Citroën’s DS3 is, much as it always was, a pleasing car to drive. The steering is precise and fluid, the control weights light, the brakes suitably strong and the ride – despite 17-inch alloys and sports suspension – tolerable, albeit a little harsh through potholes.
The new THP 165 engine retains the smooth, willing nature of its predecessor and still sounds suitably sporting, with a pleasing burble during hard acceleration – and an audible cycling of the dump valve when you lift off.
It’s a very tractable engine as well, pulling heartily from low speeds in second gear, and its newfound punch is notable.
There’s a lot to like inside, too. There’s plenty of space in the front, comfortable seats, a powerful heater and a proper clutch foot rest. The steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, and finding a suitable seating position is easy.
Generally the cabin feels well built and the materials are of an appealing and tactile nature, but the lower down you go, the more harsh plastics you'll find. Rear visibility can be limited, too, particularly with the folding roof partially down.
With the roof down, on the plus side, the cabin remains comfortable. Even at motorway speeds it’s easy to hold a conversation with your passengers and there's not much in the way of buffeting.
Roof up, a little more of the outside world works its way into the cabin than it would in the equivalent fixed-roof model, but not to an intolerable degree.
Those looking for a compact cabriolet that can happily seat four adults should probably look elsewhere, though. The DS3 can seat two in the rear, but they will probably not want to remain there for long. A Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet is definitely a better choice if you regularly carry four or more.
Somewhat optimistically, there’s actually seating for three in the rear, but that’s probably only best attempted if the occupants are happy to be intimate with each other.
You won't be left wanting on the equipment front, though. The DSport comes as standard with climate control, cruise control, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, automatic lights and wipers, rear parking sensors and xenon lights.
A new emergency low-speed city braking system also features, bolstering the car’s safety credentials. Myriad options are offered as well, ranging from trim upgrades to an integrated sat-nav system – although, as usual, a cheaper stand-alone system is probably a better choice here.