Review: DS 4 E-Tense 225 Rivoli

April 21, 2022

But first about the DS brand

If we look back in the history of the French DS, we don’t really get any further than 2015. The DS car brand is not that old yet. That is because DS was previously part of Citroën, as a luxury brand, with the DS 3 as the first product under that label. With its playful and dynamic character, the compact car made life difficult for the MINI, its biggest competitor. Citroën later also released the DS 4 and DS 5 as ‘Citroën DS’, before DS became an independent brand . The focus of DS is now mainly on comfort and luxury. This is also the case with the DS 4 E-Tense that we drove.

Citroen DS 3

DS 4 E-Tense design

Design plays a clear role in the DS 4. We see in many designs of car brands that lines and frills are added just to spice up the design. With the DS 4 you get everything but that feeling. He just seems right . And yes, for some it may be over the top, but in our eyes it has become a very nice car, something different for once. Many people think so, because at the pump or when parking someone regularly asks what it is – and especially what it costs…

Firm at the price

As is often the case, this time our test car is loaded with options. They not only provide more comfort, but also extra safety. More about those safety systems later. Back to the price and just to get straight to the point: it costs something. The DS 4 E-Tense 225 is available from 42,150 euros. The car as we drove it costs – don’t be alarmed – 59,390 euros. So, now that that elephant in the room is gone, we can move on. How beautiful is it?

The interior of the DS 4; kind of Chesterfield sofa

The pronounced design of the exterior is extended to the interior. Clearly attention has been paid to this. Our test car is fitted with OPERA Criollo Brown leather seats. Very chic, but comes with an additional cost of more than 4,000 euros. It is striking that our test car has less than 8,000 kilometers on the counter, but you can already see that the seats have been sat on. But hey, Chesterfield sofas have that too. Nevertheless, the seats in the DS 4 are incredibly comfortable. Especially with the seat heating (or ventilation) and the massage function on.


For the rest, it is sometimes a matter of looking for the buttons, such as those for the window control or the climate control, where the symbols on the buttons actually have too little contrast to see them properly. It turns out to be a matter of getting used to, because after a while you find them blindly.

It is nice how the dashboard is not ‘polluted’ by ventilation grilles. These are neatly hidden between rows of control buttons. You operate the grilles with two levers that are incorporated in the control panel of the climate control. The cup holders are also hidden under a cover, which also provides access to the inductive charger for your smartphone, 12-volt connection and USB port.


The DS 4 is a great place to be in the front. In the back, the space is somewhat disappointing if you are on the road with five adults, but the space is fine for children. With a small 400 liters, the trunk is in line with the segment and offers space for four to five football bags and a net with four footballs. Saturday sports afternoon approved!

Connectivity in the DS 4

Personalizing the infotainment in the DS 4 E-Tense is a breeze and works intuitively, as is pairing your smartphone. Mirror Screen allows you to run both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Functionalities such as TomTom navigation and adjusting the massage chairs work well. Although you sometimes wish that the system was a fraction faster. Then you prevent that uncomfortable second time supplying input, because you doubt whether the system has observed the first time. So you just have to take it easy. Let’s just say it fits the character of DS.


The DS4 E-Tense 225 has a hybrid powertrain with a combined power of 225 hp. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine produces 180 hp and is assisted by a 110 hp electric motor with a battery capacity of 12.4 kWh. The DS4 is not a tear iron, but it is smooth. A sprint from zero to 100 takes 7.7 seconds and the top speed is 233 km/h. Purely electric you can get about 55 kilometers away and charging with a 7.4 kWh takes about two hours.

DS4 E-tense 225 Rivoli hybride

How does he drive?

After the first kilometers you notice that you don’t really hear much on board and how wonderfully quiet the DS is. There are hardly any driving noises, even at the extremely illegal speeds of 120/130 km/h on the highway in the Netherlands during the day. You can drive at that speed electrically, but then you will see the battery level drop rapidly. No, it’s better to save that power for the city. Incidentally, the noise is also limited when the DS 4 switches to petrol. Very neat.

The chassis is more than fine, handles thresholds and unevenness nicely, which contributes to a comfortable journey. The steering is pleasantly neutral. What is also very nice are the different driving modes: fully electric, hybrid, Sport and Comfort.

Not quite perfect?

Yet the feeling creeps in that it is a car with two faces. On the one hand, the DS wants to be the comfortable choice in its segment, where not everything revolves around speed. On the other hand, various parts do not cooperate with it. Take braking for example. When braking hard, these really work more than excellent, but dosed braking at a lower speed is a challenge. They bite quickly and are not easy to control. Perhaps a thing that only applies to this specific copy. A tip from us, take a rim size smaller. The 20-inch wheels under our DS 4 are beautiful and nicely fill the wheel arches, but they detract from the comfort.

Safety systems

We can be brief about the safety systems: they work excellently. Especially the semi-autonomous driving is admirable. The DS 4 is stable and does not suffer from ping-pong between the lines of the road. Something that even cars from higher segments can suffer from. The DS 4 also has Night Vision, which detects pedestrians and cyclists in the dark. Every now and then he sees a wheelie bin for a living object, but with these kinds of systems you’d rather see too much than too little. Furthermore, the DS 4 has blind spot detection, Vision 360 cameras, adaptive cruise control and the standard Matrix LED Vision headlights, which are top. With the light output, you can even read the far too small maximum speed on the hectometre posts in the dark, without dazzling oncoming traffic. The Matrix headlights and the LED lighting corners of the front also give a nice light show when you open the car!


The DS 4 E-tense 225 Rivoli is an excellent choice for the driver who wants to stand out and stand out from all the ‘normal’ that drives on the road. Driving in the DS 4 is mainly comfortable and with the hybrid powertrain also very economical. It has some imperfections here and there and it costs something, but a thumbs up and compliments are worth something, aren’t they?