If you fancy a chat while driving alone in the DS 4, help is now close at hand.

The French car maker has integrated ChatGPT into a number of its models in a pilot project designed to broaden the capability of its Iris voice control suite.

ChatGPT – an artificial intelligence programme that responds to request-based prompts, mimicking the conversational style of humans – has been hitting the headlines for the last year or so, but putting it in a car is a new idea.

Denbighshire Free Press: Chat GPT is a feature of the latest DS 4

DS says the tech represents ‘a revolution in the automotive world’ - but how does it work in reality?

Well, you might want to think of it in terms of your digital assistant.

It can do the fun stuff, such as playing a game of I spy against you or giving you a quiz if you’re bored on a long journey.

But it can do the serious stuff too, such as providing the answer to questions that you might once have had to pull over to look up.

It’ll also translate from one language to another and can summarise the context of emails and messages, which can be useful if you need to stay in the loop with work while driving.

It can even pick up on sentiment while analysing text, adding to its human-mimicking characteristics.

Denbighshire Free Press: The DS 4 E-Tense is seen in chilly but bright West Yorkshire conditions during this week’s cold snap

ChatGPT can link up with your GPS, meaning the answers it provides are relevant to your geographical location. For example, you might see a set of floodlights up ahead and ask ‘whose sports stadium is that?’ - and have a decent chance of getting the right answer. Equally, it’ll give you some background info if you’re passing a local landmark or historic building, all in a chatty style of a travel companion.

It’s clever stuff and I couldn’t help but be impressed during my week in its company.

So what else is notable about the DS 4 E-Tense?

With its premium looks, high level of comfort and ease of driving, it’s an appealing all-round package.

Denbighshire Free Press: The DS 4 E-Tense

With the 225hp plug-in hybrid power unit, tested here, it offers low emissions and reduced fuel consumption, along with satisfying performance.

The front-wheel drive PHEV is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor, delivering a total of 222bhp. The12.4kWh battery gives an all-electric range of 38.5 miles and a top speed of 83mph in e-mode, meaning you can complete many journeys - including an average commute to work - without the combustion engine kicking in.

When it does chime in, the engine sound is arguably a little on the noisy side, especially under heavy acceleration, but it otherwise combines well with the electric motor.

It’s a practical and smooth-driving hatchback that’s easy to live with, but it’s really important to be disciplined in keeping the battery topped up to get the best results.

The handling is sharp enough to appeal to keen drivers and it feels well planted in the corners.

The suspension provides a decent balance between comfort and solidity when progressing along the B-roads.

Denbighshire Free Press: The DS 4 E-Tense

DS is part of the Stellantis family of automotive brands, so the DS 4 shares its underpinnings with the Citroen C5 X, Peugeot 308 and latest Vauxhall Astra.

It’s a good-looking machine, with strong lines and a stylish nose. Indeed, a few members of the public remarked on the 4’s appealing appearance during my week in its company.

Once inside, standard equipment is generous, with all models featuring a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen and a seven-inch digital driver’s display, while options include an upgraded head-up display.

DS 4 Opera E-TENSE 225

ENGINE: Hybrid, with 1598CC petrol paired with electric motor

POWER: 225ps

0 TO 62MPH: 7.7secs


CO2 emissions from 27g/km

On-The-Road Price £48,250

TRANSMISSION: Eight speed auto with front wheel drive