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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Buick Cascada
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Expert's Rating

2.8Fair | Details

MPG

21 City / 29 Highway
Automotive Editor -

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:

Base

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.

Premium

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.

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.

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