There’s a lot of speculation as to what will happen to the Chrysler brand now that the Stellantis merger is complete. The brand is down to almost no models which, you know, doesn’t keep you in business for very long. But there is a wave of new models chugging out from the French side of the merger. One that just landed is the 2021 DS 4 crossover. Could this be rebranded as a Chrysler to save the brand?
The Chrysler brand used to mean affordable luxury
Slightly longer and wider than a Ford Focus, it is not “big” like a traditional Chrysler. The Chrysler brand used to mean affordable luxury like a Mercury or Buick. Now, it is hard to determine what the public’s perception is of Chrysler. So maybe the DS 4 would be a great start to help revive Chrysler and spotlight a brand that has wallowed in obscurity for a long time?
DS was spun off from Citroen in 2015. It is meant to be more of a luxury brand than the bread-and-butter Citroen. So far, that’s exactly what Chrysler needs. The front end styling is similar to the larger DS 7 Crossback, which is a good thing. Continuity to help identify what a Chrysler is would go a long way to reviving the marque.
The DS 20-inch wheels and pop-out door handles say “premium”
Those 20-inch wheels and pop-out door handles say “premium.” You know by looking it is not in RAV4 or CR-V territory-not that those are bad crossovers. The DS 4 gives the impression it is a couple of notches above.
There are two other versions that give some meat to the line; the DS4 Cross and DS 4 Performance. The Cross adds more rugged cues with black accents and unique wheels. It also gets the traction control system that gives drivers three modes; snow, mud, and sand modes.
Curiously, the Performance version doesn’t have better numbers but does feature black accents around the windows and unique grille and rear lights. If this were to become a Chrysler a bit more horsepower and possibly tighter suspension would be nice additions for the Performance model.
The DS interior features three digital displays
The interior features three digital displays. There is an instrument cluster ahead of the driver, a 10-inch nav screen, and a five-inch center console display that is used to operate the nav screen and media. There are only a handful of actual buttons inside.
Beyond the three screens, there is a head-up display with some trick features. Navigation instructions look like they are placed onto the surface of the road rather than just projected onto the windshield. Other than the vents to the extreme sides of the dash the remaining circulation is hidden behind some trim and can’t be seen.
A hybrid version of the DS is available
Though not offering a fully electric model a hybrid version is available. This is made up of a 1.6-liter gas engine and one electric motor. Horsepower is rated at 223 hp with an all-electric range of over 30 miles. Besides the hybrid, there are both three- and four-cylinder options in both gas and diesel versions. The only transmission option is an eight-speed automatic.
Lots of safety tech is also part of the DS package including adaptive cruise control, DS Night Vision, and DS Active Scan Suspension. This monitors the road to instantly change suspension settings to handle the coming road conditions.
While we have no inside info to indicate Stellantis is considering the DS model range as the new Chrysler brand, it has our vote for helping to define and invigorate the legendary marque.