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DS3 Cabrio is Drop Top winner 


WE might not get many opportunities to enjoy open-air driving in the UK but that doesn’t prevent drop-top models being highly popular – even in Scotland.

The past summer was actually quite dry and cabriolet owners took full advantage.

There is much competition in this sector and the one that stood out as far as the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers’ members were concerned was a recent arrival.

The Citroen DS3 Cabrio drove off with the Drop Top honour at the recent Scottish Car of the Year awards.

I have to put my hand up and say this wasn’t the car that got my vote – it went to the Audi RS5 Cabriolet.

But that’s not to say I’m not an admirer of Citroen’s little soft-top – I enjoyed some time with the DS3 Cabrio.

This newcomer looks pretty chic and its charms will most definitely appeal to female drivers.

It comes in three signature trim levels – Dsign, DStyle and DSport – a choice of three petrol and one diesel engines, with prices starting at £15,045.

The test car was the top-of-the-range DSport and it was a little cracker.

This model is powered by a punchy 153bhp 1.6-litre turbo-charged petrol engine that worked well through the six-speed manual trans-mission.

Handling and road holding was pretty good and it proved quiet enough at speed thanks to the well-insulated soft top.

It will nip swiftly off the blocks with a zero to 62mph time of 8.2 seconds and is capable of 132mph.

The interior is impressive, even more so with the addition of leather on front and rear seats, which was an £850 option on this model.

It’s also the only model in its class to offer three rear seats but I reckon more than two adults would be cramped in that space and legroom wasn’t great either.

The boot space, at 245 litres, is better than others.

The tailgate opens in an upward circular motion which means it can be opened when parked next to obstructions.

The downside of this though, because it doesn’t come fully up, means you have to be a bit of a contortionist when loading the boot, crouching down to get items in and out – not ideal for even your daily shopping trips.

Judging the weather can be a problem for cabrio drivers when you set off on trips – belting down the motorway topless at 70mph when the clouds suddenly open and you can’t close the roof at speeds of less than 20mph or so.

Well Citroen has come up with the answer to this as their canvas roof can by closed at speeds of up to 75mph – in just 16 seconds.

There are three settings for the fold-back – intermediate, horizontal and total.

The test car’s price without options is £19,680 – a good bit cheaper than the RS5 Cabriolet’s £67,500 – so it is certainly a good bit more affordable.

Economy figures are good as well, achieving 35mpg urban, 59mpg extra urban and 48mph combined.

The DS3 range has proved popular for Citroen since its launch three years ago and motorists can now take advantage of open-air driving with this stylish new cabriolet.