Ds 3 Diesel Cabrio
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Review Of The Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet
Want a supermini but want a bit more power and excitement than usual? The new Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet is stylish, fun and – to our surprise – pretty damn practical. It’s aimed at anyone who’s taken an interest in the Fiat 500 and, just like its rivals, it isn’t a fully fledged convertible. Instead, its door frames and side pillars stay firmly in place.
Buyers will like the fact that there’s plenty of scope for personalisation here, while a range-topping Performance Black Edition is backed by a strong 208bhp engine.
Excited? OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet review.JTNDY2VudGVyJTNFJTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGa2Rya2ROb3gyV2clMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmF1dG9wbGF5JTNCJTIwZW5jcnlwdGVkLW1lZGlhJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuJTNFJTNDJTJGaWZyYW1lJTNFJTNDJTJGY2VudGVyJTNF
On The Road
There’s not much wrong with the way this car acquits itself on the road. It handles sharply and offers more performance than your average supermini, and because it’s mechanically the same as the regular DS3, its engines and steering are nice and responsive.
The DS3’s deficiencies show up in bends, where it doesn’t have as much agility as we would like. It feels a tad vague when worked hard, and it doesn’t deal with rough roads as well as rivals. This has an effect on comfort, and the bodywork really rattles when you crash over a pothole.[vc_single_image image=”78325″ img_size=”article-image”]That said, while the handling is on the safe side, there’s still plenty of fun for you here and there’s more than enough grip on offer. You can throw it into corners – but don’t go too crazy.
The PureTech petrol engines are going to be more than enough for most of you, but they come paired up with a gearbox and clutch that feels too artificial for our liking.
A 1.6-litre turbocharged Performance model is the one that grabs all the headlines. It develops over 200bhp and covers the 0-62 dash in just 6.5 seconds. There’s a snag, however; because of the way it delivers its power, it never feels as fast as those numbers otherwise suggest. Moreover, you need to work the engine quite hard to get the best out of it.
Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet Interior, Design & Build
[vc_single_image image=”78324″ img_size=”article-image”]As mentioned, this isn’t a fully fledged convertible, and the roof rails and side pillars and windows remain in place when you take the roof down. This has its pros and cons. An obvious con is that you don’t get a proper convertible experience. On the other hand, it means that buffeting upfront isn’t so bad.
It’s a different story in the rear, however. Passengers back there will still feel the full force of the wind, with a small wind deflector doing nothing to prevent this. Visibility for rear seated passengers is pretty poor too, and overall the DS3 is hardly the most enjoyable convertible for your passengers.Ride quality is decent, but opting for the larger wheels compromises this.
In terms of overall quality, the cabin is dated compared to rivals. The centre console is unnecessarily huge and intrudes on your space a tad, while the pedals aren’t well positioned.
The seats are comfortable and supportive, while a brand new seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system has helped to modernise the dashboard. It’s not the easiest to use, however.
Is the Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet practical? It’s a lot like the standard model, although the boot measures less – 245-litres with all the seats in place. It’s one of the biggest in this class, but it’s some 40-litres smaller than the standard model. We like its boot lid; it’s smartly designed and can be opened vertically.
Lower the roof, though, and the problems begin – for one thing, you can’t even open the boot. Interior space is also compromised, and we can’t imagine rear seated passengers being too happy on long trips.
Equipment & Safety Of The Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet
Standard kit is good across the range, with all models getting cruise control, rear parking sensors, air conditioning and a seven-inch touchscreen. The Elegance model adds bigger alloys, climate control and sports seats, while the Prestige model treats you to Alcantara suede trim, automatic lights and wipers, bright xenon headlights and sat nav.
The ultra Prestige model gets suave leather seats, while the Performance models round things off with more personalisation options. Apple Car Play and sat nav.
Safety-wise, the standard DS3 used to enjoy a 5-star rating from Euro NCAP. For its latest crash test performance, however, it scored just 3/5. The cabriolet variants safety kit is a bit sparse too, with autonomous braking a £500 option for entry-level models.
Costs Of The Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet
Prices for the new car start out from £19,565 and rise to £26,699. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, this cabriolet version isn’t much heavier than the standard model, and this helps to keep costs down. The BlueHDI 100 diesel is the most frugal engine in the range and can return as much as 80mpg on a good day.
The BlueHDI 120 diesel offers a bit more power but is almost as economical and can return almost 80mpg itself. Both engines emit less than 100g/km of CO2 too.
Pros and Cons Of The Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet
Convertibles need to look good, and the DS3 has absolutely no problems on this front.
Room for Personalisation
There’s plenty of scope for customisation, especially with the higher spec models.
Affordable to Run
Both diesels return around an 80mpg economy.
This is an issue, and you’ll be lucky if your DS3 Cabriolet holds onto more than 39% of its value after 3 years of ownership.
Fold the roof down and the boot can’t be opened, while rear seat space is limited.
Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet vs MINI Convertible vs Fiat 500C
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet review.
Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet vs MINI Convertible
The new MINI Convertible is the greatest one yet. It excels with its handling sharpness and looks just as stylish as the Hatchback variant.
On the road, you’ll struggle to find a car that’s as fun as this one at this price point. Even without a roof, it’s almost as fun as the standard MINI, even if it runs wider when you take corners too hard.
Other than that, the steering is precise and really involves you in the driving experience.[vc_single_image image=”78323″ img_size=”article-image”]It’s agiler than the DS3 and offers lots of grip. There are three driving modes available – Green, Mid and Sport – while the Cooper S model comes with an exhaust that fizzes and pops.
In terms of the engines, a 1.5-litre diesel unit develops 115bhp and completes the 0-62 sprint in just under 10.0 seconds. It’s a tad noisy for our liking, and we suspect most buyers will prefer a petrol engine.
A 1.5-litre 134bhp petrol engine can do 0-62 in an impressive 8.8 seconds and it remains fairly hushed. It’s also really smooth, but the Cooper S – with its 189bhp of power – is much faster, and clocks 0-62 in 7.2 seconds.
Rounding off the range is a John Cooper Works model. It produces 228bhp and can do 0-62 in 6.6 seconds before maxing out at a pretty breathtaking 150mph.
Running costs? The sole diesel model is the pick here, with its returns of 74.3mpg and its emissions of exactly 100g/km of CO2. The petrols are sure to be the most popular, however, and the 1.5-litre unit is the most frugal with its returns of 57.6mpg.
The Cooper S model, meanwhile, is good for 47.1mpg.
Inside, the MINI Convertible gets a big thumbs up from us. It’s plush, kinda luxurious and is crammed with lots of top-drawer materials.
The layout is much better in this third generation model, while a 6.5” touchscreen is brand new. Wind noise isn’t too much of an issue when the roof is down, although the absence of a wind deflector makes life hard for those in the rear.
Is the MINI Convertible practical? Its 215-litre boot is smaller than the DS3 and, in truth, it’s way too small in general. That said, it’s the biggest boot this car has produced so far, but it shrinks to 160-litres when you fold the roof down.
It’s an easy boot to access, while the MINI’s folding fabric roof takes 18 seconds to drop. Once it’s down, it restricts rear visibility pretty badly.
Other than that, there’s a lot more backseat space than last time in here, but you can’t fit more than 4 adults into this car.
Citroen – £19,565 – £26,699
MINI – £19,800 – £32,990
Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet vs Fiat 500C
The new Fiat 500C is the convertible version of the popular 500 city car. Like the Citroen, it isn’t a fully fledged convertible, but it’s cheap to run and looks super retro.
It’s a car that’s at home in the city, where its cute and compact dimensions and precise and light steering prove handy. Its ride is a bit on the harsh side but it’s bearable, but body lean is a bit pronounced in bends.[vc_single_image image=”78322″ img_size=”article-image”]In terms of its engines, there’s not a lot to choose from. A 1.2-litre petrol engine is available with either 69 or 85bhp, while a 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol engine develops a healthy 104bhp. All the engines are fun to drive, but the 104bhp variant is the one to go for if you want a bit more punch.
Running costs? The Fiat 500C is cheap to run whichever engine you pick, but the Eco version of the 1.2-litre petrol is the most frugal; it returns 65.8mpg and emits less than 100g/km of CO2, which gives it a BiK rating of 18%.
Fiat claims the 0.9-litre engine can return as much as 74.3mpg, but we think that’s a tad optimistic and you’ll likely average around 55mpg because it’s an engine that needs to be worked hard. It does, however, emit just 90g/km of CO2.
Inside, insulation benefits from the fact that this isn’t a full-on convertible. Fold the roof and buffeting and wind noise is pretty low. On the move, the car feels civilised, and indeed feels a lot like the standard model.
The retro, colourful dashboard is a real highlight, while the car’s fixtures and fittings are much better than last time. A brand new infotainment system on higher-spec models is a welcome addition and the Fiat feels and looks more modern than the DS3.
Is the Fiat 500C practical? Its 185-litre boot is way too small but isn’t actually any smaller than the standard model. Moreover, it stays the same size even when you lower the roof (which can be done at the touch of a button).
Storage space is overall good, as is interior space and the 500C is a well-packaged car.
Fiat – £14,265 – £17,915
Verdict Of Our 2018 Citroen DS3 Diesel Cabriolet Review
It’s not a fully fledged convertible, but the DS3 Cabriolet is still a very stylish and sought-after car in this sector. It’s exciting to look at and drive, comes stuffed with standard kit and can be personalised in many ways.
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