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?...
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 Citroën 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
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
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
Specifications: DS 3 Cabrio 1.2 Puretech 130 Elegance
Engine size 1.2-litre, petrol, turbocharged
List price £19,195
Target Price £18,683
Torque 170lb ft
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 £17,200
Target Price £16,121
Torque 107lb ft
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 £19,815
Target Price £18,379
Torque 162lb ft
Top speed 129mph
Fuel economy 57.6mpg (official combined)
CO2 emissions 114g/km