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Open your mind to the Prestige; Robin Roberts examines the DS 3 Cabrio 1.6 BLUEHDI Prestige.

CITROEN has always taken a walk along the wild side with its models and styling in a French left-bank sort of way, and its DS 3 Cabrio is a case in point.

What's perhaps more unexpected is that the DS 3 Cabrio buyer has almost as much choice as the DS 3 hardtop chooser.

Essentially there are six models with petrol or diesel engines but only one automatic version and priced from about PS16,300 to PS24,800. The Prestige is mid-range, with its low emissions turbodiesel BLUEHDI engine.

There is a good spread of pulling power from the 1,600cc engine and as long as you use the six gears wisely, it moves along briskly.

The clutch has a surprisingly long travel but the lever is satisfyingly direct. Underfoot the brakes had strong power but lacked as much progressive feel as I would like.

Behind the powered steering wheel, the DS 3 responded with a little deadness but its turning circle was good for town and country use and it was very steady at motorway speed.

Secondary controls were scattered about the fascia and some of the dials were not easy to read, particularly in bright sunlight.

Heating and ventilation was good for an open-topped car and the oddments room was adequate but not remarkable.

A very small boot of just 245 litres would seriously limit your away-day adventure so you may want to toss everything on the back seat and go just two-up.

The DS was not brilliant on visibility when the roof was in place but dropping it simply pushed it all back onto the top the luggage area and you could see even less behind but more to the sides.

It was easy to get the front seats but the rear pair were more challenging and knee room wasn't great in the back.

The seats were very comfortable and supportive and there were good lights and front wipers. The roof retracted electrically in stages at the push of a button and closed just as easily.

The DS 3 Cabrio coped very well with any road conditions, from city streets to country lanes and major roads and, with its flexible nature, it easily returned 50mpg overall, sometimes a little more or less.

Ride quality was slightly on the firm side, but comfortable nevertheless, even if it did roll around some bends.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2016
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