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XCAR: The Citroen DS3 Cabriolet mixes old with new

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XCAR: The Citroen DS3 Cabriolet mixes old with new

3:16 /

We all know the Citroen DS3 is a very good car, it was a runaway hit when it was launched, taking on BMW's sainted MINI and holding its own. The convertible version has hit showrooms and it borrows more than just a name from Citroen's past.

What happens when you try to re-define an icon, when you pluck your name from your past and create something new? If you Citroen, that means lots of success. Citroen re-launched the DS name in 2009, but it wasn't a giant saloon thing. It was a hatchback with an emphasis on fun and quality. The DS3 took the roads by storm. Small Citroens weren't cars for people who just wanted a runner bout anymore. They became alternatives to Minis and that ilk. The DS3, through, has evolved. It's lost its head almost literally. Well, it's been scalped. But that reminds me of another icon, the 2CV. The 2CV or "Tin Snail," also lacked a roof. A simple roll-back canvas choppy was your option, but it served a purpose. You see, scalping a car-- as Citroen has done here, rather than take the whole roof off-- means there isn't actually much compromise. There's no extra strength needed because all the pillars, et cetera, are still in place. All Citroen had to do is add 25 kilos of weight, which means the DS3 Cabriolet is just as fun to drive as the normal hatch. The roof comes in three colors: black, blue, and DS print, but has a party piece. It retracts at speeds up to 75 miles an hour. Handy that because it means you can open and close the DS at normal motorway speed. You don't have to stop to sort anything out. And that means you can get this DS topless in just 16 seconds. And I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. Here's something you may not have known. DS in French means goddess. It's a name that summed up the original "Déesse" perfectly. So, trick roof, check. Good looks, check. Good to drive, check. Anything else? Oh, yes. Now, there is an awful lot of junk in the DS3 Cab's trunk. Not only is it the only car in its class that can fit five full-size people in it, but also, its boot can hold up to 245 liters of stuff. Now, to put that into perspective, that's 120 liters more than you can fit in a mini convertible, or one not quite as bendy as it used to be presenter. While I climb out of the trunk with the grace of a drunk duck, just take a moment to think about the DS3 Cabriolet. There's more to it than meets the eye. If anything, the DS3 Cabriolet does Citroen's heritage a massive service. You see, it keeps the original DS' attitude and style, but also borrows the 2CV's simplistic solution to the roof issue. But even better than all of that is the fact that as a convertible, roof up or down, it still looks like a normal car, which means anyone can drive it around and not look like a burk. Say puffy.

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