DS 3 Cabrio (2013 – 2019) Review

DS 3 Cabrio (2013 – 2019) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Citroen DS3 Cabrio offers something different to the standard DS3, with a roof that opens or closes at motorway speeds and a chance to enjoy some wind-in-your-hair motoring.

+Great styling that still looks good now, premium cabin that’s loaded with neat touches, roof opens and closes at speeds of up to 70mph.

-Lacks the practicality of the standard DS 3, not a proper convertible, tiny boot, later versions are little more than rebadged Citroens.

Insurance Groups are between 12–39
On average it achieves 73% of the official MPG figure

The DS 3 Cabrio – formerly the Citroen DS3 Cabrio – isn’t a proper convertible. Instead, it’s a desirable hatchback with an electric folding canvas roof – more in the style of the Fiat 500C than the MINI Convertible. You shouldn’t see this as a negative, because there's a lot to admire about the DS 3 Cabrio, from its premium cabin to the way it drives. Launched in 2013 as a Citroen, but becoming a DS model as part of the amicable divorce of Citroen and DS Automobiles, the DS 3 Cabrio offers something different in an industry littered with identikit vehicles.

The Citroen DS3 was one of the most must-have cars of the past decade. A small hatch good enough to take on the all-conquering MINI, with avant-garde styling, a premium cabin, fun-to-drive dynamics and a range of efficient and punchy engines.

The car became the DS 3 Cabrio when DS Automobiles split from Citroen to do premium things, but the 2016 facelift did little to dilute the car’s appeal. In fact, the post-facelift cars benefit from an uplift in quality and improved tech. These are the cars to choose when you’re searching for a bargain on the used car market.

There are three ways to enjoy the DS 3 Cabrio: with the roof closed, with the roof open, or with the roof partly retracted. The electric canvas roof is operable at speeds of up to 70mph, so you don’t have to stop if you’re caught in a shower between motorway junctions.

You’ll have to make one or two sacrifices to enjoy life with a DS 3 Cabrio. Although the luggage space is reasonable for a car of this size, access to the boot isn’t, so good luck squeezing a suitcase through the narrow opening.

Things are no better in the cabin, where headroom and legroom are in short supply for anyone travelling in the back. Lowering the roof will help with the cabin, but it’ll do nothing to ease the pain in the legs. We’d suggest using the rear seats for your luggage.

With the roof open, rearward visibility is almost non-existent, so you might need the reversing camera that was optional on post-facelift models. Rear parking sensors were standard on all models, presumably because Citroen knew it would be a problem.

This is where the complaints end, because the DS 3 Cabrio is a highly appealing car. Although you won’t be able to take advantage of the three million personalisation options, it should mean that you will find a DS 3 Cabrio that’s right for you. Prices range from £4,500 for an early car to £11,000 for one of the latest DS models.

There are a range of engines to choose from, including punchy and efficient diesels, and smooth and economical petrol units. The more potent petrol engines enable the DS 3 Cabrio to give a good hatchback a run for its money.

Rivals are few and far between, but the closest competitors are the Fiat 500C and MINI Convertible. The DS 3 Cabrio is suitably different to the pair of them, so it should be on your shortlist if you’re after a classy supermini with an extra long sunroof.

Ask Honest John

MoT advisories and broken air con, should the dealer pay?

"I bought a 2016 DS DS3 Cabrio a month ago from a main agent dealer. I've taken it to a local dealer who has given it MoT advisories for the auxiliary drive belt, windscreen wiper and perished tyres, and confirmed a suspected inoperative air con. Who should bear the costs for these requirements, outside an extended warranty? "
The dealer that sold you the car is responsible for fixing the air con. The MoT advisories are not faults, however, and you will be responsible for putting these right. Contact the salesperson who sold you the car and explain the issues with the AC. They should book the car in for a repair, as per your 2015 Consumer Rights: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-reject-a-car-your-consumer-rights/
Answered by Dan Powell

What small cars come with a sliding or panoramic sunroof?

"I am looking at a Ford Fiesta, DS 3 and a Renault Twingo as I'm after a small to medium car with an economical engine that's about one year old. I would like a sunroof or panoramic view if possible and sat nav. Can you suggest a car with these features?"
Citroen C1 Airscape, Peugeot 108 Airscape, Toyota Aygo equivalent, Renault Twingo with full length sunroof, Smart Forfour with full length sunroof, Fiat 500C, Fiat 500 with optional glass opening sunroof (Lounge pan roof doesn't open), DS 3 Cabrio.
Answered by Honest John
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