Fun in the sun

Premium sub-brand of Citroën – DS Automobiles – this year refreshed its popular DS3 and DS3 Cabrio range – the latter promising all the appeal of the sporty hatch combined with the option of al-fresco motoring.

Thanks to a roll-back style roof akin to the Fiat 500C, the new DS3 Cabrio retains the hatchback’s inherent structural rigidity and looks, from the ‘floating’ two-tone roof and ‘shark fin’ B-pillar, to the front-end with its distinctive chevron grille and LED lights.

Inside there’s funky fabrics, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, glossy sections on the dashboard and colour-coded air vent surrounds - available in up to six different colours.

The New DS 3 and DS 3 Cabrio line-up now consists of three core trim levels; Chic, Elegance and Prestige. With enhanced standard equipment and new avant-garde design features, the DS 3 Cabrio model is available from £16,295 MRRP OTR.

Standard kit on this Ultra Prestige 165 THP model includes: climate and parking sensors, cruise control, electric mirrors and windows, electronic traction control, trip computer and fully adjustable steering wheel. The integrated satellite navigation system, eMyWay, features a high-resolution 7-inch colour widescreen, Europe-wide navigation and Bluetooth® and USB connectivity.

There’s full five seat accommodation, and plenty of space up front, although rear headroom is a bit tight for people over six-foot. The boot boasts a 245 litre capacity, but aperture access is restricted - however the rear seats do fold flat to extend carrying capacity.

Apart from a few rattles and squeaks on rougher roads surfaces, this cabrio drives as tightly as its tin-top counterpart. Handling characteristics are the same as the hatch; namely sharp handling, responsive controls and a pliant ride.

The 163 PS 1.6 litre turbocharged motor musters 240Nm of torque from 1750 rpm, endowing this DS3 cabrio with plenty of oomph (0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, 135 mph top speed). It’s efficient too, emitting 129g/km of CO2  and returning a claimed combined economy figure of 50.4mpg.

A rorty exhaust note can be enjoyed all the more with roof lowered as well, which can be done in 16 seconds and up to speed of 75 mph … a neat party trick. Thanks to a retractable wind guard, buffeting is kept under control up to motorway speeds.

As with the Fiat 500C and Mini convertible; rear vision is blocked by the concertinaed roof material when fully lowered. Thankfully decent mirrors and standard-fit parking sensors lend a hand when it comes to manoeuvring.


The DS Automobiles DS3 Ultra Prestige THP 165 Cabrio is as much fun to drive as the hatch and although not a true all-out convertible, manages to offer much of the pleasure of soft-top motoring with minimal compromises in terms of space, functionality and refinement.

Tech spec:

DS Automobiles DS3 Cabrio THP 165 S&S 6-speed man Ultra Prestige
OTR PRICE: £23,095
Max Power: 163 PS at 6000rpm
Max Torque: 240 Nm at 1750rpm
Top speed: 135 mph
0-62mph 7.6 seconds
CO2 emissions: (g/km)129
Economy: Combined mpg 50.4