Designers are sometimes far too clever for their own good. Take the Citroen DS3 Cabrio as an example. With its unusual parallelogram action, the car’s boot lid is inventive but a nightmare to use.
The luggage space itself is capacious enough, in fact very generous for a small car with a folding fabric roof to accommodate, but trying to fit anything through the opening is like trying to squeeze mail through an under-sized letterbox. Then, when you go to shut the boot there's a very real chance of catching fingers as I painfully found out.
What a shame – to mar such an otherwise delightful little car just for the sake of being different.
Truth is, the DS3 Cabrio has a lot going for it in so many ways as well as looking very different from the competition.
For starters, it is the only convertible in its sector that is capable of carrying five people, while at 245 litres that boot has the biggest capacity in its segment.
This model maintains the DS line’s extensive customisation levels, with a choice of an extended range of eight body colours and three colour co-ordinated roof designs, providing a choice of 15 exterior colour combinations. In addition, DS3 Cabrio owners can further express their personality with a choice of different wheel styles.
The DS3 Cabrio maintains the DS line’s extensive customisation levels, with a choice of an extended range of eight body colours and three colour co-ordinated roof designs, providing a choice of 15 exterior colour combinations. Owners can further express their personality with a choice of different wheel styles.
The electrically operated folding hood offers three positions – intermediate, horizontal and total. Controlled by a button on the overhead console, the hood opens and closes in just 16 seconds and, unlike rivals, can be operated at speeds of up to 75mph. The roof’s high quality canvas delivers standard-setting soundproofing, with some of the best acoustic insulation against road noise and the elements in its class. When the DS3 Cabrio’s roof is open an aerodynamic front deflector reduces wind noise and deflects air currents to prevent buffeting.
The soft top is available in three different designs – black, infinite blue and moondust grey DS monogramme. The sophisticated infinite blue roof material is in blue and violet, created by a weave of three different coloured threads. One of these is shiny, with each thread reacting differently to changes in light conditions. The DS logo featured on the monogramme canvas roof echoes the subtle designs used by luxury goods manufacturers and is achieved by contrasting two grey Jacquard tones.
At just 3.95m long, this stylish little car is easily manoeuvrable and perfectly suited to the urban environment. It also offers one of the most generous cabin environments with five seats, class-leading levels of occupant space – and the added load carrying versatility afforded by a split-folding rear bench.
As comfortable on the open road as it is in built-up urban environments, DS3 boasts high-precision running gear with springing and damping developed to ‘read’ the road. The result is responsive handling, minimal body roll and impressive poise in corners.
A small-diameter steering wheel and precisely calibrated power steering combine to give drivers a rewarding sense of feedback from the road. A tight turning circle means DS3 is easily manoeuvrable and perfectly suited to congested city streets.
The entry level DSign version has a new three cylinder 82 hp petrol engine while the biggest seller is likely to be the 120 hp petrol engined DStyle, with its choice of manual or auto gearbox. Top of the range is the DSport. Prices run from £15,205 to £19,840.