Tuesday – 180

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Jeremy There are 180 good reasons why the roof on the DS3 Cabrio works so well but one word sums them all up – Webasto. The specialist convertible roof supplier has a history of making sliding soft-tops that dates back to 1901.

The DS3 roof is made up of 180 different parts in a co-build between Citroen and Webasto. It works brilliantly – even better than my 1969 MGB GT, which sported a fantastically simple but beautifully designed sliding Webasto sunroof too.

The DS3 Cabrio roof is operated by a one-touch button next to the rear-view mirror. It powers all the way back but does make the Citroen cabin very windy when fully retracted. There is a small wind deflector for back seat passengers but it works best when the roof is only folded back half-way – especially at high speeds.

Citroen has taken the DS3 roof design very seriously indeed, with a rigorous testing programme during the design stages. It’s certainly worked a lot better than the old Citroen C3 Pluriel. When that car was launched, a friend was awaiting delivery of a test car, only to receive a phone call saying the roof had blown off en route!

Trust me, that won’t happen with the DS3. It has one of the best folding roofs available for a car costing this sort of money.

 

 

 

 

Thursday – Drop The Top At 75mph!

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Jeremy – Ah, the English weather… One day it’s hot, the next day there are floods – what is a wind-in-the-hair motoring enthusiast to do? Well, you could do worse than take a test drive in the new DS3 Cabrio.

Unlike other convertibles with a hood rather than a folding metal roof, the Citroen is something of a halfway house. In fact, you have to look closely to spot that it is a convertible at all because the slick shape of the standard DS3 has hardly been changed to accommodate the fabric roof.

That also means that with the hood down, the side windows and frame are still in place, with the hood stacking up neatly where the rear parcel shelf used to be. Truthfully, it’s more of a giant sunroof but make no mistake – when it’s open, the DS3 feels every inch a convertible.

I’ve been playing with the buttons this afternoon and I’ve never experienced such a smooth running roof operation. It simply glides back with the minimum of fuss. What’s more, you don’t have to stop or slow down. The roof operates at speeds of up to 75mph, leaving folding hard-top owners left on the hard shoulder.

I haven’t tried it at speed yet but every car should have a unique selling point and this is one situation where the Citroen really scores.