Handling is not as pert and kart-like as a rival MINI Convertible.
Ride and Handling
Handling is not as pert and kart-like as a rival MINI Convertible. It feels secure and adequately grippy, though, and the bit of body lean on the bends is modest enough not to be disconcerting. As a hatchback-derived cabriolet it has ride and handling largely similar to a steel-top DS3, but the structure feels just a touch looser, and just because the roof goes back, that doesn’t make this a sports car.
Ease of Use
This is the clever face of convertible motoring. The DS3 Cabrio’s roof can be operated at speeds up to 75 mph, so if the weather changes while you are on a motorway, you don’t have to stop to deal with it. From shut to fully open takes just 16 seconds. Neither of this car’s most obvious rivals have tops that can be operated at a similar speed. The Fiat 500C is limited to its roof being lowered at a maximum speed of 37 mph and a MINI Convertible cannot be doing more than 20 mph when you want to put the top down.
The downside of the hood’s slick operation is how it stows away. Fully open, the folded fabric sits like a concertinaed pram hood at the back of the car, and it only retracts to a height that renders the rear-view mirror unusable for anyone who is not exceptionally tall. This is a serious handicap because it forces you to rely on the door mirrors alone as a means of knowing what is going on behind you as you drive.
Access to the rear seats is quite restricted, but that is what you expect of a three-door car. Boot space is reasonable for this kind of car, with 245 litres of standard boot room and up to 980 litres with the rear seats folded. The DS3 Cabrio has a bigger boot than either of its key rivals (the Fiat 500C boot is 185 litres and the MINI Convertible has just 125 litres). Boot loading is slightly handicapped, though, because the boot lid does not clear the aperture when it opens, so you have to duck down to see what you’re doing as you load.