The 2018 Buick Cascada promises to be a reasonably priced four-person luxury convertible. Unfortunately, under its sleek shell the Buick Cascada is an aging vehicle that is not up to the standards of today's market. It simply can't compete in terms of price, performance, comfort, features or quality.
We do like the Cascada's low levels of interior noise for a convertible. And, yes, the trunk is more sizable than other convertibles'. But that's only if you commit to top-up motoring and close the partition that lets you lower the roof. Beyond that, the car's substantial weight and small engine conspire to make it slower, less efficient and less gratifying to drive than its competitors. Meanwhile, the dated interior is packed with buttons and a touchscreen infotainment system that's decidedly a generation behind those of competitors. It doesn't help that the firm seats and hard plastics within don't live up to the badge's premium aspirations.
Before committing to a Cascada, we recommend test-driving some of the Buick's competitors. The Ford Mustang convertible offers a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine, more comfortable front seats, and a folding roof that doesn't interfere with trunk space.
If you don't like the sports-car look, there's the Mini Convertible, which feels more premium, is more fun to drive, and is only a little less utilitarian than the Cascada when the top comes down. The Cascada's top trim level is even priced within spitting distance of the Audi A3 Cabriolet, which in base trim offers similar equipment and a significantly more upscale experience.
The 2018 Buick Cascada convertible is offered in three trim levels: base, Premium and Sport Touring. All trims come with largely the same equipment, with the Premium receiving a handful of upgrades and the Sport Touring primarily being an appearance package.
Powering all versions is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment for the base model (referred to as simply Cascada) includes 20-inch alloy wheels, a power-operated convertible soft top, adaptive xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors and remote engine start. Inside, you'll find dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power and heated front seats, 50/50-split folding rear seats, a heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 7-inch touchscreen display (with Buick's IntelliLink interface), voice controls, a rearview camera, OnStar (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot), and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB media interface.
The Cascada Premium adds foglights, automatic wipers, automatic headlights, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, air deflectors for the front and rear seats, and a navigation system.
Step up to the new Sport Touring trim and you get a unique paint color and distinctive alloy wheels, special black interior trim and flat-bottom steering wheel.