We might be sadly lacking in this country when it comes to hot summer days but that doesn’t seem to curtail the desire for convertibles.
In fact we buy more open top cars per head of population than virtually any other country in the world.
But for more than nine years anyone seeking to buy a new soft top had to cross Volkswagen off their list because production of the VW Golf Cabrio ceased altogether in 2002 and didn’t resume until 2011 when the latest one emerged.
And from every aspect this is a car that has been worth waiting for.
The previous generation model was very much in demand, with nearly 700,000 sold between 1979 and 2002 but the latest generation is on a different plane altogether.
With its steeply angled windscreen leading to a much more rackish fabric roof the latest version looks far more like a sportscar than its predecessor, although it’s still a full four-seater.
Cabin space is more generous than before with the car offering the largest interior length in its class, which is particularly good news for rear seat passengers.
And for a car of this size the boot is not too bad either with 250 litres of luggage space, although the opening is shallow which doesn’t help when trying to get large suitcases in. Usefully the rear seatbacks can be folded down exposing a very large opening from the boot and dramatically expanding the luggage area.
To make sure you make the most of the sunshine the electrically-operated roof can be lowered in just nine seconds even when you are on the move, or at least on the move up to 18 miles per hour.
The days when convertibles tended to be much noisier than their hatchback siblings are certainly over if the new Golf Cabriolet is anything to judge by. Thanks to an insulating filler layer between the exterior layer and roofliner of the hood this cabriolet is one of the quietest on the market.
In fact, when you are on the move you tend to forget that you are in a convertible.
My test car was the entry-level diesel model with 105bhp, which means no road tax the first year, just £30 per anum in subsequent years and a claimed 64-plus miles per gallon – helped by a stop/start system.
You do pay a penalty in initial acceleration to achieve such economy but unless you are a foot-to-the-boards type of driver it probably won’t bother you that much. And certainly when it comes to motorway driving this 1600cc diesel performs with gusto.
Surprisingly you can only order this model with a five rather than six speed manual gearbox but even at 70mph-plus the revs are low enough to ensure it’s a very relaxed engine.
Despite being the entry level model the car comes with very comfortable sporting seats with good side support, ensuring there are no aches after long journeys.
And even though it’s not designed to be a sporting model the firm suspension ensures good road holding and fun motoring.
I have a feeling that, just like the convertible Beetle, this little gem could soon become a much sought after cult car.
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet TDI SE Blue Motion.
Mechanical: 1598cc, 105bhp, 4 cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5spd manual gearbox.
Max speed: 117 mph
0-62mph: 12.1 secs
Combined mpg: 64.2
CO2 emissions: 117 g/km
Warranty: 3 years/60,000 miles