Reasonably priced convertibles are a rare breed. Searching for one with a usable back seat is as easy as hunting Bigfoot. Well, that has changed thanks to the 2017 Buick Cascada, a midsize convertible with a reasonable price and reasonable amount of room for four people. It’s very much an imperfect choice, but it may also be the only one you have.
Despite its Buick badge, the Cascada is virtually unchanged from the car of the same name sold in Europe as an Opel and Great Britain as a Vauxhall. That means it doesn’t exactly blend in stylistically with other Buicks, while its convoluted interior controls lack the user-friendliness of most brand mates. With plenty of noise and an abundance of body shake when going over bumps, it also lacks the overall refinement we’ve come to expect from Buick. It feels like a much older design than it actually is.
There are three trim levels: Base, Premium and the new-for-2017 Sport Touring. The Base comes with an abundance of standard comfort, entertainment and luxury features for the money. You’ll pay far more for comparably equipped rivals. Opting for the upper trims opens the door to high-tech safety equipment, a navigation system and some distinctive styling elements.
All trim levels come with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. That’s a decent amount of power, but it’s saddled with a hefty curb weight that results in poor acceleration and cumbersome handling. Fuel economy is also disappointing at 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city/27 mpg highway).
On the upside, the Cascada features front-wheel drive, making it a more compelling all-weather choice. It also has a more passenger-friendly back seat. Spacious it is not, but in the realm of convertibles, it’s about as good as you can expect within any semblance of this price point. Its trunk is also comparatively huge, offering 13.7 cubic feet with the top up (about what you’d get in a compact sedan) and 9.8 cubic feet when the roof is lowered (one of the better figures for a convertible).
When it comes to space and feature content, the 2017 Buick Cascada is uniquely positioned to offer things no other midsize convertible can match. In most other respects, however, the Cascada leaves much to be desired and we think that more appealing convertibles can be found here on Edmunds.com that will better meet your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.