The Buick Cascada is the first convertible from GM’s tri-shield brand we’ve seen since the Buick Reatta was canceled in 1991. Designed in Germany by Opel and built in Poland, this 2+2 front-wheel drive drop top goes on sale this spring.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $33,065 (plus a $925 destination charge) for the base 1SV edition, this model tops out at just above $37,000 when outfitted in Premium trim. Two trim levels are available for a model powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment for the model tested included:

  • A soft top that can be let down on-the-go at speeds up to 31 mph
  • Twenty-inch aluminum wheels
  • Leather heated steering wheel
  • Leather heated front seats
  • Rear vision camera
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Buick IntelliLink audio system with navigation
  • Rear park assist

Performance Pros

Buick Cascada
  • Standard 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque that can reach 221 pound-feet by activating the overboost mode.
  • Torque steer is a minor concern owing mostly to the HiPer struts up front and the weightiness of the convertible.
  • The convertible’s suspension system is firm and permits little roll. The electric power assisted steering is composed and agile.

Performance Cons

  • Our testers found the Cascada offers sufficient off-the-line acceleration, but with two adults present, the engine strains before it hits its performance threshold.
  • The Cascada is surprisingly heavy, offering nearly two tons of steel-enhanced mass. That’s slightly heavier than a V6-equipped Buick LaCrosse, the brand’s flagship sedan.
  • No manual transmission is offered. The automatic can be operated in manual mode, but there are no paddle shifters present.

Interior Pros

Buick Cascada
  • The Cascada’s designers employed soft colors and tones along with brightwork trim and soft touch materials to create a cabin environment that matches well with its top down driving experience.
  • Buick fans will find the gauges and controls are ordered much in the same way as found in other models, presenting a familiar environment for ease of use.
  • The base model is well-equipped and has remote start, power accessories, power front seats, and leather trim. Choose the Premium edition and you get such safety features as forward collision warning, front and rear park assist, lane departure warning, and automatic headlamp control with tunnel protection.

Interior Cons

  • The convertible’s center stack is cluttered with more buttons and switches present than necessary to complicate matters.
  • Cramped legroom means the rear seat is suitable for children, or better utilized as an additional storage room when the roof is down and the already limited trunk space is further reduced.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Convertibles typically aren’t especially quiet, but the Buick Cascada definitely is so whether the top is up or down. This model’s stiffness means that cowl shake is not an issue.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

In the Cascada you’re getting a Buick, but our testers noted that the convertible’s infotainment system falls short of what the marque currently offers. Its 7-inch display seems small and is controlled by a set of buttons as well as by a rocker-type joystick. Our testers felt that the system is more in line with older Buick models.

The Bottom Line

Buick Cascada

Adding the Cascada to the product line gives Buick a new model in a bid to appeal to younger buyers. Performance enthusiasts certainly won’t be awed by its power and its visage is fairly sedate. With the Volkswagen Eos and Chrysler 200 now history, the Buick Cascada fills the void and presents a worthy alternative to the Lexus IS convertible and the Audi A3 cabriolet.