Road test: Citroen DS3 Cabriolet
THE Citroen DS3 Cabrio isn't exactly rocket science. In fact, some might accuse it of being slightly lazy car design; that it's a half-baked attempt at making an open-topped car.
They would be missing the point though. This is the sort of car that many buyers in this country want and here's why. We don't get to drop the tops too often in a country where it can rain for 200 days in a year. Therefore it doesn't really make much sense lugging around a 200kg folding hard top roof for the rest of the time.
The DS3 Cabrio represents an elegant solution that retains most of the character and style of the hatchback model it's based on.
Perhaps calling this car a cabrio is going a bit far. If we were being entirely truthful, it's a DS3 with a giant fabric sunroof that slides back into a rather ungainly concertina. Still, what it lacks in engineering boldness it makes up for in ease of use and even a degree of practicality.
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Compared to a MINI convertible, you get twice as much boot space (245-litres). The roof is easy enough to use. Just prod a button by the rear-view mirror and it'll do its thing at speeds of up to 75mph.
That's because it just runs back in its tracks without folding like a conventional soft top. A second press of the same button will send the roof right back over the rear seats.
If you're really intent on getting the full al fresco experience, it might disappoint a little. There are still door pillars to look past. If you're okay with that and just want to feel the sun once in a while without the wobbly body or lumpen styling of most small cabriolets, this one could be a winner.
I'd back the DS3 Cabrio to be one of the outside successes of this year.