The first impression

We all know the French have flair. They make great food, wine, and fashion, who else could make a morning bread roll, tweak it and call it a croissant? Only the stylish French! Their cars are no exception, especially when it comes to CITROËN’s DS line of cars, where attention to detail is the focus and being unique comes standard. The DS line of cars from CITROËN is simply doubly-stylish!


The latest addition to the CITROËN family is the DS3 Cabrio, which is the topless sister to the DS3 Hatch, originally launched in 2010. The DS3 is the baby to its larger DS4 and DS5 siblings. The DS3 Cabrio is all about pleasure and fun, the addition of a topless variant represents a midlife addition to the range that signals sun-soaked avenue cruising.


The Cabrio is the heir to the unique styling of the DS3. The DS3 Cabrio inherits the strong personality of the hatchback. All the customary bold styling choices are present, from the “floating” two-tone roof and shark fin that reinvigorates the car’s waist line, to the side recesses that underline the LED daytime running lights and sculpt the car’s “face”.



Globally, trend seekers look to be individuals, cookie cutting is not for the savvy individuals who are attracted to the super-mini category of cars. The canvas roof is a fantastic example of personalisation, with a range of original colours and designs that add to the car’s unique personality. The DS3 Cabrio is available with three roof colours: Black, Infini blue and DS Monogramme. Highly personal and entirely unique automotive object DS3 Cabrio owners can not only personalise the roof but also the body, rear-view mirror housings and wheels. The new model also features all-new hypnotic 3D LED lights at the rear with the DS logo set in an embossed black DS setting and a chrome finished handle that elegantly highlights the top of the tailgate. The decors on the dashboard insert, air vent surrounds and gear stick handle are also colour-coded with the body paint and soft top. Three decors are available: Carbotech, Infini blue and Moondust grey.



The DS3 Cabrio was designed to bring occupants pleasure with no compromises. It combines the advantages of a classic cabriolet with the strong points of a hatchback. Top-down driving has never been this easy but doesn’t represent a true convertible in the traditional sense of the word where the entire roof and windows can be retracted for a total wind in your hair experience. With every con comes a pro - The roof takes just 16 seconds to fully close, at speeds of up to 120 km/h. Motorists open and close the roof with a button in the ceiling console offering three opening positions: intermediate, horizontal and total. Even in horizontal setting, the soft top folds back behind the rear passengers so they get a completely clear view, but it is still not a hair blowing convertible, rather a sensible and safer giant sunroof that promise to gently ‘lift your hair’ as quoted by CITROËN’s PR manager Sharon Garson.


The Facts



  • You can take the roof off at speeds of up to 120 Km/h
  • It’s full of interesting design details both inside and out
  • Handles like a dream especially with the sport model, which has stiffer suspension settings
  • It is surprisingly quiet
  • Good visibility throughout the cabin while driving
  • The range topping THP 155 unit is quick
  • The base VTi 82 is frugal
  • Well priced
  • Highly customisable
  • Rear seating accommodation for up to 3 people but seats 2 more comfortably



  • It has a tiny cubbyhole
  • It has a awkward opening to what is the best in class boot size of 245 litres
  • I found the functionality off the concealed radio and cruise control switch gear, which rest just behind the steering wheel fussy to use.
  • Entry level VTi 83 model has a fiddly blue tooth set up via its radio system
  • Limited rear visibility when the roof is fully retracted is limited



The figures


The   Competition

DS3 Cabrio

Mini Cooper   Convertible

Fiat Abarth   Convertible


The model

THP 155 1.6 T*

Cooper S 1.6   T*

Abarth 500C   1.4 T*

How much do they cost?

R 291 900

R 341 479

R 265 500

How powerful   are they?

115kW / 240   Nm

135kW / 240   Nm

103kW / 206   Nm

How quick are they? 0-100km/h




How fuel   efficient are they? Average Per 100km’s





*All three vehicles listed are the top of the range in their category and cheaper less powerful variant maybe available.


The extra stuff

For far too long the French car manufacturers have received a bad wrap for being labelled expensive to service and hard to get parts. This is myth; in fact CITROËN was rated 3rd against a host of other manufacturers in the shopping trolley of parts by the 2012 Kinsey Report ‘Super Mini’ category. CITROËN SA actually holds large quantities of parts at their head office in Johannesburg dispatching them four times a day to individual dealers. If a rare part is required for a client’s service an order is placed and it takes up to 7 days for it to arrive, so I think it’s safe to say CITROËN has that duck now neatly in a row!


CITROËN has also started a DS club, all DS owners automatically become members once they own a DS CITROËN vehicle.  It gives them access to year-round exclusive offers from a host of South Africa’s quality retail stores, luxury accommodation, restaurants and more.


All DS3 Cabrio models come standard with a 3 year/100 000km Warranty and a 4 Year/60 000km Service Plan.


The verdict

This car looks and lives the part, its well-priced in its segment and great fun to drive. You can pick up your mates and potentially bus yourself and 4 others in sun soaked fun without messing your hair. It’s more practical than both its competitors and is cheaper to service. It’s my pick of the bunch, if you can afford it go for the THP 155 Sport model. I found the entry level model slightly underpowered and expect the mid-range VTi 120 to be the best seller.  



DS3 Cabrio VTi 82 Design – R219 900

DS3 Cabrio VTi 120 Style Manual – R258 900

DS3 Cabrio THP 155 Sport Manual – R291 900


Citroen South Africa






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