expects the DS4 to be outsold this year by the light-sized C3 five-door (300 sales), the Berlingo van (240) and even the C4 Picasso people-mover (200), pricing for which was also trimmed to $37,990 for the sole (now 120kW) diesel version last month.

The entry-level DS4 DStyle Turbo Petrol, powered by a 115kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine matched as standard with a six-speed EGS transmission as standard, to attract some 75 per cent of sales.

The DS4 line-up is completed by the e-HDI Turbo Diesel, which also comes standard with an EGS gearbox and is priced $1000 higher from $36,990, and the range-topping DS4 DSport (from $39,990), powered by a 147kW turbo-petrol four and expected to account for just 10 per cent of sales because it will be manual-only.

Citroen says the DS4 represents a new class of car that combines the style of coupe, the space and convenience of a tall-bodied car, the practicality of a five-door and the style, equipment and features of Citroen’s premium DS car range.

It says that along with the five-door C4 hatch, the seven-seat C4 Picasso and the upcoming all-wheel drive C4 Aircross, the premium DS4 brings to four the number of models offered by Citroen in Australia’s largest single sales segment.

“The Citroen DS4 is a new type of crossover car,” said the general manager of Citroen in Australia, Miles Williams.

“Until now, the crossover term has been used to describe cars that sit between a four-wheel drive and a normal car. The DS4 is a crossover between different types of cars, bringing the benefits of each car type and eliminating the negatives to produce a new style of car.”

Uniquely positioned at the lower end of the premium medium car segment, Citroen says the DS4 will attract a range of new customers in the market for everything from three-door coupes like the VW Scirocco or Megane Coupe, three- and five-door hatchbacks like the VW Golf and Honda Civic, small crossovers like the Nissan Dualis and Mini Countryman, and premium small hatches like the Alfa Giulietta, Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

“These customers want a vehicle to reflect their strength of character and their individuality, to be both luxuriously comfortable and to deliver a dynamic driving experience,” said Mr Williams. “They are pleasure seekers, looking for a car that offers them a sense of status. With its bold and elegant styling, multi-talented versatility and dynamic ride experience, the DS4 is the car for them.”

Citroen says there is room for five adults in the DS4, which measures 4275mm long, 1810mm wide, 1533mm high and rides on a 2612mm wheelbase. There is 359 litres of cargo space and petrol models offer an extra 8mm of ground clearance, at 172mm.

Citroen says the DS4 comes with “meticulous sound-proofing, which is comparable to models in the segment above”, while models fitted with an EGS transmission are available with a raised centre console featuring a cooled, illuminated and lidded compartment that holds up to four 500ml bottles and houses a connectivity area with a USB port and a 12-volt socket.

Premium features include the ability to personalise the onboard ambience with a range of polyphonic sound themes, while the colour of the dials and instrument cluster can also be changed. A rechargeable torch is also part of the premium package.

Behind the extra-large panoramic windscreen there are massaging front seats with electric lumbar adjustment, while gas-discharge headlights with cornering lamps are also available.

The top-spec DSport version adds drilled aluminium pedals, embossed door-handles and a choice of two leather trim combinations.

Standard safety equipment in all three versions of the DS4, which has been awarded a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, extends to six airbags, ESP electronic stability control, ‘intelligent’ traction control, ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist, cruise control with speed-limiter and Citroen’s new blind-spot monitoring system.

All three DS4 engines are Euro 5 emissions-compliant, and Ateco has also received Australian Design Rule Approval for entry-level 88kW naturally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol and 120kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine variants, should the need arise.

The 115kW and 147kW 1.6-litre turbo-petrol models will be available immediately, with the 82kW 1.6-litre e-HDI – with standard idle-stop function – arriving in May.

Flagship 147kW THP petrol models sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 8.5 seconds and a 235km/h top speed, while being able to return combined fuel consumption of 6.4L/100km and CO2 emissions of 149g/km.

The DS4 e-HDi lowers the model’s official CO2 emissions to just 114g/km, while offering a combined fuel consumption figure of just 4.4L/100km.

Citroen DS4 pricing (plus on-road costs):
DS4 DStyle 115kW 1.6 Turbo Petrol (a)$35,990
DS4 DStyle 82kW 1.6 e-HDI Turbo Diesel (a)$36,990
DS4 DSport 147kW 1.6 Turbo Petrol$39,990

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