DS 3 Cabrio Prestige

BlueHDi 120

DS 3 Cabrio, front
DS 3 Cabrio, 2016, front, static
DS 3 Cabrio, side
DS 3 Cabrio, 2016, side, static
DS 3 Cabrio, rear
DS 3 Cabrio, 2016, rear, static
DS 3 Cabrio, 2016, front, action
DS 3 Cabrio, 2016, rear, action
DS 3, cabrio front action
DS 3, interior
DS 3, seats
DS 3 Cabrio, 2016, interior
DS 3 Cabrio, 2016, dashboard
DS 3 Cabrio, 2016, boot
DS 3, cabrio rear action 2

THE British love affair with open top motoring is well known so it's no surprise that DS has turned its attention in that direction.

The DS 3 has quickly proved that was the right decision. It is up against cars like the MINI and Fiat 500, so it needs to be good.

The thing with cabrios is that most are now customisable with different paint jobs, designs to the fabric roof and alloy wheel choices, so one man or woman's MINI is another's DS choice.

This DS isn't a full blown cabriolet with the fully retractable roof into the boot. The car retains side pillars so the roof slides back, a bit like a sunroof and fully retracted sits just above the boot.

The downside is space and vision is compromised, especially to the rear when the roof is fully down and it is difficult to see over it and the boot opening is not much bigger than a postbox. It does however open almost vertically, so if parked up against a wall, it will still open.

First hand experience has shown me that the DS, the luxury arm of Citroen, appeals to a host of younger people. This proved the case with previous test model and was reinforced when the stylish cabrio appeared on the same pub car park with the roof down on a warm summer's day. No alcohol was taken, I hasten to add.

Surprisingly, as it is not a particularly sporty looking motor, more men were taken with it.

But it does look good. Citroen has gone some way to try and detach DS from its sibling and with a new grille with chrome surround which merges seamlessly into the headlamps and a clever light set up, it really stands out, with clusters which include headlamp and LED foglights as well as the obligatory daytime running LEDs.

All set off with stylish alloy wheels which, together with a number of parts of the car, it can be customised to your choice.

But really this car is about the roof, or lack of it. It can be engaged on the move and the slides into two positions, partly open, like a sunroof or folded all the way back.

The engine is also impressive. The 120bhp diesel delivers impressive grunt and a mind boggling, claimed 78mpg. Nowhere near of course in the real world, but impressive enough as the needle seemed reluctant to move.

On top of that, emissions of 94g/km make it even cheaper to run. It also handles pretty well, thanks to its relatively rigid body, with precise steering and a firm, but not uncomfortable ride.

You can get four adults in comfort and a fifth at a squeeze, and although boot space is surprisingly good and split-folding rear seats do add a bit of practicality.

It's not cheap, this model at £22,000 is quite a wedge, but it is very well specified, has loads of safety kit and has the feel of a class motor. The interior has a classy feel too, with neatly laid out binnacle dials, flat bottomed steering wheel, central touch screen for infotainment and neat chrome finish throughout.

FAST FACTS

DS 3 Cabrio Prestige BlueHDi 120

Price: £22,095

Mechanical: 120bhp, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 9.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 78.5

Insurance Group: 26

C02 emissions: 94g/km

Bik rating: 18%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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