There was a quarter-century gulf between Buick convertible models that was finally closed when the midsize Cascada arrived in 2016. The first Buick drop-top since the stylish Reatta was discontinued in 1991, this Opel-supplied 2+2 convertible comes loaded with premium features.
2017 Buick Cascada Overview
What's New for 2017
Introduced to the U.S. market in 2016, the Buick Cascada adds a Sport Touring trim for 2017. The two other trims carry over unchanged.
Choosing Your Buick Cascada
The 2017 Buick Cascada is available in Cascada (Base), Premium, and Sport Touring trims.
All models are powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine generates 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The 2017 Cascada delivers an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
A sport-tuned suspension is standard and brings in Hi-Per front struts, a compound crank Z-link rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes at the corners. The system has been calibrated to reduce torque steer.
Upgrades are limited, but include individual items like Deep Sky metallic paint ($395), floor mats ($100), and a smoker’s package ($55) for the base model. Cascada Premium shoppers can opt for all-weather floor mats ($140) or a sport pedal kit ($165). A small number of accessory items are available on the Sport Touring trim too.
Prices do not include a $925 destination freight charge.
The Cascada Premium trim brings in additional safety features and adds navigation, offering a complete package for this model line. Although only $1,000 more, the Sport Touring trim doesn’t offer anything beyond decorative updates to justify spending an extra grand on this model.
2017 Buick Cascada Review
Buick’s Opel-supplied Cascada convertible adds flair to a brand dominated by cars and SUVs. This 2+2 front-wheel drive model is handsomely shaped and well equipped, but it falls short in delivering the driving excitement convertible drivers might expect.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2017 Buick Cascada starts at $33,990 (including $925 for destination) for the standard grade. Premium ($36,990) and Sport Touring ($37,990) grades follow. We think the Premium grade with navigation and driver-assist features is the most popular grade among the three, offering the following key amenities:
- Buick's Intellilink infotainment system with navigation
- Forward collision warning
- Lane departure warning
- Articulating HID headlamps
- Front and rear park assist
- Heated front seats
No package choices are available, although Buick dealers offer the usual array of accessories.
All 2017 Buick Cascadas use a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, this model returns 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway and takes premium gasoline.
- The top drops in just 17 seconds. Importantly, drivers can lower the roof while the Cascada is in motion and at speeds as fast as 31 mph.
- The transmission shifts smoothly and on schedule, perhaps explaining why there are no paddle shifters present. You can, however, shift with the console-mounted lever, if preferred.
- The 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder produces 200 horsepower, but with a curb weight of nearly two tons, The Cascada could use a stronger engine.
- Fuel economy is not this model’s strong suit. Moreover, the Cascada takes costlier premium grade gasoline.
- The Sport Touring grade supplies 20-inch aluminum wheels, sport alloy pedals, and only one color choice: Deep Sky Metallic. If you were hoping the fanciest trim would provide an improvement in ride and handling, the Sport Touring will disappoint.
- The front seats are comfortable, supportive, and offer power control and heating features.
- Standard equipment matches what you’d find in competing premium models, with remote start, leather seats and a heated steering wheel.
- The center console is overwhelmed by too many buttons, switches, and knobs. It simply lacks the modern interface common to newer Buick models – remember, the Cascada first hit European showrooms in 2013.
- Convertibles cost cargo space, and this Buick is no different. Trunk room is already a small 13.4 cubic feet with the top up, but that figure falls to just 9.8 cubic feet when the roof is down.
- The 2017 Cascada comes with some of the creature features customers want, including hotspot capability and Siri Eyes Free, but it lacks both Android Auto and Apple Cary Play compatibility.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Convertibles are prone to rattle and shake, but the Cascada offers reinforced side sills and stiffer front roof pillars to keep cowl shake to a bare minimum.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Fully loaded, you'll pay about $38,000 for the Cascada, but you're not coming away with anything near a fine German convertible for the money.
The Bottom Line
The Buick Cascada fills the space vacated by the Chrysler Sebring and Toyota Solara, and like those cars. But like those cars, it doesn’t offer anywhere near the driving excitement of Germany's small, four-seat convertibles or the similarly priced convertible muscle cars from Ford or Chevy. Keep that in mind if you're in the market.