Test – DS 4 1.6 Puretech 225 (2022): too many versions?

Essai - DS 4 1.6 Puretech 225 (2022) : la version de trop ?


In a nutshell

The most powerful 100% thermal version

225 hp, 300 Nm, acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.9 s.

From € 45,400

We have already tried this second generation DS 4 long, wide and across. On the petrol models side, however, we still had to take control of the most powerful of the non-electrified versions: the 1.6 Puretech 225. It was this model that we had in our hands to dismantle in our spare time.

It is also almost a surprise that you will find it in the offer of this new compact of the French premium manufacturer. In fact, it already has a version with 225 horsepower. With the difference that it is an E-Tense, ie a plug-in hybrid version. So what’s the point of offering another version of the same performance? Simply so that you can see a (slightly) more affordable price. Without electrification, the DS 4 Puretech 225 actually sells for EUR 2,100 less than PHEV. However, the price difference, which is reduced to EUR 1,100, if we take into account the environmental bonus that E-Tense enjoys, is officially until July 1, 2022 (it is rumored that they will be extended).

But maybe this pure thermal has other benefits? Let’s look at it.

With a length of 4.40 m, the DS 4 II is a large compact. His profile is pleasantly balanced and stylish.
The stern is original, with a very fine pattern of lights, a narrow bezel and an impressive gable.  The Cross version has a protective ski.
The stern is original, with a very fine pattern of lights, a narrow bezel and an impressive gable. The Cross version has a protective ski.

By leaving the hybrid part of the PHEV version, this compact is getting rid of 234 kg, which some would consider superfluous. The reduction, which is felt (a bit) at the level of dynamic behavior, but is subtle. This could affect performance. Yes, with the same power and lighter, the Puretech 225 100% thermal should prove more efficient. But this forgets the torque of the PHEV electric motor (here 360 ​​Nm in combination against 300 Nm). And finally, it’s the hardest thing that is most effective. With 7.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h, it leaves the light thermal 2 tenths of a second behind (7.9 seconds).

In addition, in absolute terms, the performance of this DS 4 with 225 horsepower is significantly behind the competition. For example, the Mercedes A-Class 250 250 takes only 6.2 seconds and the Audi A3 40 TFSI only 190 seconds. So this puretech is very lazy!

Steering wheel in hand, this DS 4 seems to lack horsepower.  But it is very comfortable and well soundproofed.  Traveling on board is a pleasure.
Steering wheel in hand, this DS 4 seems to lack horsepower. But it is very comfortable and well soundproofed. Traveling on board is a pleasure.

And it’s like flying in your hand. The accelerations are very gentle compared to the power and the 225 horses are rather small ponies, some of which escaped the paddock! And it’s not a mistake of the EAT8 box, which does its job properly. It is relatively fast in up and down shifting. He has a short reaction time when taking off in first gear, but nothing wrong. And in sports mode, which has the good taste of not being cartoon, it gains in sensitivity, while tightening the direction and a more sensitive accelerator. But nothing can be done, in the medium range 1.6 it lacks penetration and also lacks a bit of extra time.

To be clear, this version is not undersized and we will get out of all situations (overtaking trucks, motorway entrances) without any worries. But the comparison is rough with competitors who seem to have wings next to it. Even more surprising is that version 1.6 of the Puretech 180, also 100% thermal, offers almost the same performance, 45 hp less (from 0 to 100 km / h in 8 s), damage and € 2,600 less.

With this Puretech 225 k, we used 7.5 liters / 100 km in diameter.  This is very correct.
With this Puretech 225 k, we used 7.5 liters / 100 km in diameter. This is very correct.

It is therefore difficult to understand the reason for this power variant, when 180 hp also (losing only 5 km / h in v-max, 230 km / h against 235), or when PHEV is more powerful in consumption. much less, at least on paper.

This Puretech announces in the WLTP cycle 6.6 liters on the mixed route for 149 grams of CO2 per kilometer. PHEV is 1.3 liters and 30 grams. In reality and over 500 km of varied routes, we obtained 7.5 liters of the actual average calculated on the pump. Absolutely the right figure for power. However, even with a flat battery, the PHEV version can handle 6 liters, which allows it to compensate for its additional costs (including a bonus of EUR 1,100) for approximately 37,000 km.

So what’s left for this 225 horsepower? You won’t understand much. Possible mechanical simplicity, which can reduce potential reliability problems. But electrification is rarely a problem.

In short, far from us to fire red balls at this engine. Just a real misunderstanding in relation to its placement in the range and its usefulness, because it does not provide higher performance or greater pleasure. So why pay more?

Very real quality

But let’s get out of these mechanical considerations to go back to the DS 4 itself. A car that demonstrates remarkable comfort and this version like the others. Suspensions are well calibrated to offer remarkable softness. Only those joints or potholes will bring some shocks, probably due to the 19-inch rims (which are surprisingly worn in very narrow 205/55/19 tires, to the benefit of consumption security).

Our version of the Cross Rivoli is equipped with a “DS Active Scan suspension”, which adjusts their level of rigidity according to what the front camera observed on the road in front of the car. Equipment that only works in “comfort” mode selector mode.

The soundproofing is also excellent and you travel in complete peace even at German motorway speeds. The air sounds are also well filtered, it’s very nice.

Steering and braking require no criticism. The former hardens fast enough, the latter is powerful and easy to dose. Easier than the PHEV version. In fact, there is no regenerative braking that can be handled.

Premium atmosphere

On board the DS 4, we emphasize again, it offers a particularly pleasant atmosphere, modern and classic design and very good quality workmanship. Equipped with the internal Criollo Brown Opera package, it offers excellent quality materials with elongated leather, real wood and aluminum. Here, this car easily meets the premium standards applicable to Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Ergonomics are improved compared to other models in this series, but it remains a bit strange. In any case, the large 10.3-inch multimedia screen is responsive and user-friendly.

The atmosphere on board is perfectly premium, whether in terms of design, quality of workmanship and materials, or equipment.
The atmosphere on board is perfectly premium, whether in terms of design, quality of workmanship and materials, or equipment.

At the back, the passenger compartment is comfortable but measured. The legroom is average and higher will be close to the ceiling. Ransom for a very collected style. Nevertheless, the considerable length (4.40 m) allows you to have a spacious trunk (430 liters compared to 390 liters for the PHEV version and, for example, 345 liters for the Mercedes A-Class or 380 liters for the A3). On the other hand, the threshold is very high and it is necessary to cross a large step to get the luggage out.

The 430 liter suitcase is spacious, but its threshold is high.
The 430 liter suitcase is spacious, but its threshold is high.
The rear seats are comfortable, but lack some space for the knees and head.
The rear seats are comfortable, but lack some space for the knees and head.

Finally, in terms of equipment, our EUR 6,000 toll version of the Cross Rivoli is full, for example: head-up display with extended color display, LED matrix lights, dual-zone air conditioning, acoustic windscreen, rear traffic detection, driving assistant lane, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, etc. More details by scrolling down the menus on the device page.

As you will probably understand, this DS 4 Puretech 225 is not a bad car, nor is it by far. It’s probably probably the best DS has ever done, but the relevance of this particular version seems to be missing.



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