THE new Beetle Cabriolet is great to drive with VW's 1.4 TSI engine but it is pricey.
I recently had a drive in a couple of different trims, which are named Fifties, Sixties or Seventies.
The 160bhp 1.4 turbo gives sparkling performance even in what is quite a heavy car, with a six-speed manual gearbox to help get the best from it.
It is smooth and quiet, tuneful when revved and able to pull from tickover in top gear without a murmer.
The performance was huge fun - the engine willing and punchy from low revs - and acceleration was very good from almost any speed.
Under the skin, the Beetle is a Golf of course, with front engine and front wheel drive, and all the excellent handling and road holding combined with a comfortable ride.
The interior trims are similar, but with different equipment and emphasis. The Seventies model I spent most time in is the luxury range-topper, beautifully appointed and with excellent fit and finish.
Ostensibly a four seater, the interior will only seat three in comfort with a normal sized driver, because there is no legroom behind him.
The electric hood is quick and easy and equipment includes stability control, traction control, alarm, leather, bluetooth and DAB CD/radio/MP3 player.