It certainly looks like a fine summer fashion accessory. The Beetle Cabriolet looks like it can only be sold to younger people with (female) long, glossy hair and (male) perfectly groomed hipster beards. Naturally they all laugh at the landscape, each other, every passing road sign, with their perfect white teeth.

Oddly, given its dimensions and pretensions, the better models all have small engines, like the 1.2-litre petrol unit. This little turbocharged engine has enough get up and go and works well with the slick six-speed manual box. The 1.4-litre turbo engine is better still, but the 1.2 is adequate.

We鈥檇 probably steer clear of the 2.0-litre diesel choice since along with lots of torque and more power it also produces a fair amount of expensive noise and vibration, and only having a five-speed manual with it doesn鈥檛 help either.

The commitment to smaller engines shows up as a good bet when you try cornering reasonably hard. It鈥檚 a convertible, and there really isn鈥檛 enough stiffening in the chassis to compensate for the lack of roof. It shakes and shudders and you鈥檒l not want to push it too hard. If you do it just washes out with understeer anyway, so far better to just sit back and relax. And laugh of course.

Along with smaller engines, we鈥檇 also go for smaller wheels, certainly nothing bigger than 17in, even if they don鈥檛 look like macho arch-fillers. With these on the ride is fairly compliant, but if you go bigger the ride really deteriorates. It鈥檚 certainly not a Mini Convertible that鈥檚 for sure.

With the roof up all is fairly calm and quiet, but if you sport a fetching toupee then you鈥檒l want to use the plastic wind deflector at the rear, even if you have to unfold the device yourself. Up front, the driving position is comfy, the 6.5in infotainment screen is straightforward and easy to use and it鈥檚 all quite, well, nice really.

Which is just as well, since that gives you something to look at. Looking out is much trickier with blind spots of some size ?we鈥檇 go for the optional parking sensors for sure.

The cabin is fine for the front two but it鈥檚 quite cramped in the rear with an upright seating position and headroom compromised by the roofline. Still, the boot is a reasonable size, although you wouldn鈥檛 want to spend too much time in it. Not even without the duct tape.

The Beetle Cabriolet is undoubtedly an attractive car, and it becomes more attractive when you learn that, if you put on your best Kasbah routine, you should be able to extract a decent discount off the list price. We鈥檇 go for Design trim as that gives you all you need without it getting silly. Maybe add those parking sensors, and while you鈥檙e ticking boxes, why not the Winter Pack ?just the thing for a summer soft-top ?as that gives heated seats and windscreen washer jets.