Used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible
The Buick Cascada is an all-new model.
- Quiet and comfortable ride on the highway and over bumpy roads
- lots of features for a reasonable price.
- It's heavy and not very powerful, and that results in underwhelming acceleration and fuel economy
- dashboard controls all look alike, which can be distracting on the road
- tech interface is dated compared to rivals
- mediocre interior quality.
Used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Buick is back in the drop-top business with a new convertible, the 2016 Cascada. It's comfortable, as you would expect a Buick to be, and competitively priced. Ready to find out if getting a breeze through your hair in a Cascada is right for you?
Shop for a convertible nowadays and you'll find yourself choosing between muscle cars like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, compacts like the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle, and luxury cars like the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series. You might then wonder: Whatever happened to the reasonably priced convertible with four usable seats? Well, put simply, automakers stopped making them. But now one automaker, Buick, is jumping back in with its all-new 2016 Cascada.It's heavy and not very powerful, and that results in underwhelming acceleration and fuel economy; dashboard controls all look alike, which can be distracting on the road; tech interface is dated compared to rivals; mediocre interior quality.
Like Buick's four-door Regal, the Cascada has been plucked directly from Opel, General Motors' European division. In order to naturalize the Cascada, Buick outfitted it with suspension components that provide a softer, quieter ride. Thanks to a stiff body structure, Buick's engineers were able to tune the Cascada to provide a compliant ride quality while also maintaining a decent amount of handling capability. Take the Cascada through some curves and you'll find its well-mannered European heritage indeed remains largely intact.
Every convertible requires some compromises to practicality, but the Cascada requests fewer than most. The rear seat, though not generous with stretch-out space, can accommodate two smaller passengers. The trunk is a little bigger than normal, too, and it's augmented by fold-down rear seatbacks with a handy pass-through for larger cargo. Additional thoughtful details include a one-touch power top that can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 31 mph and electric seat-belt presenters that bring the front shoulder belts into easy reach when the door is closed.
That said, some features we expect to see in a luxury car, such as keyless ignition and blind-spot monitoring, aren't offered in the Cascada, and its interior design and acceleration are underwhelming. If you take a test drive and don't find the Cascada luxurious or sporty enough, you'll probably prefer luxury-brand rivals like the Audi A3 Cabriolet and BMW 2 Series. Those models cost more, though. On the other side of the pricing spectrum, the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle are certainly fun cars to drive, but they don't offer as much interior or trunk space as the Buick. Perhaps closest in mission to the Cascada is the Volkswagen Eos, which also boasts a retractable hardtop roof. Overall, the 2016 Buick Cascada is far from perfect, but it's good to see another affordable option in this underserved segment.
trim levels & features
The 2016 Buick Cascada convertible is offered in two trim levels: Base (1SV) and Premium (1SP).
Standard equipment for the base model includes 20-inch wheels, a power-operated convertible soft top, foglights, adaptive xenon headlights, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote engine start, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated eight-way power front seats, 50/50-split folding rear seats, a 7-inch touchscreen display (with Buick's Intellilink interface), voice controls, smartphone integration, a rearview camera, OnStar (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hot spot), a navigation system and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB media interface and an auxiliary input jack.
Although the 2016 Cascada comes with a long list of standard features, keyless ignition is curiously unavailable.
The Cascada Premium adds automatic wipers, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, and air deflectors for the front and rear seats. There are no other factory-installed options for either trim level.
performance & mpg
The 2016 Buick Cascada is powered by 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. These are strong numbers for such a small engine, but the powertrain has its work cut out for it because the Cascada, with its heavily reinforced body, weighs nearly 2 tons. During Edmunds testing, a Cascada accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.1 seconds, which is slow for this class of car.
The 2016 Cascada's six-speed automatic transmission gets the job done, but it's down a couple of gears compared to some rivals.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the Cascada is an underwhelming 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway). For context, the VW Eos offers the same horsepower and gets 25 mpg combined, while the BMW 228i convertible boasts 40 more hp and gets 27 mpg combined.
Standard safety features for the 2016 Buick Cascada include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and front knee airbags. Like other GM vehicles, the Cascada comes with the subscription-based OnStar system, which can provide roadside assistance, automatic crash notification, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.
In the event of a rollover, two stout metal posts, spring-loaded and pyrotechnically actuated, pop up from behind the rear seats to provide added occupant protection.
All Cascadas also come with a rearview camera, and premium models include forward collision and lane-departure warning systems. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert isn't offered, however. In Edmunds emergency brake testing, the Cascada came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet. That's an average distance for the segment.
The 2016 Buick Cascada has a turbocharged 200-hp engine under the hood, but those horses have to haul almost 4,000 pounds of weight. As such, acceleration is unremarkable. You typically won't have a problem pulling into fast-moving traffic, but passing on a two-lane road requires a long stretch of open blacktop.
Performance is tepid in the 2016 Cascada, but the quiet, supple ride makes for serene top-down motoring on a sunny day.
As a highway cruiser, the Cascada is pleasantly hushed and smooth, and it feels pretty solid, even when driving over choppy pavement. Slower speeds reveal a bit of bounciness over uneven surfaces, but we'd still call the Cascada’s ride pleasant. Around turns, other smaller convertibles like the Mini Cooper are sportier and more fun to drive, even if the Cascada's planted feel is pleasing in its own right.
The front seats are initially comfortable, but the stiff leather upholstery and light padding can cause some pressure points on long road trips. At least the Cascada's rear seats are suitably sized for kids or shorter adults, though as in many convertibles, they can feel confining with the top up.
One of the interior highlights is the Cascada's power top, which raises and lowers with a single switch located between the seats (no separate roof latches to break fingernails or skin knuckles). The top can be raised or lowered while the car is moving at speeds up to 31 mph, and the lowering process takes a manageable 17 seconds. Rearward visibility with the top up is passable, but the high rear deck and small rear window make the lack of blind-spot monitoring that much more of an oversight.
The Cascada's rear seatbacks fold down to reveal a pass-through for oversized cargo, an unexpected perk in this segment.
The trunk offers 13.4 cubic feet of space with the top up. A movable divider must be pulled down into place to make room for the roof, though, which decreases trunk space to a still-respectable 9.8 cubic feet. Folding the rear seatbacks opens up a cargo pass-through for longer items.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
After 25 years without a convertible in its lineup, Buick gets back into the drop-top class with the midsize 2016 Cascada. It's not nearly as luxurious as Buick claims, but it offers considerable value for the price.
What Is It?
The 2016 Buick Cascada is a two-door, four-passenger convertible that starts at $33,990. For that price you get features like adaptive headlights, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a navigation system, Siri Eyes Free iPhone control, onboard WiFi and a rearview camera.
It's best to think of the Cascada as a comfortable tourer rather than a sporty convertible. Proportionally, there is a lot of sheet metal that makes it look heavy, particularly above the rear wheels. This prevents the car from having a sleek, "ready-to-pounce" stance, but it does allow for a flat rear deck lid that completely hides the folded fabric roof. An attractive chrome strip surrounds the passenger compartment and dresses things up a bit.
Our initial drive was in a model with the $3,000 Premium trim. It adds several safety items like forward collision alert, lane departure warning, automatic wipers and headlights. Wind deflectors to control buffeting with the top down are also part of the package.
The only other options on the Cascada are the exterior and interior colors and the wheels. Notably absent from the options list is a keyless ignition (you still need to use a key to start it), a premium audio upgrade and more advanced safety features.
Is It a True Luxury Convertible?
Given the price, this Buick is positioned as an entry-level luxury convertible. Judging by its interior, however, the Cascada falls short on that promise. Liberal use of hard trim pieces along with parts shared with various Chevrolet vehicles give the Cascada a less-than-premium look and feel. The stitched leather dashboard is attractive, but it's surrounded by plastics that suggest a lower price point.
Most of the switchgear and displays in the Cascada also have a dated appearance, with a low-resolution driver information display and a relatively small 7-inch touchscreen that is slightly out of reach. An overabundance of buttons and knobs on the center stack (we counted 46) further complicates infotainment and climate control operation. The auxiliary steering wheel buttons aren't any better, with wobbly rubberized switches that don't feel particularly precise.
The infotainment system itself isn't as sophisticated as competing units, either. The menus are not intuitive, and responses to inputs are often slow.
Trunk space is decent at 13.4 cubic feet with the convertible top up, dropping to 9.8 cubic feet with the top stowed. The typical carry-on suitcase will easily fit behind the folded top, and about two more can be accommodated when the top is out of the way. The trunk opening is narrow, which will prevent the loading of bulkier items, but a small center pass-through with remote rear-seat releases allows for longer cargo. Interior storage is limited to a few small bins and pockets.
How Comfortable Is the Cabin?
The Cascada's front seats provide a good amount of support and the perforated leather upholstery kept us adequately ventilated on a humid day. A reflective coating also helps keep the surface cooler, and a seatbelt presenter keeps front passengers from having to twist and reach rearward to buckle up. Unfortunately, the thinner padding and stiff leather did create some uncomfortable hard points after a few hours behind the wheel.
For the passengers in back, the seats feel puzzlingly off-kilter for average-size adults, as the position feels neither straight nor level. The lack of lateral and thigh support makes these narrow seats more appropriate for small passengers, as does the lack of headroom with the top up. Accessing the seats is easy thanks to a single latch that releases the front seatback and slides the seat forward. When the front seat is returned to its position, sensors detect where the rear passenger's knees are and adjust its rearward travel for optimal space.
With the top up, the triple-layer fabric roof does a good job of filtering out external sound, but there is a noticeable amount of road noise reverberating throughout the interior. The top folds away in only 17 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph with the touch of a single lever. The Premium trim's mesh wind blocker can be easily installed over the rear seats and dramatically reduces wind buffeting, even at highway speeds. We were able to have a civilized conversation without having to raise our voices, whether the windows were up or down.
What Is It Like on the Road?
Powering the 2016 Buick Cascada is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. This isn't much power for a car that weighs 3,979 pounds, but it does get up to speed at a reasonable pace.
The EPA estimates the Cascada's fuel economy at 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway). These figures are about average for convertibles in this price range.
Gearchanges from the six-speed automatic transmission are smooth, and the front wheels don't tug at the steering wheel under full power. Passing slower traffic requires you to engage the overboost mode by flooring the throttle. Once engaged, the peak torque output is increased to 221 lb-ft for a short time. The extra power gets the job done, but the engine does labor quite loudly.
The Cascada is tuned to favor comfort over performance, so it feels smooth over most ruts and bumps, even with the standard 20-inch wheels. At worst, the rear wheels shimmy over long stretches of broken pavement, but even that is barely noticeable. Since most of our test-drive was on wide-open highways, we have yet to experience its ultimate handling potential on curvy roads.
Outward visibility is compromised by very thick windshield pillars, but thankfully they're situated far enough to the sides to prevent continuous obstruction. The high rear deck lid also presents some challenges when backing into a spot, forcing heavy reliance on the standard rearview camera. With the top up, rear visibility is further narrowed through a small glass window and the surrounding convertible top, a typical issue with vehicles in this class.
What Safety Features Are Available?
In addition to the typical safety features found in modern convertibles, the Buick Cascada also benefits from OnStar emergency telematics and front passenger knee airbags.
In the event of a rollover accident, high-strength steel bars will automatically deploy from behind the rear seats for added protection. The Premium trim also gets a lane departure warning system and forward collision alerts.
What Cars Compete With It?
There aren't many convertibles in the Cascada's price category. The only direct competitor comes in the form of the Audi A3 Cabriolet. With a starting price $3,000 greater than the Buick's, the bottom line may be a deciding factor for shoppers. If you can stretch the budget, however, the Audi rewards you with a more engaging driving experience and a significantly more luxurious interior.
Why Should You Consider It?
If you're looking for a convertible that's a step above your average soft-top Camaro, the Cascada is worth considering. It rides better, gets solid mileage and looks more elegant inside and out.
Why Should You Think Twice About It?
Although it tries to play the part of a luxury car, the Cascada comes up short when it comes to refinement, materials and performance. Rear-seat comfort is also worse than expected, and the interior controls aren't very intuitive.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible Overview
The Used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible is offered in the following styles: Premium 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and 1SV 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6A).
What's a good price on a Used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible?
Price comparisons for Used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible trim styles:
- The Used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible Premium is priced between $24,995 and $27,998 with odometer readings between 5214 and 25076 miles.
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Which used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertibles are available in my area?
Used 2016 Buick Cascada Convertible Listings and Inventory
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