Tuesday 24 October 2017

Wanted: sunnier Irish climate for new Citroen DS3 Cabrio

Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

FIVE of us sat into this, on a broad pathway, near Dublin Castle.

Why? So we could test Citroen's contention that its new three-door DS3 Cabrio could take five adults. I can tell you it can, but I'm not sure I'd want to head to Maam Cross on a wet Thursday night as one of the back-seat passengers.

Of course this wasn't built for wet Thursdays. It was built for any day it doesn't rain.

The little cabrio, with its folding fabric roof and fetching design, tried hard to cheer us up on a chilly, slightly depressing Monday.

Starting at €21,195 ex-works it does invoke a certain mindset from a potential buyer (I think women will love it) which is why they are not expecting mega sales.

But it is a sort of signal of what the French maker is about as it continues to distance itself in practice and by example from the appalling vista of a few years back.

This cabrio is all about styling – you can customise the roof, body and wheels – and that electric roof (16 seconds up or down) that can be manoeuvred even at 120kmh. I wouldn't have put practicality at the top of its attributes but Citroen say it has the largest boot in its category and its engines are so clean they start at 99g/km (€180 road tax). Oh yes! and it is, they claim, "the only real five-seater in the category". Which is why five of us ended up putting the claim to the test.

Obviously based on the C3 family hatchback (recently revised and here in the summer), it is 3.95m long, 1.71m wide, 1.46m tall and just 25kg heavier.

There are three engines and spec levels.

Ex-works prices and models include: DSIGN VTI 82 petrol at €21,195, DSTYLE eHDI diesel at €25,045 and the DSPORT THP 155 petrol (€26,545).

Standard equipment includes cruise control with speed limiter, rear parking sensors, sports suspension and 3D LED rear lights.

Next spec level adds air-con, interior mood lighting, daytime-running LEDs and 16ins special alloys.

And the top-of-range spec adds digital air-conditioning, 17ins alloys and double chrome exhaust pipe.

We didn't get to drive it but they insist the cabin is as quiet as the family hatch when the roof and windows are closed. I hope both are open more often than shut.

We could do with a bit more of a cabrio climate – economically too.

Irish Independent

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