Little Quirk: Slated to appeal to the stylish young adult, the DS 3 Cabriolet is a quirky little soft-top hatchback that has the capacity to please.
The DS 3 Cabriolet you see here is the latest in the line of models from the now separated DS Automobiles sub-brand that have undergone a re-badging and facelift, all in preparation of the brand’s first all new model, the upcoming DS 7 Crossback.
The DS 3 Cabriolet certainly has some eye-catching angles, especially from the front
Looks like a cute little car…
While it is offered globally in both hatchback and cabriolet variants, our Singapore market only receives this Cabriolet model. On first glance, the DS 3 has a characterful and cute disposition about it. It’s a car that looks good from certain angles (front, front-side), but humdrum from others (the backside isn’t particularly nice to look at).
But we reckon one glance at this car is enough to summise what it’s about – it’s a car that appeals to people for whom the word ‘lifestyle’ would be associated with. A cursory glance through the brochure throws up key words like ‘chic’, ‘avant-garde’ and ‘stylish’.
The interior is fairly sleek, decked out in black and silver trim. As we’ve come to expect from this brand, it takes a moment to get your bearings, with the button layout on the central console not immediately obvious. For example, your volume buttons are way down on the console and away from the 7.0-inch touchscreen. Some may consider this puzzling, but we suppose it fits with the car’s overall quirky character.
Small details such as the ‘DS’ badging in the tail lamps adds to the car’s overall quirky yet distinct character
Being a small car, don’t expect much in terms of space. The DS 3 is definitely a car suited for two people. Yes, you could technically fit three in the back, but it’s going to be a very tight squeeze.
But how is it like to drive?
The DS 3 is actually surprisingly perky and brisk. Under the bonnet sits a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech engine, pushing out 108 horses and 205Nm of torque. Due to the fact that the car only weighs 1,150kg, it feels quite quick on the move.
Its compact size and short wheelbase also mean that it is quite chuckable, if you so please. The car also does that thing that small hatchbacks do where it tends to lean to either side and scramble for grip as you corner hard, and we promise that it will definitely make you laugh out loud.
The menu and volume buttons are located at an unconventional place near the bottom of the centre console
Once you decide to stop being childish, the DS 3 also proves to be quite a sensible little car. Its small footprint means that it’s easy to drive, easy to park, and you never have to worry about small roads and tiny carparks. Admittedly, the ride quality is definitely on the hard side – great for when you want to drive like a loon, but can be slightly jarring when driving normally.
As a Cabriolet, though, we’re not entirely sold on the DS 3. This isn’t a true convertible in the sense that the roof frame doesn’t retract along with the soft-top. What you do get is the option of two configurations – the soft-top retracted to the B-pillar (like a sunroof), or all the way down to the boot (which retracts the rear windscreen as well). And because the roof frame stays put, you can operate the soft-top at up to speeds of 110km/h. But with the roof up or down, the cabin still suffers from a fair amount of wind noise.
The DS 3 is eager on its feet, powered by a 1.2-litre engine producing 108bhp and 205Nm of torque
A bold choice then?
The DS 3 Cabriolet seems like a car that caters to a niche crowd – stylish young adults who want a compact yet bold hatchback. While it may be a Cabriolet, we reckon most people who buy this car will drive it with the roof up more often than not (looking at our erratic weather, we suspect most convertible owners do this anyway). In this sense, the DS 3 Cabriolet certainly does its job of being a stylish car with a quirky personality. And for those wishing to make a bold choice, the DS 3 Cabriolet certainly fits the bill.
27 Jun 2017 | Text and Photos by Desmond Chan