Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Citroen DS3 Cabrio DSPORT Plus THP 155

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Citroen DS3 Cabrio DSPORT Plus THP 155

Article excerpt THE launch of Citroen's upmarket DS sub-brand has done a lot to revive the famed French firm and re-establish it as a designer of individual, stylish and sometimes quirky cars.

The DS3 led the way in a line-up that features three vehicles and is in many ways the pick of the bunch.

It seems to have capitalised on the current clamour for classy, distinctive and sporty small cars and as such is a genuine rival to the Mini.

When the DS sub-brand was unveiled there was speculation it might mark a nostalgic return to the marque's finest moment - the creation of the Citroen DS in the mid-fifties.

It didn't, the acronym now denotes 'different spirit' rather than 'desiree speciale'. But it nonetheless marked a significant departure for Citroen from a period where it had arguably gone downmarket and was concentrating more on value and volume than prestige and premium.

Having two brands means it can do both and it is interesting to see the pace at which the DS arm is taking off in China. In the wake of the DS3's success comes the Cabrio version, offering another twist on this small car that will no doubt appeal to a nation that loves convertibles.

One of the benefits is that the Cabrio retains the DS3's basic design lines, which are excellent it has to be said. Ok, so it's not a convertible in the true sense of the word but rather like the Fiat 500C the vinyl roof winds back so you can enjoy the wind in your hair - or the sun when it makes an occasional appearance. It's also reminiscent of the folding roof on the classic Citroen 2CV, albeit far more technically advanced, and it certainly creates a feel of some of that Citroen character of old. Slide it back slightly and it's an enlarged sunroof, as far back as the rear columns and it feels like a car with all the benefits of a convertible but with far more protection from the elements - particularly the wind.

When fully retracted it feels more like a fullon convertible, but still with a degree of cosseting. Another real benefit is it can be opened and closed at high speed.

There's a bit of a downside to the full retraction position in that rear visibility is somewhat limited due to the way in which the folded roof is stored. …

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