2016 Buick Cascada second drive review – The Car Connection

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2016 Buick Cascada - second drive report

To a excellent lot of Americans, the quintessential spring break includes cruising a Miami Beach, taking in the sun along with the leading down, deciding on up some friends, and maybe heading out to Essential West.

While the Cascada has actually the goods to comply with that fantasy, we’re not entirely convinced that it’s the sort of auto that would certainly be appreciated as considerably as a everyday driver.

As the very first Polish-assembled auto for the U.S., along with engineering by GM’s German Opel division, an engine from Hungary, and a transmission from Mexico, the Cascada is a really global affair.

Yet for all of its potential as a “finest of” mix of GM hardware, there’s fairly little charm from the driver’s seat.

The Cascada is sprightly, and it accelerates reasonably rapidly and responds well enough—offered the streets are Florida-level. Its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is rated at 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque (along with an overboost mode delivering up to 221 lb-ft). Peak torque is gained at a reasonable 1,800 rpm; yet from there up to simply past 3,000 rpm, there’s some substantial lag if you permit your ideal foot up then go spine in to it.

Oh, and as quickly as the Cascada faces an uphill climb, gaining energy feels much a lot more challenging. The Cascada is heavy—truly heavy. At nearly 4,000 pounds, it’s a relic of an era once GM relied on added bracing and bolstering (especially for its convertibles), quite compared to high-strength steels or aluminum.

A cascade of strange choices

GM’s workaround for that situation, to make the Cascada responsive, is to make the lesser couple of gears of the six-rate automatic quite low, and to delay upshifts, also in moderate acceleration, until revs near the 4,000-rpm mark. That method the upshift lands about the 3,000-rpm mark, where the turbo’s on its finest boil and the engine’s closer to its 5,500-rpm energy peak.

That weight, and the transmission shift program, takes a deep toll on real-globe fuel economy, and the ability to replicate the EPA fuel economy ratings for the Cascada, of twenty mpg city, 27 highway. In concerning 70 miles of mixed-condition driving about LA boulevards and freeways, over a couple of days, the quest odometer on our test auto showed an standard of 17 mpg—surprisingly reasonable for a modest four-seater along with a 1.6-liter engine.

Yes, the Cascada would certainly have actually been a considerably happier, responsive auto along with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder from the Verano and Regal. And we’ve seen much better in the exact same conditions along with the former V-6 Chrysler 200 Convertible.

You’d believe all of the weight may bring about decent straight-ahead tracking and a a sense of solidity; yet the Cascada likewise felt unsettled on LA’s battered freeways, requiring constant small steering corrections to remain straight-on. The relatively low-profile (40) tires on 20-inch wheels probably don’t recommendations considerably for ride.

The Cascada rides on a version of GM’s so-called HiPer strut front suspension, along with a Watts-link, torsion-beam setup in back. While this tuning makes the Verano sedan feel surprisingly sporty and communicative, the added couple of hundred pounds of weight here, and downright strange options for spring/damper tuning, adds up to a auto that feels a bit at odds along with itself on all of yet smooth roads; it heaves and leans a lot more compared to you’d believe over big bumps, railroad tracks, and heading rapidly about corners yet feels compulsively jittery over surface irregularities and roadway cracks.