Thursday, August 11, 2016

Buick's reinvention continues with Cascada droptop

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo reviews of the latest motor vehicle models also can be seen on The Sacramento Bee’s website at

This review first appeared in the July 2016 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, California Perhaps you’ve seen those Buick television commercials where some clueless folks don’t realize that they’re standing in front of a Buick product.

I guess the oversized Buick logo on the cars is no help to them.

Whatever the case, Buick is going to great lengths to announce that it is reinventing itself, with a revamped lineup of cooler cars appealing to a wide range of buyers.

A perfect fit for this approach is the all-new 2016 Buick Cascada convertible, with seating for four in a 2 + 2 configuration.  My tester was the Premium version starting at just a shade more than $36,000.

OK, I’ll admit this is a cool droptop.  It’s Buick’s first convertible offering in a quarter century.  In the interest of full disclosure, the car is made in Poland and has a fair portion of Opel DNA in it.

Still, it’s cool.  Very sporty looking from all angles.  Topping the cool chart is rooftop that disappears into the trunk at the push of a button.  And you can do this 17-second magic trick at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour.

Given all this, friends and neighbors ran up to the tested car like it was giving away free ice cream on a horribly hot day.  “What is that?,” they wanted to know.  Amazingly, they started sounding like the people in those Buick TV commercials.

But I digress.  Performance was no problem with 1.6-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine under the hood.  With a max horsepower rating of 200, the Cascada easily zoomed around most of my motoring colleagues on city streets and commuter freeways.  It took on hills with relative ease.  It was solid on sharp corners taken at high speed.

Cargo room with the top up and out of the way is a surprisingly good 13 cubic feet.  I’m not sure I agree with fellow reviewers that the Cascada has ample room for adult-size people in the back seats.

The Cascada does have some interior features that I sincerely liked.  One of them was a thoughtful cabin layout that allowed a clear field of vision all around the vehicle.

Also on the plus side were seat belts that move up and into position to be buckled, and deep-set, old school analog gauges looking back at me from behind the steering wheel.

Four-wheel disc brakes are worthy Cascada-stoppers.

Fuel mileage is, well, pretty fair at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.  That should give you a good amount of time to enjoy motoring before having to refill the 14.3-gallon fuel tank.

The interior layout of controls is geared to the driver … easy to reach and use.  Sport bucket seats look nice and are comfortable even on long drives.

In sum, I can’t say much that’s negative about this Cascada, and believe it, the convertible is simply fun to drive.

Score one for the new Buick.

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