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2019 buick Cascada

After a long hiatus, Buick returned to the convertible segment with the Cascada. Taking the form of a sleekly-styled soft top with room for four adults, the Buick Cascada is essentially a re-badged version of the Opel Cascada that has been on sale in Europe for the last few years.

  Overview

Upholding Buick's brand positioning, the Cascada boasts a well-appointed cabin with up-scale touches throughout. The Cascada's overall interior design is handsome, although a center stack cluttered with buttons does detract somewhat from the car's overall aesthetic appeal. Materials are quite good across the board, including standard leather upholstery.

Despite a relatively compact footprint, the Cascada offers plenty of front seat room, even with the roof in its upright position. The seats themselves offer good support and are comfortable enough for an all-day cruise. The back seats are a little tighter, but there's enough room for a cross-town jaunt with a couple of friends.

As can be the case with convertibles, trunk room is limited in the Cascada. With the roof stowed it can be a challenge to fit two rollaboard suitcases in the Cascada's cargo area. Buick says the Cascada offers 13.4-cubic feet of cargo room with the roof up and 9.8-cubic feet with the roof down.

One area that doesn't let the Cascada down is exterior styling. The Cascada's sharp looking front end includes an up-swept grille and stylized headlights with LED accents. Steeply-raked A-pillars enhance the Cascada's sporty appeal, as do standard 20-inch wheels. Unlike most convertibles, the Cascada looks just as good with its top us as it does with the top down. The rear of the Cascada features a sculpted bumper, distinctive taillights and a chrome accent running nearly the entire width of the vehicle.

Mechanicals

The Cascada rides on a front-wheel drive platform, which is an important distinction from similar convertibles like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. In order to reduce the inherent torque steer of a front-wheel drive setup, the Cascada uses Buick's HiPer Strut front suspension technology.

Just one engine is available in the Cascada — a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 200 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. The Cascada's turbocharged engine also includes an over-boost function that can increase torque to 221 lb-ft for up to 10 seconds. A six-speed automatic transmission in the only gearbox on offer.

The Cascada is on the portly side with a curb weight approaching 4,000 pounds, but the upside of that heft is a vehicle that feels solid on the road. However, fuel economy does suffer as the result of the Cascada's weight, with he convertible returning a somewhat disappointing 20mpg in the city and 27mpg on the highway.

The Cascada's insulated soft top can be raised or lowered in 17 seconds at speeds up to 31mph. The roof stows neatly behind the rear seats and is covered by a hard tonneau cover. A pair of spring-loaded and pyrotechnically activated rollover bars are located just behind the rear seats and are automatically triggered in the event of a rollover accident.

Trim level breakdown

Buick offers the Cascada in three trim levels called base, Premium, and Sport Touring, respectively. 

The list of standard features includes HID headlights, a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation, WiFi connectivity, a seven-speaker sound system, dual-zone automatic A/C, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a remote vehicle starter, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, rear park assist, a leather-upholstered gear selector, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Occupant Safety

Every Buick Cascada ships standard with dual stage frontal and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger. Seat-mounted side airbags are also includes as standard.

Cascada buyers are eligible for a complimentary five-year subscription to General Motors' OnStar telematics system. In the event of a crash, OnStar can emergency personnel.

Key Competitors

The Buick Cascada doesn't have any direct rivals here in the United States. However, those looking for a near-premium convertible might cross-shop the Cascada against vehicles like the Audi A5 convertible and the BMW 2 Series convertible. Other options could include the Volkswagen Beetle convertible the aforementioned Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang convertibles.

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