Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 Buick Cascada Premium: One Of The Last Affordable Drop Tops On The Road

Highlight: Close to seven out of ten Cascada buyers comes from outside of the Buick brand.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $37,390 (base model $33,900)

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; rearview camera; a stability control system; a tire pressure system; OnStar concierge service; a rear parking alert system; a rearview camera; and a spare tire

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 20-inch wheels; power heated front seats; leather seats; a heated leather wrapped steering wheel; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a 7-inch infotainment screen; an easy rear entry system to the back seat; an automatic level control headlight system; a one touch power operated top; and a dual zone temperature control system

Standard Equipment (Premium): 20-inch colored wheels; a forward collision alert system; a lane departure warning system; front fog lights; automatic on/off headlights; a front and rear park assist system; and rain sense wipers

Options: Special Exterior Paint Color

Other Trim Level:


Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 7-speaker AM/FM/CD with satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder/200-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: With the exception of a few new exterior colors and adjustments with the content, Buick’s convertible is a carryover for the model year.

Why: While convertibles seem to be a thing of the past, Buick continues to offer one in their portfolio as many automakers are re-evaluating the future of the car market, as trucks, SUVs and crossovers sales continue to expand. The Cascada, which was borrowed from one of GM’s former partners, Opel, is a great open air vehicle.

The front wheel drive Cascada is available in three trims: base, premium and sport.

Unlike traditional base model vehicles, the Cascada is nicely equipped. In the base model, one can expect everything from power front seats to a one touch power operated convertible cloth top to a rearview camera to an easy-to-use infotainment system. There are only a few features that distinguish the base model from its two higher end trims.

In the premium trim, we reviewed, our convertible was outfitted with the latest safety driving aids (as noted in a previous section).

Overall, the stylish four seater convertible is powered by a peppy, fuel efficient four-cylinder engine. Regardless, if the top is open or close, the designers styled the vehicle to be appealing to the eye. This easy to operate soft top convertible is great for drives along the shore or curvy roads in the country side.  

Furthermore, this is an all-season vehicle, meaning this vehicle is great for most weather conditions. Heated front seats and a heated steering leather steering wheel is suitable for those breezy nights or cool days, while the a/c helps to keep one cool when the weather heats up outside.

Ironically, one of the gripes we had in the 2017 Cascada we reviewed is that is lacked a heated steering wheel. The folks at Buick must have been listening, because this must-have feature was on the 2018 model we reviewed.

But: The stylish convertible is not known for performance, even for those who opt for the sport trim. While the vehicle offers a stunning look, the driver oriented engagement is lacking in this vehicle. For those seeking a true performance car, they’ll have to look elsewhere.

Furthermore, the rear seating area is not designed for long trips. To our dismay, the legroom is virtually non existent.

Moreover, while we welcome Buick’s engineering team answering our call to add a heated steering wheel, they overlooked our request for ventilated seats. And, what about adding a crystal clear audio system in the Cascada? C’mon folks one of the great attributes about tooling around with the top down is having access to a concert-like audio system.

Verdict: For buyers, who are looking for something a little larger than a two door compact roadster, a Camaro or a Mustang, the Cascada seems to fit the bill. Unfortunately, in the days where consumers taste have shifted from cars to crossovers, SUVs and trucks, the future of convertibles seems to be dim. There are only a handful of convertible players in the non luxury segment still available for consumers seeking a little more pleasure out of their drive.

However, for those still longing for a vehicle that offers more than an oversize panoramic sunroof, the Cascada is perfect open air vehicle.

Competition: BMW 2-Series; Audi A3; and Audi A5

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