Used test – chic convertibles: Citroen DS3 Cabrio vs Fiat 500C

Convertibles and catwalks don’t always go hand-in-hand, but these two used cabrios, with their city-friendly dimensions, are as fashionable as they come...

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Alex Robbins
2 Jul 2016 6:0 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

Our Verdict

There’s something very appealing about the way the Fiat 500C drives. Yes, it’s rough and ready, but it’s also very exciting, and it has a tearaway spirit that will appeal to those who want something that feels like a bit of a hooligan.

The trouble is, it feels like a hooligan all the time. Even when you want to drive in a calmer, more relaxed manner, the 500C is still bouncing all over the road and parping away with its throaty exhaust note. All of which is forgivable in a hot hatch, but in a fashion-conscious convertible like this, it feels just a little bit gauche.

Throw in its higher cost and smaller interior, and the Fiat has to lose out to the Citroen DS3 Cabrio here. The DS3 isn’t perfect – that boot is pretty useless, for one thing, and for another, it doesn’t feel quite as rabid as the 500C.

For all that, though, it’s still very entertaining. It just delivers its thrills in a slicker, more polished fashion – and as a result, it’s far more pleasant to drive when you’re simply nipping into town or cruising along on a sunny day. It’s also more spacious, more grown up inside, and cheaper to run. It is the more rounded convertible, in other words, and the fact you’ll pay less to buy it seals its victory.

Read our review of the updated DS 3 Cabrio

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Used test – chic convertibles: Citroen DS3 Cabrio vs Fiat 500C

For Smoothness; composed handling; cheap to buy

Against Narrow boot opening; higher service costs

Verdict The best blend of fun and usability

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full DS 3 Cabrio review

Find a used Citroen DS3 Cabrio for sale in the What Car? Classifieds

2nd – Fiat 500C

Used test – chic convertibles: Citroen DS3 Cabrio vs Fiat 500C

For Great engine note; sharp handling; fashionable image

Against Sensitive brakes; harsh ride; noisy

Verdict A riot to drive, but not so relaxing to live with

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full used Fiat 500C review

Find a used Fiat 500C for sale in the What Car? Classifieds

Specifications: Citroen DS3 1.6 THP Sport

Engine size 1.6-litre petrol

List price when new £19,675

Price today £8500

Power 154bhp

Torque 177lb ft

0-60mph 8.3sec

Top speed 132mph

Fuel economy 47.9mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 137g/km

Specifications: Fiat 500C 1.4 T-Jet Abarth

Engine size 1.4-litre petrol

List price when new £16,000

Price today £9000

Power 135bhp

Torque 152lb ft

0-60mph 8.7sec

Top speed 128mph

Fuel economy 43.5mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 155g/km

Price today is based on a 2013 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing