A CHIC French model has just gone topless and attracted many admiring glances and comments as I drove the stylish Citroen DS3 Cabrio to the classy Chatsworth Country Fair despite there being plenty of other stylish upmarket motors in the car parks next to the Duke of Devonshire’s elegant home writes Bryan Longworth.
The DS3 has made a big impression in the UK so it was no surprise that the cabrio version would turn heads in the shadow of the country’s most popular stately home as I drove the Citroen in topless mode to the annual event.
Citroen decided against making the DS3 Cabrio a completely topless convertible like its rival the Mini Convertible and have opted for a soft top that unfolds right to the back of the car so that all the occupants can still enjoy the late summer sunshine with upper sides of the car remaining in place like the hard top version and in the tradition of the legendary Citroen 2CV soft top
The electric fully retractable canvas roof opens quickly at the touch of a button above and to the left of the driver and it can be opened or closed at speeds of up to 75mph.
This is unique in this segment and means that the driver does not have to slow down or wait to get parked and get wet to close the top if it starts raining and the roof which has three positions can be opened or closed in just 16 seconds.
The cabrio has injected even more fun into the stylish DS3 which has become a very desirable model in the Citroen range that starts at £15,045 rising to £19,680 for the top model the DS3 Cabrio DSport which I have just been testing.
This is powered by a 1.6-litre 155bhp petrol engine with a six speed manual gearbox that produces a top speed of 132mph with a zero to 62mph time of 8.2 seconds which means that this model with its very sweet speedy and smooth engine and capable handling is no slouch and the combined fuel consumption is good at 47.9mpg.
The five seater three door cabrio’s main rivals are the Mini Convertible and the Fiat 500C but the Citroen has the largest boot capacity of this trio with 245 litres of load space.
This is accessed through the natty tailgate which opens immediately upwards on special hinges and can be operated even when there is a vehicle or obstacle near the back of the car although the load aperture is rather narrow for larger items of luggage and it is difficult to see inside.
There is a very comfortable and well finished interior with a pleasant fascia and user friendly instrument panel that includes an easy to see speedometer right in front of the driver.
With the roof fully retracted rearward visibility is rather restricted and that narrow aperture to the rear load area is a bit of a pain but otherwise this is a very likeable cabrio.
Citroen say that the cabrio market is dominated by female buyers but I say that any male owner of this desirable Citroen will also be equally delighted with it because it is a car with universal appeal.
My Verdict: A fun French cabrio.
Model: Citroen DS3 Cabrio Sport.
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four cylinder petrol.
Output: 155bhp @ 1400rpm.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Top speed: 132mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 8.2 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 47.9mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 137g/km.
Price: £19,680 on the road.