2016 Buick Cascada First Drive Review: GM Brings a Topless European to America [Video]

The 2016 Buick Cascada is essentially a rebadged Opel Cascada convertible, but its handsome exterior, premium features, and smooth, controlled ride make it a welcome addition to the Buick family.

2016 Buick Cascada

Under the hood of the 2016 Cascada is a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4. The engine hits its peak 200 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, yet the 207 pound-feet of torque is made at 1,800 rpm. An overboost function kicks torque up to 221 lb-ft at just 1,700 rpm. The result is acceleration that feels like real-world power, and not that “hamster wheel” feel you often get from small displacement engines. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift function.

The compact Cascada was originally designed to be a convertible with practical 2+2 seating. The rear deck behind the passenger compartment stows the convertible soft-top, which folds down in just 17 seconds and can open/close it at speeds up to 31 mph. Typically, a soft top is not as proficient at keeping out wind noise as a retractable hardtop, but Buick has gone to great lengths to ensure that the top keeps the outside world out when the top is up. Constructed of a multi-layered fabric made from acoustic material, the Cascada truly feels like a full coupe when the top is up.

2016 Buick Cascada

In the cabin, drivers benefit from Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system, which combines navigation, audio and Bluetooth hands-free phone support, app integration and Siri Eyes Free. A 7-inch touchscreen serves as the primary control center. Like its Chevy cousins, the Cascada also comes with 4G LTE connection supporting its OnStar telematics and Wi-Fi hotspot.

Prices start at $33,990 for the well-equipped standard model. The Cascada Premium model, priced at $36,990, adds forward collision alert, lane departure warning, front and rear park assist, Rainsens automatic windshield wipers, and 20-inch wheels with “diamond graphic” bi-color finish. GM says the premium convertible will go on sale early 2016.


2016 Buick Cascada Convertible Specs:

  • Base price: $33,990
  • Engine: Ecotec 1.6L turbocharged DOHC I-4
  • Power: 200 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1800-4500 rpm / 221 lb-ft @ 1700-4700 (estimated with overboost)
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • EPA-estimated fuel economy (city/hwy mpg): 20 /27
  • Curb weight: 3,979 lbs.