Lifestyle

Road test: Citroen DS3 Cabrio

The new Citroen DS3 Cabrio.
The new Citroen DS3 Cabrio. Mark Bean

VARIETY is the spice of life seems to be Citroen's mantra with the manufacturer stating that choice will be one of the platforms they will use to sell the new DS3 Cabrio around the world.

The sporty number with its retro appeal is Citroen's first convertible-style car since the C3 Pluriel was discontinued here three years ago.

Available in 15 colours and 45 trim options with three choices for the roof panel, there is a DS3 Cabrio to suit anyone's tastes.

And that is what Citroen, desperate to make inroads into the Australian market, is banking on.

"Things are progressing nicely at the moment," said John Startori, the general manager of Citroen Australia at the Cabrio's launch on the Gold Coast.

"We are selling a lot more units and our dealer network has expanded from 18 to 31 with five more in the pipeline.

"For us the DS range is the best way to launch Citroen worldwide and the DS3 Cabrio with its style, customisation, versatility and road handling is perfect for capturing the interests of new buyers."

Comfort

The interior of the DS3 Cabrio shows some French flair with the use of clever design and complementary materials.

The piano black and brushed metal surfaces work nicely with carefully chosen fabrics offering interesting contrasts.

It all feels fun and funky with attention to detail a refreshing inclusion.

I like to have somewhere to put a few essentials and although the well-set out cabin gives an illusion of space, it is punctured somewhat by a tiny glove box and few storage options.

All seats are fairly comfortable without being satisfyingly supportive with the driver's, in particular, in need of something more under the thighs. Both head and legroom in the rear is tight and despite claims of five real seats this is after all a small car.

Steering controls are markedly absent with Citroen preferring to place them on stalks added to the column and although this presents an uncluttered feel it is not the most practical option.

The boot lifts up and under - to accommodate the stacking roof - which makes it easy to open in tight spaces and at 245-litres it is among the biggest in its class.

Access to the loading zone is restricted however so even stowing the shopping may be a tad tricky.

On the road

Both the DS3 DStyle auto with its naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and the DS3 DSport housing a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine were available for a drive at the launch.

Of course these engines are not new to us featuring in the hatch and in some form in the Mini Cooper Cabrio and Peugeot 208.

The DStyle auto was slightly sluggish with the old four-speed auto running out of puff on the demanding steeper climbs of our drive course.

It is, however, attentive around sharp corners, has good braking capacity and is rather competent during inner-city forays. But for our money the six-speed DSport manual, which costs $2000 more, will deliver a far superior performance for your buck and adds the thrills to boot. Its 17-inch alloys (as opposed to the DStyle's 16s) are fairly loud on even only slightly blemished surfaces and the constant road noise can be irritating.

You can really hustle the DSport along and with almost double the torque of the DStyle it offers a much more energetic and economical ride.

The gearbox is smooth but fairly loose and the gears themselves are happy to be held just a little longer delivering that satisfying throaty roar.

Steering is okay, there is not much feel especially on the straight but that is not uncommon these days.

What do you get?

Citroen has been fairly generous with inclusions with the DStyle featuring black cloth trim, auto climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors, LED daytime running lights, LED ambient lighting, front fog lights, Bluetooth connectivity, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers, aluminium pedals and tinted rear windows.

The DSport adds satellite navigation, upgraded audio system, carbon-look dash and chrome tipped exhaust.

The Cabrio has yet to receive an ANCAP rating but safety features include front and side airbags, stability and traction control and ABS with EBD and emergency braking assistance.

The side structure is reinforced, strengtheners have been added around the boot and there is also a collapsible steering wheel for improved protection in the event of an accident.

Other options

The DS3 Cabrio is nicely placed between the Fiat 500 Cabrio (from $17,900) and the Mini Cooper Cabrio (from $40,350) although the Peugeot 207CC (from $33,490) is also there or thereabouts.

Practicality

Citroen is especially proud of the Cabrio's concertina-style roof which brings the outside in. The rigid sides, much like those of the Fiat, prevents a total feeling of freedom but the construction itself is applaudable.

The roof, which can be opened at speeds up to 120kmh, has three resting positions the first as a sunroof, the second over the heads of all passengers and stacked on top of the boot when fully open. Rear visibility is almost impossible in the latter position which is rather frustrating.

Running costs

Citroen claims figures of 6.7 litres/100km for the DStyle and 5.9L/100km for the DSport - not far off their hatch brothers.

We found the auto close to 8L/100km although the DSport was truer to promise. Cabrios come with three-year/100,000km factory warranty and free roadside assist for that period. There is also a three-year/60,000km capped price service plan at $360 per service with intervals at 20,000km.

Funky factor

There is little doubt that features like the 3D LED lights, floating roof and shark's fin adds to the DS3 Cabrio's appeal.

It is delicate but chunky with rounded edges and sleek lines which make you sit up and take notice.

It looks fun and sporty and is a zippy addition for city drivers.

The lowdown

This DS3 Cabrio is a clever addition to the Citroen range bringing with it a good combination of style, workmanship and fun. It allows you to put a personal stamp on a car that is easy on the eye and easy under foot. Citroen has 90 available this year and is expecting to sell far more DSports than DStyles. That would be our pick too.

What matters most

What we liked: Sporty look, cabin feel, performance of DSport.

What we'd like to see: Better rear vision with boot down, better audio quality, more support in diver's seat.

Warranty: Citroen offers a three year/100,000km warranty and three years or 60,000km capped price servicing.

Vital Statistics

Model: Citroen DS3 Cabrio.

Details: Two-door front-wheel drive cabrio.

Transmission: Four-speed auto and six-speed manual.

Engine: DStyle is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 88kW @ 6000rpm and peak torque of 160Nm @ 4250rpm. DSport is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol generating maximum power of 115kW @ 6000rpm and 240Nm @ 1400rpm.

Consumption: 6.7 litres/100km combined average for DStyle auto and 5.9L/100km for DSport manual.

Bottom line: From $30,990 for DStyle and $32,990 for DSport.

Topics:  citroen motoring road test


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Members needed for club to survive

Auctioneer Len "Fonz” Bargenquest and Rotary member Errol Rix at the Blackwater Rotary Auction.

Blackwater Rotary Club is looking for more members

It's time to pay council rates

The Central Highlands Regional Council office in Emerald.

Rates are expected in the letterboxes of Central Highlands residents

Flood mitigation work complete

MITIGATION PROJECT: The earthmover at work to clear the Nogoa River.

The flood mitigation project in the Nogoa River is complete.

Local Partners

Hottest day in February

CQ sweltered through its hottest Feb day this week.

How Stay at Home Mum blogger Jody Allen struck it big

Jody Allen and Walt Collins will co-host the Seven Network's Stay at Home Mum television series from April.

Jody Allen's star continues to rise at incredible speed

Dance night away at ball

HAVING A BALL: Emerald Outside School Hours Care is holding a Valentine's Ball to fundraise for an outdoor playground.

Tickets are selling fast for the Valentine's Ball next weekend.

Comedy with extra cheese

Paul Fenech is taking his TV series Fat Pizza on the road for a series of live shows.

Fat Pizza and Housos are coming to town

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

WHEN an ex-vegan pacifist says "I think people that score strategically need a kick in the shins”, the MKR gloves are off.

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Tears and determination: Mackay lawyer's MKR showdown

FOODIE FRIENDS: Mackay's Della Whearty with friend Tully will be in Group 2 of My Kitchen Rules.

MACKAY lawyer Della Whearty and partner Tully's instant restaurant.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Kids' game "full of f**king paedophiles" according to dad

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game

Lisa Marie Presley's ex caught with child pics: court

Lisa Marie Presley, at right, and her husband, Michael Lockwood back in 2010. FILE

Lisa Marie, 49, claimed she was left “sick to her stomach”

What $11.9m can get you on Coast's most exclusive street

29-31 Wyuna Drive Noosaville Qld 4566

This is what a cool $11.9m can get you

How a first home buyer built house with no deposit

NEARLY THERE: Construction on the first house to home orphans at Umoja began in January.



Photo Contributed

His home will be completed later this year.

$6.3 billion project to drive population boom

BIG IDEAS: Artist's impression of the new 10,000-unit complex to be constructed at Springfield Central.

Driverless trains could take thousands to and fro from Springfield

Company collapse: Boss goes to Vegas, staff lose thousands

Last chance for staff to lodge their claims

Mining giant execs could sun themselves on region's island

OFFERS INVITED: Potential buyers are showing interest in Camp Island, off the coast of Bowen.

The vendors are hoping for at least $2m for the island.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!