Saturday, 27 November 2021 - About Torquingpoint | Advertise | Rss

Form over Function: the Citroen DS4

Quirky design or Gallic design disaster?

Here at TorquingPoint, we love great design. Be it from an Italian supercar manufacturer or a Korean citybox maker, good design always appeals. But similarly, bad design really really grates.

And that is the reason for these new articles entitled: Form over Function. Sometimes you spot something on a car that makes you stop and think “Were the designers taking LSD when they did that?” - like the whole of the new Lexus IS. And one such design snafu is this week’s subject – the Citroen DS4.

Generally we’ll excuse the French some pretty weird and crazy design details – it’s one of their signatures. See the Citroen C6’s convex rear window or the digital dashboards used in pretty much every French city car since the 1980s. But then you notice something so ridiculous, so absurdly designed that it must be pointed and laughed at. In this case, it’s the Citroen DS4’s rear door window.

When converting the C4 into the DS4, Citroen jacked up the suspension, pumped up the wheelarches and gave it a sleek, coupe-like roof profile. With the swollen rear haunches and low roofline there wasn’t much room for the windows so they were thin and long, at the rear extending into the hidden rear door handle – a design detail stolen from a late 90’s Alfa Romeo.

But when this rear door was designed, with the sweeping glass and tightly curved lines around the rear wheelarch they forgot one thing. Take a look at the image below and see if you can figure it out:


Yes, that’s right. This 5dr hatchback has rear windows that DON’T OPEN. Worry not, your eyesight isn’t playing tricks on you, you did read that correctly. Citroen thought it would be absolutely fine to offer a 5dr, 5 seat family car that has fixed rear windows. Utterly baffling...

It would have been quite easy to tweak the design to allow the rear window to at least drop a few inches, but nope – deep in the design HQ of Citroen someone signed off a design that doesn’t allow the rear windows to open. We would expect this of a low budget Indian or Chinese box, but the DS4 is supposed to be a ‘premium’ model, a cut above the normal Citroen range.

So Citroen, please don’t stop making quirky designs, but for the love of Ikea, please don’t do anything this stupid again…

Images courtesy of Citroen

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more