The French have a reputation for being very stylish and no doubt they have been able to appreciate the stylish range of DS cars since the brand was launched at the Paris Motor Show in 1955.

DS models have transported French presidents since the sixties when Charles De Gaulle credited one with saving his life.

The DS range was brought back to Ireland in 2010 and while only a few models have been on sale here since then, there is no denying that the luxury brand has failed to make a serious impact on the Irish car sales chart.

But it’s a long road that has no turning and there could be a change on the way. DS is a sub-section of Citroen, who are now part of the expanding Gowan group.

In the past you would rarely see an ad for a DS or a Fiat car, but now that both brands are part of Gowan group, you can expect to see billboard and media ads for both cars. There is an old saying that 50% of all advertising is wasted, but nobody knows which fifty.

Des Cannon the MD of DS in Ireland says they are going to work hard at marketing the brand and getting Irish drivers, young and not young, to learn more about the brand. He said: “We want to be different and creative.”

The DS4 is already an award winner, having won the title of ‘The Most Beautiful Car of 2022’ at the 37th Festival Automobile in Paris last year.

I drove the new DS at its Irish launch last September and last week I got to drive the Performance+ version and my Pearl Velvet Red test car certainly got some admiring glances. The door handles are like an electric car in that they pop out once you turn off the alarm.

The DS4 is classy looking motor on the outside and the stylish touches are continued in the cabin, where grey is the dominant colour. The infotainment screen is neat and user friendly.

In most of the DS cars the buttons to open the windows are located near where the gear lever used to be. But in the DS4 the buttons to open the windows are high up on the doors. Plenty of space for five well-built adults, a decent boot, but no spare wheel is supplied. Road tax is €270.

Can DS compete in the luxury brand with the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz? It’s a big ask, but it looks like Gowan are going to make a real effort to promote the brand.

The DS4 is available in five trims: Bastille+, Performance Line, Trocadero, Performance Line+ and top of the range Rivoli. A fully electric model is expected to be available in Ireland early in 2024.

Prices for the Bastille version start at €39,390 while my automatic 1.6-litre Performance Line+ petrol mild hybrid version with a plethora of extras, will cost you €54,540. I really liked it and thought the mild hybrid engine was frugal.

The pictures you see here of the DS were taken by a professional photographer;  there was little point of me taking a few pics on my mobile phone of the red model I drove, but believe me it was a beautiful shade of red.

There is new DS store/garage on the Navan Road in Dublin, the entrance is off the Ashtown Road near the Halfway House pub.