February 18, 2018


Fun in the sun:
Does the new stylish Citroën successfully combine the fun and usability of the DS3 DSport hatch with wind-in-the-hair motoring?

Citroën_DS3_ Cabrio_DSport_ THP_ 155_writeonmotoring_road_test_10Launched earlier this year, Citroën’s new DS3 Cabrio promises all the benefits of the sporty hatch combined with al-fresco motoring.

Thanks to a roll-back style roof system similar to Fiat’s 500C and first seen on the Classic Citroen 2CV, the new DS3 Cabrio retains the hatchback’s overall look, proportions and styling from the ‘floating’ two-tone roof and ‘shark fin’ B-pillar to the front-end with its distinctive chevron grille and LED lights.

At the rear, DS3 Cabrio boasts distinctive three light clusters, which comprise of a rectangular set of 31 LEDs with semi-reflecting mirrors that reflect the light into ‘infinity’. A 15-LED blade on the upper part of the light emphasises the 3D unit and acts as both side and brake lights. A chrome-finished DS logo, in an embossed black DS setting, is also incorporated into the design.

Other benefits of the roll-back roof include retention of the roof rails and rear pillars, meaning minimal extra strengthening was required to keep the chassis taught. Typical convertibles add around 100 kg of additional kerbweight to their hatchback counterpart, whereas here the extra payload is a mere 25 kg.

Citroën_DS3_ Cabrio_DSport_ THP_ 155_writeonmotoring_road_test_12DS3 Cabrio gets a choice of three Euro V petrol engines – VTi 82, VTi 120 and THP 155 as tested here, which emits 137g/km of CO2 and returns a claimed combined mpg of 47.9mpg. The VTi engines are mated with 5-speed manual gearboxes with the THP 155 using a 6-speed manual transmission.

In the cabin:

The DS3 Cabrio’s interior is largely identical to the hatchback, with funky fabrics, leather steering wheel and gear knob, glossy sections on the dashboard and colour-coded air vent surrounds, available in up to six different colours. There are new upholstery choices available, too, including Granite Blue leather. Overall there’s a feeling of quality, with only a few less prominent bits of trim lower in the dash letting the side down.

Citroën_DS3_ Cabrio_DSport_ THP_ 155_writeonmotoring_road_test_04This DSport spec car comes equipped with climate and parking sensors, cruise control,electric mirrors and windows, traction control, trip computer. There’s also USB and Bluetooth® connectivity.

The driving position, although slightly offset in typical French fashion, remains comfortable, thanks to supportive seats, and a fully adjustable grippy steering wheel.

Interior space is good for a cabrio and there’s full five seat accommodation. Rear headroom is a bit restricted for people over six-foot and although the boot remains an above average 245 litres – aperture access is small. Thankfully the folding rear seats increase the DS3 Cabrio’s luggage area.

On the road:

In the conversion from fixed roof to soft top, many cabrios suffer from dulled driving dynamics. This isn’t the case with the DS3 Cabrio which handles as sweetly as the hatch, with direct steering and a well-sorted ride and sporty exhaust note.

Peppy performance (0-62mph in 8.2 seconds, 132 mph top speed) is on offer from the 155 bhp 1.6 THP turbocharged motor. The ample 177 Ib ft of torque and linear power delivery means there’s plenty of oomph on tap to enjoy the capable chassis, without constantly having to constantly work the gearbox; although the Snicky precise 6-speed gearbox certainly isn’t a chore to use, being significantly better than the 5 speed box found in lesser C3s.

Accessing al-fresco motoring in the DS3 cabrio is a very quick affair (16 seconds to be precise) and you’re unlikely to find yourself getting caught in the rain with roof down, due to the car’s nifty knack of allowing roof raising up to speeds of 75mph! A retractable wind guard keeps buffeting under control up to lower motorway speeds, although as speed increases so does cabin wind buffeting, but only to moderate levels.

As with the Fiat 500C and Mini convertible; rear vision is blocked by the concertinaed hood material when fully lowered. However an easy solution is to simply raise the roof sufficiently to overcome this. Decent mirrors and standard-fit parking sensors also lend a hand when it comes to manoeuvring and parking.


Citroën DS3 Cabrio offers much of the pleasure of soft-top motoring, without the usual compromises in terms of space, functionality or economy. Factor in a sharp drive, stylish good looks and a plethora of styling personalisation options and you have a desirable and worthy rival for the MINI convertible.

Tech spec:

Citroën DS3 Cabrio DSport Plus THP 155
Max Power:
154bhp at 6000rpm
Max Torque:
177lb ft at 1400rpm
Top speed: 132 mph
8.2 seconds
CO2 emissions: (g/km)137



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