From £15,2157
The new soft-top Citroën DS3 delivers a surprisingly charming and enjoyable alternative to the likes of the Mini convertible

Our Verdict

DS 3 Prestige

Reworked supermini aims to take the fight to, among others, Mini

3 April 2013

What is it?

The Citroen DS3 Cabrio, with its full-length folding fabric roof, harks back to the days of the 2CV. Fortunately, for us, that’s about all that it has in common with the iconic but agricultural French fancy.

Externally, the DS3 features lots of neat styling touches, such as the eminently recognisable front LED lights, and the end result is a distinctive-looking car.

Push a button and the roof folds to one of three positions quickly and quietly; unlike other convertibles, the majority of the car’s structure remains, so it’s more refined and rigid.

What's it like?

Under the bonnet sits a 1.6-litre four-pot turbocharged petrol engine that whistles and pops its way to 154bhp and 177lb ft. It’s no slouch and suffers minimal lag, allowing the DS3 to surge along merrily without being unwieldy or overly aggressive.

With a kerb weight of 1250kg, the DS3 feels suitably light on its feet, aided by relatively precise steering and smooth controls. The ride is firm but not uncomfortable and the handling is composed and assured.

The DS3's comfortable interior is relatively unchanged from the hatchback, with myriad gloss trims and snug seats. Rear visibility and space isn’t great, but the stylish Citroen is moderately practical for a small cabriolet. 

Out on the road, with the roof closed, the cabin is quiet. Retract the top and the DS3's interior remains comfortable, although at motorway speeds both the noise level and buffeting increase considerably - but not to an unpleasant extent. 

Equipment levels on the DSport Plus model are good, with standard kit including climate control, cruise control, a speed limiter, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, electronic stability control, a trip computer, electric windows and a steering wheel that adjusts for both height and reach.

One particularly refreshing detail is the lack of any wheel-mounted controls, which are instead attached to the column on a separate stalk, leaving the steering wheel clean and uncluttered.

Should I buy one?

The DS3 Cabrio is a genuinely enjoyable overall package. That alone makes it worth considering alongside more established rivals like the Mini Convertible and Fiat 500C.

While it might lack the full-on convertible experience, due to its enclosed cabin, the Citroen's good refinement, practicality and ease of use easily compensate for that shortfall.

It shouldn't prove costly to run either. The 1.6-litre engine is efficient, the service intervals are 20,000 miles apart and a standard three year, 60,000-mile warranty should keep unexpected bills to a minimum.

Those seeking the most engaging drive, however, might want to consider the Mazda MX-5.

Lewis Kingston

Citroën DS3 Cabrio DSport Plus THP 155 

Price £21,145; 0-62mph 8.2sec; Top speed 132mph; Economy 47.9mpg; CO2 137g/km; Kerb weight 1250kg; Engine 4cyls, 1598cc, turbo, petrol; Power 154bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 177lb ft at 1400rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
14

3 April 2013

Citroens is back in the limelight and they have just got interesting again. The DS3 is far better value than the overhyped MINI.

3 April 2013

I would pass on a bit of power and get the Golf Cabriolet for the same price (0% APR too this quarter).

3 April 2013

How refined is it with roof up or down? Does it feel like a 'proper' convertible?

3 April 2013

@Chip35.

The Golf Convertible starts at £21,045 with the tiny 1.2TFSI and means you would also have to pass on a great deal of spec in comparison, unless you have oodles more cash to spend? Also, the Golf is rather bland when compared to a DS3, MINI or 500.  

3 April 2013

BenC30 wrote:

@Chip35.

The Golf Convertible starts at £21,045 with the tiny 1.2TFSI and means you would also have to pass on a great deal of spec in comparison, unless you have oodles more cash to spend? Also, the Golf is rather bland when compared to a DS3, MINI or 500.  

Not so much "rather" bland as "very bland"!

Ant

3 April 2013

I just don't buy this full length sunroof = convertible/cabrio thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estoril M135i Manual

Ant

3 April 2013

BenC30 wrote:

@Chip35.

The Golf Convertible starts at £21,045 with the tiny 1.2TFSI and means you would also have to pass on a great deal of spec in comparison, unless you have oodles more cash to spend? Also, the Golf is rather bland when compared to a DS3, MINI or 500.  

 

Unless paying outright in cash, the 0% finance on the VW Golf Cab would allow you to go higher up the range for the same payments, especially with the re-sale of the Golf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estoril M135i Manual

3 April 2013

@Ant. The problem comes with the Golf as a whole, regardless of resale value. I still wouldn't care if it came with 24 carat gold plated bodywork and it's own driver. Having driven both a Golf and an Audi, they feel bland, and I personally feel they lack soul. Also, they are just too commonplace and bland. There are three or four Golf owners in my road. I'm want my own fun, not keeping up with the Joneses!  

The DS3 is everything a Golf isn't and that is why I like it!

Ant

3 April 2013

BenC30 wrote:

@Ant. The problem comes with the Golf as a whole, regardless of resale value. I still wouldn't care if it came with 24 carat gold plated bodywork and it's own driver. Having driven both a Golf and an Audi, they feel bland, and I personally feel they lack soul. Also, they are just too commonplace and bland. There are three or four Golf owners in my road. I'm want my own fun, not keeping up with the Joneses!  

The DS3 is everything a Golf isn't and that is why I like it!

 

Fair enough, one persons character/soul is anothers tacky chintz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estoril M135i Manual

3 April 2013

@Ant. Indeed!

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