John Roe/General Motors
The Cascada is Buick’s less-than-triumphant return to the globe of convertibles.
Meandering along the Belt Parkway one recent morning, on the method to a sunrise photo shoot, I decided to pull over to lower the roof on my 2016 Buick Cascada test car. Obtaining spine up to speed, the wind blowing in my hair in a Buick for the initial time in, well, ever, I decided the experience wasn’t altogether unpleasant.
What’s a Cascada? Buick’s initial drop-top due to the fact that the Reatta of the early 1990s, the Cascada fills a gap in the market for affordable4-passengerconvertibles soldby American brands.
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The last convertible Buick earned was the Reatta in the early 1990s. Re-entering the drop-top game is section of Buick’s self-proclaimed renaissance.
With the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot enabled and music streaming, the heated seats on full tilt (it wasn’t quite convertible weather yet), and the sun glistening on the Cascada’s shapely body, I was having enough enjoyable that I was almostready to forgive the newest Buick’s harsh ride, flaccid structure Along with the top down, and slightly ridiculous $37,385 as-tested price.
An Opel by any kind of various other name
The Cascada is manufactured in Poland at a plant operated by Opel, General Motors’ German arm.
ABuick by method of Opel, the German division of Detroit-based General Motors, the Cascada is actually earned in Poland. Little a lot more compared to a Brand-new badge transforms the automobile in to a Buick, and if you spend even a moment perusing the car, its European eccentricities make themselves known.
For example, the interior is rife Along with similarly sized, indistinguishable buttons that speak to the car’s Germanic sensibilities, and the infotainment screen is tiny by modern American standards, navigable by a confusing knob or outstretched fingertips making precise selections that are almost impossible to execute offered the stiff ride. Essentially, the Cascada is simply as German as a Volkswagen Eos, which is vacating the marketjust as this Buick arrives to take its place.
John Roe/General Motors
The Cascada’s German roots prove to most evidently inside the cabin through the car’s small, uniform buttons and tiny infotainment screen.
Based ona week spent behind the Cascada’s wheel, I’m led to conclude that Buick is in the middle of an identity crisis – one that’s solvable, however not right away.
Buick’s overdue transformation began years ago
The Buick Cascada can easily suit four passengers or the reat two seats can easily fold down to enable room for additional storage.
Adecade ago, GM decided that its Saturn brand would certainly become the American version of Opel. however after that the automaker declared bankruptcy, the government rescued it, and Saturn was killed. Buick, which survived as a result of its importance to the Chinese market, inherited the Opel plan.
Buick had already begun its own reinvention, as evidenced by therethought, second generation of its LaCrosse sedanand the big however soft-spoken Enclave SUV.To bolster these Brand-new models, permanently different kinds of Buicks based upon Opel models arrived,Love the Regal sedan, a rebadged version of the German-engineered Opel Insignia, and the Encore mini crossover, offered as the Opel Mokka in various other portions of the world.
The Buick Cascada features 20-inch aluminum wheels, chrome accents and a stainless steel exhaust idea to include an extra sense of flair to the convertible.
With this modification in product development strategy, it looked Love Buick was poised to lead the charge at GM Along with a globally sourced product line that could set benchmarks fairly compared to fall short to fulfill them. The Regal was enjoyable to drive, from the base model up to the hot GS trim. The Encore fit in to simply concerning any kind of parking space, and was such a triumph that Chevrolet decided to bring its own version, the Trax, to the United States, For the initial time due to the fact that American automakers held a majority of market share in the U.S., Buick had well-regarded entries in the most competitive segments.
Today, however, despite impressive product gains and resurgent sales, Buick’s lineup still feels uneven, and it has actually much to do Along with the brand’s ambition to be a severe user not simply in China – where the Buick name enjoys unusually solid cachet – however likewise the rest of the world.
Buick remains a job in progress
Under the hood of the Buick Cascada Convertible sits a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that can easily make up 200 horsepower.
Out of short-term necessity, Buick’s current lineup is a bit of a jumbled mess. Step inside a LaCrosse, after that switch in to a Cascada, and all of that’s similar is the badge on the steering wheel. In areas where the LaCrosse feels plush and refined, led by impressive interior contents and an up-to-date infotainment system, the Cascada feels Love an afterthought.
The same can easily be said for the hulking U.S.-sourced Enclave and diminutive Encore, which hails from South Korea. On the near horizon is the Envision SUV, which slots between both and is built in China. Indeed, the Envision could signal a shift from the company importing and renaming Opels to building Buicks that start life as Buicks – irrespective of intended market. however prior to then, it will certainly no doubt look and feel different from larger and smaller sized Buick SUVs.
Buick has to do much better compared to the Cascada
It’s sturdy not to view the Cascada as superflous as soon as the General Motors lineup already features a perfectly good Camaro convertible, which out performs the Cascada on almost all of levels.
Getting spine to the Cascada, Just what makes the dissonance between it and various other Buick models more obvious is that neither Buick nor General Motors requires this car. Looking for a world-class convertible wearing an American brand? The Chevrolet Camaro is an exceptional choice, in most methods superior to the Cascada.
Buick can easily do much better compared to to offer the Cascada, a product it could have actually stood behind 5 years ago however which is now difficult to justify. will certainly you be let down if you decide to buy this Buick, having steered none of its competitors prior to opting for one? Not necessarily, however diligent automobile shopping isn’t a one-prevent process. Apart from the Camaro, there are still affordable convertible selections from Ford, Mini, Fiat, Mazda, and Volkswagen.
Buick and its Cascada each have actually a long method to go, however while you wait for the production version of the Avista concept, you may hope to check out various other a lot more viable convertible selections from Ford, Mini, Fiat, Mazda and Volkswagen.
Clearly, the most effective that Buick can easily be is yet to come, as hinted by the actually gorgeous Avista concept car. Once GM offers a actually modern Buick lineup, the brand will certainly act Along with Big Stick diplomacy, using its distinctly American accent to convey a unified message about the world.
Until then, lose the top on a Cascada and admire it from afar, perhaps in a beachfront setting. as soon as much better Buicks are built, the charge leading GM’s world-class vehicles will certainly build them, and they will certainly be much much better compared to this sleek however disappointing convertible.