THOSE on the lookout for a plug-in hybrid with good looks, lively performance and excellent tech could do worse than consider the DS 4 Cross Rivoli E-Tense.

The vehicle is aimed at motorists who want an element of luxury - with the interior featuring refined materials and offering high levels of comfort.

The latest model brings greater efficiency, extra connectivity and added safety features when compared to its predecessors.

Meanwhile, a petrol-electric powertrain strikes a nice balance between performance and efficiency.

Dunfermline Press: DS

The 1.6 litre four-cylinder direct injection turbo petrol engine works in tandem with the 12.4 Kwh lithium ion battery for a total power output of 225hp.

The petrol engine kicks in unobtrusively, with smooth transition between the two power sources.

Acceleration from 0-60 mph can be achieved in 7.5 seconds and feels swift in real world driving conditions.

The official fuel economy figure is 232.2 to 183.8 mpg, although you’d need especially favourable driving conditions to come near that. More attainable is the claimed electric-only range of 38.5 miles.

It certainly pays to keep the battery topped up if you want to achieve the best fuel economy figures. Indeed, if you’re being a bit slack on the plugging in front, a message will flash up on the dash to tell you how many days it has been and how many trips you’ve made since your last charge.

Dunfermline Press: DS

Handling-wise, the DS 4 Cross has sharp steering, grips the road nicely and feels well-planted when cornering, with body roll well-controlled.

It’s also a good cruiser, offering a relaxing and smooth driving experience on the motorway.

In terms of ride quality, the suspension is cushioned enough for most situations, without going so far as to lose all sense of contact with the road.

Looks-wise, it has a dynamic appearance, with a confident front grille and bold creases across the bonnet and side panels, creating an athletic shape.

The light signature is distinctive and attractive, giving the front end extra intrigue. The daytime running lights flow downwards from the main headlights to create a jagged, tiered effect, almost looking like a concept car design.

Dunfermline Press: DS

The latest DS 4 interiors feature refined materials including Alcantara, forged carbon and wood, all incorporated via new upholstery techniques, with watchstrap leather, pearl stitching and hidden seams.

A full 10-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system is supported by over-the-air updates and features the IRIS personal assistant with natural voice recognition.

To make the system even more intuitive, DS Smart Touch provides a small, additional touchscreen located just below the central console with customisable shortcuts and handwriting recognition. It’s clever stuff, with a cabin packed full of gadgets.

Dunfermline Press: The DS 4 Cross Rivoli E-Tense had just had a soaking in a Yorkshire shower when these images were taken, with the sun poking through to create an eye-catching shine on the car’s sharp creases

There are some design flourishes that bring a smile to the face, including the uniquely-shaped and very stylish electric window controls.

At around £43,000, this high-spec hybrid version doesn’t come cheap – but it’s a very compelling package.

If you like the idea of a DS 4 Cross but don’t have quite that much to spend, conventionally-powered versions are priced from £28,330.

The Lowdown

DS 4 Cross Rivoli E-TENSE 225

PRICE: £43,245 on the road

ENGINE: 1.6 litre 4-cylinder, direct injection turbo

GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic

BATTERY: 12.4 Kwh lithium ion; 8 year, 100,000 mile guaranty

CLAIMED RANGE: 38.5 miles

ECONOMY: 232.2 to 183.8 mpg

PERFORMANCE: 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds and top speed of 145 mph

CO2: 27 g/km