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Citroen DS3 Cabrio: Test Drive Review

Date: 11 April 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Category: Supermini
P11D price: £19,500
Key rival: Mini?Convertible
On sale: March 2013

Citroen reckons the DS3 Cabrio has the edge over rivals such as the Mini Convertible due to its ability to seat five and open and close its electronic fabric roof at up to 75mph, whereas your average powered convertible or folding hard-top will usually operate at no more than around 30mph.

The French firm also says the car has the biggest boot of its competitors at 245 litres - 40 litres shy of the conventional DS3 hatchback.

The roof itself is easy to operate - a single touch of a button is all that's needed to roll it most of the way back. Prodding the button again closes it, save for a small, sunroof-style gap at the front, which requires the driver to keep the button held down for a few seconds to shut it completely. Standard issue parking sensors make up for poor rear visibility when the roof is down.

On the road, the steering is light and refinement is reasonable given that it's a convertible. There is a little road noise and the ride is on the rough side, but that's to be expected for this type of car. The 1.6 THP Dsport model tested here is the most powerful of the range and backs that up with sprightly performance and a raspy exhaust note, but 47.9mpg and 139g/km from a small petrol-engined car aren't much to write home about. It's expected to be overshadowed on the sales charts by the mid-spec VTi 120 Dstyle, which is barely any cleaner with 138g/km and an identical 47.9mpg, but is cheaper at £17,250. The entry-level 1.2 VTi 82 Dsign is more economical at 112g/km and 57.6mpg, and although there's a big drop in power, it also has the lowest P11D of the Cabrios at £14,990.

As for sales, Citroen is reckoning on a surprisingly high fleet mix of 35%, and says punters will be made up of the self-employed and individuals buying with company money. Marginally stronger RVs than the hatch are set to bolster its appeal to corporate customers, but even so, the Cabrio is never going to be a big fleet seller. 

Citroen DS3 Cabrio 1.6 THP Dsport
P11D price £19,500
Model price range £14,990-£20,475
Residual value 35.9%%
Depreciation £12,500
Fuel £7960
SMR £1982
VED £360
National insurance £1534
Cost per mile 50.6p
Fuel consumption 47.9mpg
CO2 (tax) 139g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month £62/£124
Service interval 20,000 miles
Insurance (1-50) group 22
Warranty 3yrs 60,000 mls
Boot space 245/980 litres
Engine size/power 1598cc 157hp
Top speed/0-62mph 132mph/8.2secs
On sale March 2012


Impressive roof but unlikely to be much of a fleet seller.