Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The 1.8 16v engine provides good acceleration in lower gears. It has 130bhp and low weight, making it very nimble on the country roads. It needs to be revved hard to get the best of the power, so it can sound a bit strained but it's fun when dong so. The gearchange feels substantial, although it's light enough for comfortable town driving. The light body means it's pretty economical too.

In short, it's a hoot. The precise steering provides accurate, sharp cornering and the large comfortable seats provide a flowing journey for driver and passenger, minimizing jolts and knocks. It grips the road well and takes full advantage of its all round independent suspension. In wet weather, Barchetta slides around a lot more, but it's controllable.

It's based around the original 1994 Punto, so unlike many convertibles, it's front-wheel-drive.