Motoring review: Citroën DS3 Cabrio
Roll out the barrel for this roll-roofed French beauty.
Price: from £15,045 (£19,680 as tested) Engine capacity: 1.6-litre petrol
Power output (bhp @ rpm): 155 @ 6,000
Top speed (mph): 132
0-62 mph (seconds): 8.2
Fuel economy (mpg): 47.9 CO2 emissions (g/km): 137
There are a couple of schools of thought as to the best use for a convertible. Is it zipping around the city attracting envious glances as your hair balloons to double its normal volume? Or is it ballooning through the countryside getting smacked in the face with mayflies, but able to take in the fresh air?
There's no contest if you're like me and sick of the city fumes. So, as soon as the DS3 Cabrio – Citroën's 2013 soft-top re-up of its popular 2010 DS3 supermini – arrived outside my house, I turned its dinky, sporty wheel towards the coast.
Obviously, this was Britain in May, so I spent most of the week with the DS3's hood up. But the thought was there. And the DS3 Cabrio is certainly fun enough to take for a roll on the country roads with its hat on, regardless.
The DS3 won plaudits for its sporty, two-toned looks. The Cabrio, which launched this spring for the summer months, improves it if anything. It's still not quite the wonder that its name hints at (déesse is French for goddess) but there's something alluring about its sporty grill and road-hugging backside.
I tested the 1.6-litre, six-speed DS3 from the top end of the new Cabrio range, and found it hit the right parts of the road in town and, especially, the country. It's agile enough to handle the narrow bends at fair speeds – nipping, tucking, ducking and diving around corners like Wiggo on a training run. It's fine on the highway, too, the THP 155 version I tested makes the most of a six-speed gearbox and its good fuel economy make it a useful mini-cruiser.
Its interior helps, too. Despite an arm rest that got in the way of the handbrake, it's a comfy drive. The small wheel gives the driver plenty of clambering-in room, while the controls are intuitive and the trip-computer/entertainment unit take only a few minutes play to get up to speed.
Whether it's worth the extra £2,625 for the Cabrio version might depend on whereabouts in the country you live (I wouldn't bother in Manchester or Belfast, put it that way).
Flaw-wise, it's a minor shame that the frame of the DS3 dictates that this soft-top is only a folding roof rather than fully retractable – it folds back above the rear seats and the rear columns remain. It's more a retractable ceiling than a roof. That's not a dealbreaker by any means, though. First, there's the fact that you're well hidden from the wind with this easy-to-use button-powered device and secondly, there's the notoriously unreliable British weather to contend with.
There are a couple of other minor quibbles. The DS3's trunk is not quite as small as it looks, but a tiny entrance hole means you may end up having to physically shove larger bags into the boot – even if it is a decent size on the inside (245l).
On the other hand, the boot cover pleasingly rises vertically up, which is great for tight supermarket parking spaces. Also, sizewise, the backseats are roomy, enough to justify Citroën's boast that it's the "only genuine five-seater in its class". I managed to fit five adults in with relative ease. It's no family all-rounder by any means, but as a fun knockabout for two it's great competition for its rival in class – the Mini and Fiat 500 convertibles.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
A very timely Great Train Robbery and a frantic 24 Hours in A&E among the highlights
scienceThe new development in bio-printing technology could be used in the future to restore lost vision - though years of research still await
Geoffrey Macnab: The Wolf of Wall Street's account of white-collar excess is A Rake’s Progress on steroids
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Life & Style blogs
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Last orders looming for Trappist beers as Belgium's band of brotherly brewers dies off
Breakthrough in quantum computing smashes previous records
Facebook 'self-censorship': study records when you don't post to find more ways to share
Vitamin pills are a waste of money, offer no health benefits and could be harmful - study
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 Facebook 'self-censorship': study records when you don't post to find more ways to share
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 ‘Why we don't have snow in Saudi Arabia’: Video captures winter fun as Middle East hit with rare blizzard
- 4 Vitamin pills are a waste of money, offer no health benefits and could be harmful - study
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
£25000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Email Campaign Exe...
£100 - £125 per day + Negotiable on role: Randstad Education London: Are you f...
£21000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A full time teacher job a...
£125 - £135 per day + Long Term Roles are negotiable: Randstad Education Londo...