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- Highs Attractive design, long list of standard features, surprisingly quiet for a convertible.
- Lows Underpowered engine, outdated infotainment system, tight rear seat.
- Verdict The Cascada is attractive and well-equipped, but it's held back by poky acceleration and outdated technology.
The Buick Cascada, introduced to the U.S. market for 2016, is based on the European Opel Cascada, with few changes beyond badging and the availability of just one powertrain choice. The Cascada is built on GM’s front-wheel-drive Delta platform (along with the Buick Verano sedan), but with standard premium interior appointments and equipment to make it a relaxed, upscale compact convertible. The handsome Cascada comes with a power fabric top that folds under a hard tonneau cover in 17 seconds, at speeds up to 31 mph, and raises in 19 seconds.
What's New for 2018?
Navigation is now standard across the Cascada lineup, and new twin-spoke black 20-inch wheels are standard on the Sport Touring model. Three new exterior paint colors are available: Rioja red metallic, Dark Moon Blue metallic and Carrageen metallic. There are also two new fabric convertible top color choices in addition to black: Sweet Mocha and Malbec.
- Base: $33,990
- Premium: $36,995
- Sport Touring: $37,995
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
A 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, rated at 200 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, powers the Cascada's front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual shifting feature. The Cascada comes standard with Buick’s HiPer Strut front suspension, designed to minimize torque steer and maximize steering feel, and its unibody frame has been stiffened to account for its lack of a steel, fixed top. The result is a compact convertible that handles corners fairly well without the compromise of a rough ride but heavy overall weight that hampers the small engine’s acceleration. If not for the underpowered engine and heavy body weight, the Cascada would be a sleeper sporty car.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Cascada comes standard with a heavily insulated soft top, heat-reflecting leather seat surfaces, heated power front seats, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, one-touch power fold-forward seats for easy access to the two back seats, and a stitched, soft-surface dashboard. The Sport Touring edition adds “Black Magic” interior trim components, sport pedals, and a flat-bottom racing-style steering wheel. The Cascada's front seats are comfortable enough, even if they're a bit too firm, but passengers will find the rear seats to be on the tight side. The trunk offers a generous 13.4 cubic feet of cargo room with the top up, but this drops to 9.8 if you opt for open-air motoring.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Cascada comes standard with such features as a 7.0-inch touchscreen with the Buick IntelliLink interface and OnStar telematics, as well as navigation, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a USB port, auxiliary input, and a seven-speaker stereo with satellite radio. Unfortunately, the system is clunky and outdated compared to the Cascada's rivals, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are glaring omissions.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.