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Citroen DS3 Cabrio 2013 Review

EXPERT RATING
6

Promise, we won't use the word 'quirky' any more for Citroen. It is, after all, one of the biggest selling brands in Europe. Now they've come out with a drop top cabriolet version of the cute little DS3, Citroen's version of the Peugeot 208, and it's a throw-back to the "legendary'' Citroen 2CV in some ways.

DESIGN

Though touted as an anti-retro car, the roof of the DS3 cabriolet is straight out of the 2CV book except for the fact that it's power operated and three layers of vinyl instead of a greasy piece of canvas. Oh and there are some rather funky colours and designs including one with the DS monogram imprinted. Tres cool.

The DS3 cabriolet roof peels back leaving the side roof structure around the doors and can be set in one of three positions, intermediate, horizontal and total with the roof tucked up onto the rear window like a spoiler.

This is the true interpretation of a "cabriolet" whereas most other cabriolets are infact convertible roadsters with no remaining roof structure when the top is wound back. It's a cheap and effective way to get some sun and wind in the car when you're driving. And the DS3 version looks pretty cute in a puppy dog sort of way. The roof opens/closes fully in 16 seconds at speeds up to 120kmh.

Unlike other drop tops, the DS3 gains minimal weight (25kg) and therefore offers the same performance, fuel economy and feel as the tin-top hatchback. Citroen re-invented the boot lid for this car which features a pivoting, parallelogram style boot opening up to a letter box aperture to 'post' you luggage through.

Tricky styling features include 3D tail lights that disappear into infinity. Inside is specified to a luxury level with seats for five at a pinch. The interior is technical and funky with easy to operate switches and a look like no other car including a flat bottom wheel and broad sweep of mock carbon fibre fascia. The three layer roof is hand-made at a factory in France to be benchmark for fit and finish.

RANGE AND PRICE

Two models are offered; the D-Style four-speed auto only and the D-Sport six-speed manual only with the former going for $30,990 and the latter $32,990.

There's a big difference between the two in that the Style has a 1.6-litre, naturally aspirated, four cylinder engine with 88kW/160Nm capable of 6.7-litres/100km while the Sport has a 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-pot achieving 115kW/240Nm and 5.9-litres/100km.

Both are a premium of $3200 on the DS3 hatch. Like Peugeot, Citroen Australia offers capped price servicing at $360 a pop for three years. Desirable options such as satnav and leather hike the price by $4000.

DRIVING

Forget all that French style once you get going... it wouldn't pull the skin off a custard and the four-speed auto is hopelessly inadequate when put under even modest pressure such as accelerating from low speeds up a steepish hill. Kickdown also means a big ratio jump which translates into higher than expected engine revs. It falls short on the sport side, but would perhaps be better being restricted to a town runabout role.

The manual on the other hand is a decent thing with strong, flexible power and a comfy, controlled ride. It gets a bit of steering backlash at speed on bumpy corners but that's about the only criticism of the car's dynamics. Pity you can't get a six-speed auto turbo....

VERDICT

Cute styling, stylish interior and generous features plus the price make the DS3 Cabriolet a tempting proposition. It's the second cheapest cabrio on the market to the awful Fiat 500 Cabriolet.

Citroen DS3 Cabrio
Price: from $30,990 (D-Style) $32,990 (D-Sport)
Engine: 1.6-litre petrol or turbo petrol, 88kW/160Nm, 115kW/240Nm
Transmission: four-speed auto (D-Style), six-speed manual (D-Sport)
Thirst: 6.7L/100km  (D-Style), 5.9L/100km (D-Sport)

 

Pricing Guides

$11,987
Based on 4 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$11,588
Highest Price
$11,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Dsport 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $11,588 – 11,990 2013 Citroen DS3 2013 Dsport Pricing and Specs
Dstyle 1.6L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $10,890 – 14,960 2013 Citroen DS3 2013 Dstyle Pricing and Specs
DSIGN 1.2L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $9,680 – 13,310 2013 Citroen DS3 2013 DSIGN Pricing and Specs
Dsport 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $11,588 – 11,990 2013 Citroen DS3 2013 Dsport Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Pricing Guide

$10,890

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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