DS 3 Cabrio vs Fiat 500C vs Mini Convertible

Can the new, more grown-up Mini Convertible steal style conscious buyers from the DS 3 and Fiat 500C?

Words By What Car? team

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Our Verdict

It didn’t take much time in these convertibles for us to learn the Mini was easily the best of the bunch. It has a grown-up, solid feel that backs up the premium badge and justifies its cost. The Cooper version is fun yet polished to drive, holds its value well, is available with some attractive finance deals and gets a decent amount of standard kit. It’s also the most refined of our trio despite being the only true convertible here.

The DS 3 is beginning to feel a little outpaced now, despite some recent styling tweaks and an identity change (losing the CitroΓ«n badging) earlier this year. The body flexes and shudders on poorly finished roads, and the controls and gearshift feel sloppy and vague. The DS 3 might have a great engine, decent handling and the best space and practicality here, but it looks expensive whichever way you buy. On top of that, it can’t match the Mini’s classy interior and it’s predicted to depreciate far quicker.

The ever-popular Fiat 500C remains desirable thanks to its effortlessly chic styling, but even its low costs can’t save it from being outclassed here. It’s difficult to find a comfortable driving position due to limited adjustment, the dashboard feels cheap, the performance and refinement are seriously lagging, and the handling is too soft.

It’s fun in its own way, but if you like the 500C you’d be better off going for one of the cheaper trim and engine variants. Looking at it objectively, the Twinair model is hard to recommend.

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After a sportier alternative?

1st – Mini Convertible

For Good ride and handling; decent refinement; smart interior

Against High list price; offset pedals; uncomfortable rear seats

Verdict Exactly what a small cabrio should be: great fun with a classy interior and easy to live with

Read the full Mini Convertible review

2nd – DS 3 Cabrio

For Roomiest cabin; best driving position; nice engine

Against Body flex; sloppy gearshift; high depreciation

Verdict Still fun, but feels left behind by the Mini

Read the full DS 3 review

3rd – Fiat 500C

For Low price and PCP cost; low CO2; highly desirable

Against Poor to drive; unrefined; driving position

Verdict Charming, yet hard to recommend

Read the full Fiat 500 review

Specifications: DS 3 Cabrio 1.2 Puretech 130 Elegance

Engine size 1.2-litre, petrol, turbocharged

List price Β£19,195

Target Price Β£18,683

Power 129bhp

Torque 170lb ft

0-62mph 8.9sec

Top speed 126mph

Fuel economy 62.8mpg (official combined)

CO2 emissions 105g/km

Specifications: Fiat 500C 0.9 Twinair 105 Lounge

Engine size 0.9-litres, petrol, turbocharged

Price from Β£17,200

Target Price Β£16,121

Power 104bhp

Torque 107lb ft

0-62mph 11.1sec

Top speed 117mph

Fuel economy 67.3mpg (official combined)

CO2 emissions 99g/km

Specifications: Mini Convertible 1.5 Cooper Pepper Pack

Engine size 1.5-litre, petrol, turbocharged

List price Β£19,815

Target Price Β£18,379

Power 134bhp

Torque 162lb ft

0-62mph 8.9sec

Top speed 129mph

Fuel economy 57.6mpg (official combined)

CO2 emissions 114g/km

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