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2018 Buick Cascada

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 Base 2dr Front-wheel Drive Convertible
most popular
Price:   -  From $33,065
2018 Premium 2dr Front-wheel Drive Convertible Price:   -  From $36,070
2018 Sport Touring 2dr Front-wheel Drive Convertible Price:   -  From $37,070


When it comes to automotive species, the premium four-seat soft-top convertible is on the Endangered list. But Buick is doing its part to conserve the breed with its sharp-looking – and well-selling – Cascada model. Pricing for this two-door drop-top technically starts at $34,915 (including $925 Destination Charge) in 1SV form, but buyers should consider the $37,915 Premium the model’s entry point.

What's New for 2018

Changes for the Cascada’s third year are limited to cosmetics, with new exterior and soft top colors and a Dark Effects Package available on the Sport Touring model.

Buick Cascada

Choosing Your Buick Cascada

All Cascadas are powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four that puts its 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic. The only significant difference between Cascada trims – excluding the 1SV – is its appearance, with the Premium tier offering the expected equipment clothed in the traditional array of somewhat conservative colors while the Sport Touring attempts to add an aggressive attitude utterly unbefitting of this comfort-focused Buick.

There are three Cascada trims:

Buick Cascada


As is Buick tradition, the 1SV trim exists, but don’t plan on ever seeing one. Its sub-$35,000 MSRP makes good ad copy, though, and as it would cost more to remove features than leave them in place for this base model, its list of standard features is a healthy one.

Included in its interior is perforated leather upholstery, 10-way power and heated front bucket seats with power lumbar control, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a seven-inch infotainment system with navigation, seven speakers, SiriusXM audio system with USB and auxiliary ports, a rear-view camera, an OnStar 4G LTE wifi hotspot, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Exterior appointments include 20-inch wheels, HID headlights, LED taillights, perimeter entry with push-button start, and rear park assist.

And no Buick would be complete without QuietTuning, which in the Cascada’s case is the use of a variety of sound-absorbing materials, an acoustic-laminated windshield, and special engine tuning, suspension settings, wheels, and tires that work in concert to isolate passengers from engine and road noise.

Options-wise, the only choice Buick gives 1SV buyers is either white paint (for free) or dark blue metallic for $395. Both are paired with a black power-folding fabric top and black interior with Piano Black accents.

Buick Cascada


Though it costs $3,000 more than the 1SV, the Premium’s worth every penny. Included is the Driver Confidence Package that includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, rain-sensing wipers, front and rear park assist, and “tunnel detection” capability for the articulating headlamps. Front and rear air deflectors, fog lamps, and different 20-inch wheels are included, too.

Four additional metallic paints (at $395 per) are added to the Cascada’s palette, as is a tan-colored interior. But like the 1SV, optional extras are nonexistent.

Buick Cascada

Sport Touring

The Sport Touring adds $1,000 to the Premium and includes all of its standard equipment, but it’s meant to be a sportier alternative to the Premium, not a more luxurious one. It includes just enough equipment to earn its name, including sport pedals, a leather-wrapped three-spoke sport steering wheel, sportier-looking 20-inch wheels, a mostly-unique and zero-cost four-color paint range that includes Sport Red, and a Magic Black interior hue.

A $125 option on three of this Cascada’s colors, the Dark Effects Package adds red stitching to the seats, doors, and instrument panel, body-color fog lamp accents and rear moldings, and Gloss Black mirror caps and grille. It also requires the Sport Red exterior paint.

And while that makes the Sport Touring’s maximum MSRP $38,255, thanks to its extra-cost exterior paint range, the Premium trim edges it out of the top cost spot by $360.

CarsDirect Tip

There is no reason not to opt for the Premium trim. The Cascada isn’t sporty (no matter what Buick would like you to think), and no amount of tossed-on trim is going to change that. And given the fact that the Sport Touring is purely appearance-based, you aren’t losing any equipment with the Premium while retaining access to its broader – and more befitting – color range.

Get your price on a Buick Cascada »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Buick saw a glaring hole in the US automotive market in 2016 and decided to fill it with the Cascada. Like many Buicks, the automaker turned to Europe for this small convertible, as this is essentially a rebadged Opel from Germany. While its German roots are evident and beneficial in some areas, the 2018 Buick Cascada is very dated in other areas.

Best Value

You have three trims to choose from in the 2018 Cascada: 1SV, Premium, and Sport Touring. In a relatively unusual twist, the best value is in the base Cascada 1SV. While that may sound great to a buyer on a tight budget, it's also an indicator of just how dated some of the features in the higher trims are.

The 2018 Buick Cascada 1SV comes standard with everything one would expect on a luxury convertible, say, five years ago. The list of standard features includes 20-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, a seven-inch touchscreen, and more.

  • Model: 2018 Buick Cascada 1SV
  • Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 200 hp / 207 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
  • Options: None
  • Base Price: $33,990 (including a $925 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $33,990


Buick Cascada

The Cascada’s thick-rimmed steering wheel feels sporty in your hand, plus it's well-weighted and precise. The thick roof and additional sound deadening keep road noise to a minimum, and the 1.6-liter engine delivers a quiet hum that doesn’t infiltrate the cabin.

While it's quiet and relatively powerful at 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is outmatched by this nearly 4,000-pound convertible. On top of that, the aged six-speed automatic transmission slips in and out of gears with a slur and sometimes shows a delay in downshifting.

While the 20-inch wheels look great on the corners, they combine with low-profile tires to create a bumpy ride that no Buick buyers would ever find acceptable. With this bumpy ride, you may believe the suspension will be stiff enough to deliver zippy handling, but this is far from the truth, as there's also plenty of lean in the corners.


The Cascada is very obviously German, thanks to its toned-down design. Some may love this look, while others may find it too vanilla. Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, we can all admit that the fabric roof doesn’t hinder the styling whether it’s up or down.

Inside, the 2018 Buick Cascada really shows its age. Everything seems to be about one generation behind, including the rustic navigation interface, the nearly straight-on instrument cluster, and the massive number of buttons on the center stack.

Roominess is also a hot commodity in the Cascada, as only the front occupants have any room to speak of. In the rear, there’s just 32.8 inches of leg room and 36.1 inches of head room. The trunk is also tight, as it has 9.8 cubic feet with the top down.

While it hasn’t gone through full safety testing yet, the Cascada performed well on most of the NHTSA crash tests, landing it a five-star rating. However, age rears its ugly head again, as the 2018 Cascada lacks any modern safety tech, including automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist.

The Best and Worst Things

The classy styling of the 2018 Cascada is perfect for fans of German metal, giving budget-stretched BMW and Mercedes-Benz fans reason to take a look.

That said, the dated feel of the Cascada is a huge turnoff. Its two biggest offenders are its button-heavy center stack and lack of any advanced safety technology.

Right For? Wrong For?

Buick Cascada

The 2018 Buick Cascada is a niche vehicle that has no competitors in its price range. Plus, its German styling makes it perfect for those who cannot afford a BMW, Mercedes, or Audi convertible car payment.

The younger generation might as well stay away, as they'll feel like they’re driving a fossil in the Cascada.

The Bottom Line

Buick knows it has this segment on lock with the 2018 Cascada, so there's no need to worry about it being a bit dated. This is a disappointment, as there has been a lot of progress at Buick, and this seems like a step back into the old Buick ways.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.6L I-4 / 200 HP / 207 ft.lbs.
6-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
21 / 29 / 25 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.6L I-4 / 200 HP / 207 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
21 / 29 / 25 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Semi-independent Torsion Beam Beam
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
14.3 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
13.4 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
82 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
184.9 "
Exterior Width
72.4 "
Exterior Height
56.8 "
Front Headroom
37.8 "
Rear Headroom
36.1 "
Front Legroom
42.2 "
Rear Legroom
32.8 "
Front Shoulder Room
54.6 "
Rear Shoulder Room
45.8 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,979 Lbs.
Wheel Base
106 "
Turning Radius
19.4 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
2 Doors
20.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Sport Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Armrests
(8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
50-50 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Intellilink Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Clock, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Directionally Adaptive
Parking Sensors
Rear Park Assist Rear
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Pass-key Iii
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
24 Months / 24,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months

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